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You’re being judged, and you don’t know it

November 5, 2009
Filed under Aftermarket

JenniferCustomers are funny; they don’t always express what they are thinking about your store or your product. The only way to know you’re not impressing your visitors is the amount of times the door swings but the cash register does not ring that beautiful sound.  

Shoppers are coming to see what you’re all about. They want to know: Does your store have the products they’re into? Is your staff educated? Better yet, does the staff have energy and show an interest in servicing their needs as an enthusiast? And basically, is this place worth my limited time?

Discretionary time is a big concern for shoppers. IF I take the time out of my schedule to drive to your store, will I get my ROI (return on investment)? Customers want powersport products, they don’t tend to need them.  

To improve sales and make the most of every door opening, make a list of elements that need to be top-notch priorities for improving over-the-counter sales for your store or stores.

Specifically for your showroom, ask yourself these questions:
* Is it clean and organized?
* Well merchandised?
* Does it have displays that create urgency to buy (the wow factor!) throughout the store?
* Is it de-cluttered/dusted/mopped/steamed-clean carpets more than once a year?
* Does it have fresh signage?
* Can you create new traffic patterns?
* Do you run customers through your accessories department on the way in or out of your store?
* Music: Is it appropriate (not to loud/not too angry/prefer energetic and upbeat!)
* Does it capture the holidays? (Holiday time is NOW. What are you waiting for?)

Designate a showroom leader, someone who is organized, creative, inspired and able to work with all departments to make regular changes. Stale, static showrooms don’t sell! If your showroom is dull and like shopping in a library, it’s overdue for a change.

A merchandising showroom plan should not be left solely to the sales department — they tend to be biased toward their units.

If you are experiencing slow floor traffic, right now would be the opportune time to do showroom spruce up. You can’t afford to wait!

Complacency is the No. 1 reason stores suffer a lack of sales.

Disagree?

Comments

6 Responses to “You’re being judged, and you don’t know it”

  1. Tim Bernard on November 9th, 2009 3:57 pm

    Jennifer,
    I think this is a great way to keep the showroom in the face of the personnel. Ownership has been a big deal for me to get from my staff. I recently hired my daughter Jen and she has made a difference, but can use some help so we will keep monitoring the site. I am not sure if complacency is the No. 1 reason. As you have stated, I tend to think it is lack of direction and focus due to a focused goal. At least it seems to be that way with me. Now that you have it, what do you do with it? How much time do you need to make it something? I will admit the better the showroom looks, the more the staff is enthused.
    Thanks
    Tim

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  2. Wicked on November 9th, 2009 5:46 pm

    Thanks Jennifer, just waiting for Black Friday, now I think I will blow up the store. Have a great idea to make a Rockstar Christmas Tree — I need some empty cans to hang on the tree! I might even try poking holes in the side and running lights in them. Any ideas to expand on this ? Wicked

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  3. Jennifer Robison - Retail Environment Specialist, Tucker Rocky on November 10th, 2009 12:38 pm

    Tim,
    Thank you for your response.
    For success in any aspect of business a process or procedure has to occur. The visual merchandising process starts with someone designated to be or take a leadership position of directing the stores look and appeal. One person should ultimately lead and oversee the visual merchandising. They will be the go to person and coordinate with all the departments and managers.
    Secondly, this person has to be supported in the store, all managers and staff needs to coordinate and work with this person. All staff can participate, contribute ideas and perform the task. Staff ownership is a huge benefit in any aspect of your business and I encourage you to keep them motivated. With that said, staff also needs the benefit of someone that is watching the calendar (seasons, holidays, store events). Visual merchandising is not only about product placement, it is about creating an urgency to buy. It’s keeping up with each season in a timely manner (not setting the store for holiday two weeks before Christmas) as to capture the mood of the season thus encouraging sales. People shop with their senses, eyes/ears/smell and touch. Your designation of a Visual Merchandiser/In Store Marketing leader has to been empowered and provided with and a list of requirements, duties and GOALS. The Visual Merchandisers goal is to move more products; this would include vehicle units to helmets. Of course Visual Merchandising will not replace sales staff, it is by design is to enhance the focus of consumers and drive them to buy.
    In your situation it sounds like the process of visual merchandising should be defined and implemented. Sadly, complacency is a problem in powersports; I have observed situations where that is causing (in my opinion) a lack of progression. Complacency does kill and is killing some powersport retailers. We have to change; powersport retailing has had a low bar set when it comes to visual merchandising overall. Of course many stores are excellent and have a high standard, while others still think it’s the 70’s & 80’s. One of the biggest changes in the last 10 years is the internet. The Internet has changed what people expect to find when they are shopping for products. Thankfully, the visual merchandiser can wow customers in a way the internet cannot, with instant gratification. Internet retailing, generally speaking, is about larger selection and pricing, where as Brick and Mortar stores can be about WOW, NOW and walk out the door with it.

    Perhaps your daughter is just the person for the job. Below is a list of qualities I would look for to satisfy the position.

    1.Goal oriented/Self motivated
    2.Must understand product placement/be willing to study and learn
    3.Creative (able to work with limited resources/create signage/usage of materials)
    4.Organized (can work a deadline/can find products/POP/
    5.Leader of people (able to excite and motivate)
    6.Open minded (no and I can’t and that won’t work is not going to progress the store)
    7.Resourceful (making displays out of things and stuff laying around)
    8.Communicative (able to express ideas and concepts)
    9.Clean & tidy (housekeeping issues are very important to all stores, no one wants to shop in dust land!)
    10.Able to stand up for what needs to be done (not be steam rolled uncooperative managers or staff)

    In closing, staffing is one element of successful merchandising; Fixtures/ Product placement/seasonal rotations/staff education on products/ tie-in with national and local marketing champagnes/store events or powersport events/Housekeeping and more are all other elements I hope to speak about in other blogs stay tuned.
    NOTE: We can’t control what goes on outside of our businesses doors, but what we can control should be a top priority!

    Thank you TIM! Go Forth and Kick IT …

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  4. Jennifer Robison - Retail Environment Specialist, Tucker Rocky on November 10th, 2009 12:40 pm

    Wicked- Love to see themes used in stores! sounds creative, hope you can get us a picture of your creation. Anyone else have a killer idea???

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  5. Bud Myers on November 14th, 2009 9:43 am

    Jennifer
    You hit the nail on the head with this one, love it!
    Bud

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  6. Jennifer Robison - Retail Environment Specialist, Tucker Rocky on November 18th, 2009 7:45 am

    Thank you Bud!
    Whom out there has a special topic for us all to talk about??

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