Sometime ago, for the first time as an undergraduate, I felt so free as I walked back to my lodge from campus. This feeling resulted from the submission of my final year project. It was then that I started to notice even the minute details of my environment. I saw the power of attraction the beautiful flowers had on the butterflies; but my most striking observation was the huge tree I sat under just to watch the ‘business’ of the noisy birds. They were so many that the sight reminded me of a market scene.
There were lots of nests, some completed and others were being built. The male birds, like human entrepreneurs, were busy beautifying their nests with an eye for comfort and strength. And I saw how the female birds came and inspected the finished nests; they looked around, in and out, and if they were impressed, they would patronize the males by staying to breed, otherwise, they would fly to another nest.
This illustration is the closest approximation I have seen of the retail business by nature. The tree represents a business environment, e.g., a mall. The male birds are the entrepreneurs while their nests are their stores. The female birds are the highly esteemed customers.
The business strategy I could liken this to is the principles of product display in a typical retail store. As a retailer with hundreds of SKUs (SKU: Stock Keeping Unit: A unique product), how do you display your products to attract customers, make them shop longer, and increase your conversion rate? Have you heard of the 7+ One Principles of Product Display? I guess not, because I coined it.
A sage once said, our actions can be no wiser than our thoughts, and our understanding can be no better than what we know. I will share with you the knowledge of the 7+ One Principles of Product Display in the unfolding paragraphs to equip you with the tools that will transform the ambiance of your store and attract more customers.
The first principle is called obvious. How easily can your product be seen from the outside? How are you maximizing your window display? Are your products easy to identify and understand? Your store layout needs to be accommodating, and should enable customers to move and shop freely. Each product category must be boldly written on POP over it. Make sure every product has its logo facing out on the shelves. This principle has the effect of a peacock displaying its splendor.
Second is the principle of abundance. It is not right to have your shelves looking half empty while products are in the stockroom. Display your products close to each other, let them look plenteous. An abundant look has a great attractive power. Be careful to place small, light, and the most attractive products at the top, while big, heavy, and less attractive ones are displayed at the bottom. People naturally like making choices from a rich display, but a scarce looking display makes them feel that what is left are inferior goods.
Your effort at making your display look obvious and abundant would be a waste if the products are not easily accessible to customers, thus, the third principle is accessibility. This should make for convenience. Do not stock your products too high or too low; there should be one to two finger spacing between products and shelves to enable customers to carry and return the products. Fragile products should be protected from falling.
FIFO (FIRST IN FIRST OUT)
The fourth principle is FIFIO: First in first out. This is popular. This applies to products that are subject to expiration. Examples are foods, and cosmetic products. The store manager must take note of products that are close to their their lifespan limit and find creative ways to sell them off quickly to minimize losses.
The fifth principle is classified.How classified is your display? With lots of SKUs competing for limited space, it is wise to maximize your shelves by categorizing and displaying your products according to function, package, color, size, and prize. Customers should by themselves be able to locate the digital, food, fashion, and accessories sections of your store without assistance, for example. This creates order and serenity.
The sixth principle is relatedness.How related are products that have been placed close-contiguous to one another? For example, if you display batteries close to digital gadgets like scales, and toys, more would be sold. School bags should be displayed close to lunch bags, water bottles, stationeries, and so on. This makes shoppers to buy what they did not budget for because they would believe what they bought is incomplete without the other.
The seventh principle is vertical.Display your products in a vertical order if and only if that particular product has more than one SKU on furniture. This principle is based hinged on customers’ visual habit as they tend to look from left to right, and from top to bottom. Colours are of particular interest here. The first two layers of display must be conspicuous and attractive.
Last, and more important, is the + One, which is the principle of the Golden Position, or the Sunny Side. This is the side of a display furniture that has the greatest exposure to customers. It affords displayed products vintage view from the outside. Here, only best sellers and high priced products should be displayed. For the central furniture, products should be stocked 80 cm above the ground, while on the wall furniture it should be (80 -155)cm above the ground.
A good product display strategy like the ‘7 + One’ has a gravitational effect on customers the way the earth holds the moon in its orbit, and the sun holds the earth in its orbit. Before you apply these principles, take note of your current sales performance so that you can compare that with the after effects. This strategy has a triple benefit of attraction, retention, and high conversion rate. Why not give it a try?