June Pro Shop: Retail Tips

HOW TO SELL: DISPLAY FOR SUCCESS

Are you confident that you’re optimising sales opportunities with your store layout?  Do you really know if your merchandising strategy is working? If you ever feel like you might be ‘winging it’, in the third part of our How to Sell Summer Series, we look at why relying on gut instinct might be costing you money.

 

June is traditionally the third biggest month of the year for pro shops.  This month, you’ll likely see sales for woods and irons drop off slightly, but shirts and consumables should see an increase. Marking the halfway point in the year, June is a focus point for retailers looking to turn over stock every 3 months, and maximising every sales opportunity is crucial.

Merchandising is an important activity, which focusses on the positioning of stock and merchandise displays that attract your customer’s attention.  However, it doesn’t end with a nice-looking wall, and you’ll need to react to, and manage, the success, or failure, of your displays, throughout the retail calendar.

When it comes to laying out your whole shop, there’s a lot to consider, and even more at stake.  So, how do you plan, and manage, your merchandising strategy?  Yes, the overall look and feel of the shop is important, but you should be making regular tweaks, even during your busiest months. In June, moving stock around weekly will help to keep the store looking fresh and revive customers’ interest.

Backup Your Gut

Rosie Collins, Crossover’s Installation and Training Manager, offers great advice to our retailer customers. “Every year, I’d suggest you go into your shop and imagine you’ve just taken it over and walked in for the first time. What would you bring to the shop to revolutionise it and give it a fresh direction?”

 

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Rosie Collins discusses counter sales with Retail Manager, Jim Bath, at the Kendleshire Golf Club

The key to successful merchandising is not to just rely on your gut instinct or personal preferences. Use the facts and astute observations to help mould and define those gut instincts – allowing you to create your strategy.

Know your Hot Spots

It may not be easy at this busy time of year, but the first thing to do is watch how customers interact in your shop. It’s not just the number of customers, but where they go. Do they stand in a particular place to chat with other customers or shop staff? Do they tend to go to one place, and then leave, or is there a pattern? What displays are they missing out on in the shop?

Supermarkets see the same shoppers every week. Customers get used to what they see, and, within a few visits, become ‘deadened’ to what’s in store.  If you want to prevent this happening, use the numbers. The data will tell you which ranges and displays are doing well.

Where are the hot spots within your shop? It’s often the counter so, if you aren’t selling well there, why not? Don’t forget that you can influence where the hot spots are within your shop. Are people just cutting through your shop to get to the club house? If so, how can you divert them?  There’s no rule of thumb about what to sell, and where, so a cycle of experimentation with regular testing and reviewing, is key to long term success.

“Move the coffee machine to take customers to a new part of the shop,” suggests Rosie, “Maybe to a corner next to a previously-unpopular display. Give it a couple of weeks and look at your sales figures to see whether it’s worked. Use your weekly team meetings to discuss tactics like this, and other merchandising ideas”.

 

The new shoe wall at Donnington Valley Golf Club has given sales a boost.

For Martin Balfour, Head PGA Pro of Donnington Valley, one small change made a big difference to his shoe sales.  “After 15 years of the same shoe wall display, we realised our customers just weren’t noticing our shoes, and sales had decreased”, says Martin, “My wife had the idea that putting fake grass on the wall behind the shoes might be fun and give us a fresh look. The difference was amazing. Lots of customers commented, and started to interact with, what they thought, was a whole new range of shoes. Sales increased dramatically and I now stock less shoes so my margin is up too”.

Buying Power

Sales information, based on specific ranges and displays, can also be used for extra bargaining power with suppliers and brands.

Ask for merchandising from suppliers, who can set up professional displays proven to attract customers: a shop within a shop. Listen to advice from your buying groups, but also experiment with your own ideas. You don’t have to have everything out, either. If you’re tweaking your merchandising every week, you can play around with stock.

Test for Success

“Whatever you do, or change”, says Rosie, “just keep monitoring results and checking your sales numbers. Run weekly Unpopular Sales reports and use the regular team meetings to discuss new ideas.  If you want to push a particular range, move it around and test, review, test, review..”

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Watch out For

Calender Drops: Run a teaser campaign to promote new products to customers ahead of the drops, and use a range of digital and traditional marketing to advertise new ranges.

Trends: If something’s selling well, play on that to get as much out of it as you can

Discounts: Be aware of brands you have that have started discounting already. You’ll miss out if you keep selling at the full price.

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Our leading sales and stock manage solution, XPOS, now enables you to monitor your shop’s performance on the go. Anywhere, and on any device. Keep an eye on sales, margin, stock turn and staff performance, with up to the minute, live stats. Crossovertec.co.uk 01454 418395

 

 

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