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How to sell related products to a shoe store in the post-pandemic period?
21.09.2020 2652

How to sell related products to a shoe store in the post-pandemic period?

Related products are an obligatory component of the assortment set of a shoe store. Accessories, insoles, shoe care products will surely add variety to store shelves and bring joy to your customers. With the right approach, the soputka can bring from 10% to 20% of the turnover, which in the current conditions can greatly support the retail business. How and what to sell correctly, how to form an accompanying assortment offline and online, as well as how long masks and sanitizers have been registered in stores, we talk with a representative of the brands BNS Bergal, Nico & Solitaire in Russia, Yulia Belkina, a participant of the Euro Shoes Premiere Collection exhibition ...

Julia Belkina Julia Belkina - expert on related products, representative of the Solitaire, NATCH !, Nico, Bergal brands in Russia.

Julia, can related product categories, and which ones, somehow keep retail afloat? For example, due to the fact that shoe sales will decline, because people are now forced to save a lot, and will more often buy care products in order to extend the life of their shoes; Will buyers try to somehow diversify their style on a budget - for example, with new laces, socks - again in order to save money (the shoes are the same, but the accessories are different)?

The upward trend in the share of related products in the total turnover of specialized footwear trade has been observed for the last two years. Unfortunately, this trend goes hand in hand with declining sales of the footwear itself. Recent years have been difficult for the shoe market, especially for the classic offline shoe trade. Therefore, everything you listed is correct - this is both the forced savings of buyers, and more attention to the repair and care of shoes, replacing insoles and laces, and not buying a new pair. It is believed that related products should account for about 7% of a shoe store's turnover, which is a very good indicator. Within 2-3 years we see an increase in this indicator up to 10%, and in some shoe chains accessories accounted for almost 20% of the turnover last year. It is difficult to predict what we will see in the post-pandemic period. I think that those who will present beautiful new collections of shoes in stores, even without huge discounts, and an extensive assortment of related products, will act wisely. If everything went on as usual, now it would be a month of sales, but everything has shifted. People are tired of sitting at home and at their dachas, of the unknown and the absence of the usual routine. Today, the most important thing is to return the joy of purchase to the buyer. This cannot be achieved only with discounts. Accessories will definitely add variety to the assortment. I think those who can create a shopping-friendly atmosphere in the store will win, including through well-chosen and tastefully selected accompanying products that match the shoe collection. It is now more important than ever to offer the buyer not only shoes, but also a full set of accessories, as well as service in the form of attentive service and consultation.

How will insoles and other supporting products be sold, because this product is not cheap, and people do not have extra money? Will people be more concerned about the health of their feet now?

I am sure that insoles will always be in demand. Our people are historically accustomed to self-medication. On the one hand, this is not entirely correct. But on the other hand, prevention is a very important thing. When the foot is already severely deformed, then you need to go to the doctor. And to prevent this from happening, it is necessary to take action at the first sign of foot discomfort. Such measures are the simple purchase of a preventive insole. I must say that we note a fairly large awareness of Russian buyers in matters of foot health. There are a lot of tips on our site, the most read are how to choose the right insoles. By the way, an orthopedic, prophylactic insole does not necessarily cost a lot. Yes, frame insoles with arch support are quite expensive (about 1 rubles at retail). However, with the onset of flat feet, the appearance of a feeling of fatigue and pain in the metatarsus, with a painful bone in the initial stage, it is not necessary to immediately use frame, rigid insoles. For example, soft insoles made of polyurethane foam are much cheaper, while perfectly relieving and massaging the foot.

How to form an assortment matrix in new conditions? What will be sold primarily in the second half of summer and autumn?

The weather played along a bit in the sense that the spring was cool and rainy, and in many regions ... The warmth came only in June. Summer is a high season specifically for orthopedic insoles; all insoles that absorb moisture and neutralize the odor in shoes, insoles and liners for open and high-heeled women's shoes (this is mainly gel) are also good. The absolute bestseller is an anti-rubbing heel insert that is glued to the heel of the shoe. In August, warm insoles are already on sale, here we, unlike shoes, cannot lose the season. Shoe care products are more seasonal. Here, summer favorites are colored creams and products for velor leather, as well as special impregnating sprays with UV protection. You can also count on good sales of colored laces.

Is it worth correcting orders downward, or somehow changing positions?

The advantage of related products is that only some of them need to be ordered in advance. Bags, gloves, hats often require pre-order. Especially if they are matched to a specific collection of shoes. But insoles, shoe care products, socks, laces - this product does not require pre-order, it is possible to make accurate purchases as needed, reacting flexibly depending on demand.

Online versus offline ratio: how should related products be presented in an online store? What is in demand on the Internet, what categories of goods?

All our experience suggests that the product presented online must be very diverse. There is no point in setting five to ten positions. Each brand must be deeply represented and offer everything: classic products and niche products. Online - unlike an offline store - is not tied to a physical place, so there is an opportunity to "roam". Moreover, if we are talking about your own online store. Moreover, it is an opportunity to test demand. The offline store contains the products that your buyer has chosen. Despite all the experience, it is impossible to fully calculate and guess which product will sell and which will not. For example, a buyer thinks that a particular product has no chance of being sold and, moreover, has no chance of a successful sale, he unwittingly blocks this product, and the product does not go on sale. Online makes it possible to check without much risk whether this is really true. It also happens, however, that some product is successful exclusively online. The reasons for this success can be very different. For example, a competitor makes massive advertising for a product. You come out with the same product and the same wording in the product name. The buyer, by aleatherg the search phrase, gets the product that the competitor is promoting, but your product “comes out” as a result too. Such coincidences do not happen often, but they do happen. Or some products require a long explanation from the seller, consultation. The online buyer has the opportunity and time to carefully study the description and highlight the features of the product. This primarily concerns the so-called niche, specialized product.

When it comes to online product categories, a variety of insoles are also in the lead: orthopedic, seasonal and sports.

The presentation of a related product in an offline store depends on the availability of space for a good display of such a product, on the presence of sales assistants, and on advertising opportunities. These can be shortened lines of bestsellers, only classic and seasonal products. It can also be niche products, exhibited separately, "sharpened" for specific shoe collections. For example, if there are a lot of shoes with rhinestones in the collection, it makes sense to offer a care product for shoes with rhinestones. If there are a lot of shoes like sneakers in the collection, you can offer a line specifically for cleaning and caring for sneakers.

Your forecast: what will be the sales volumes of footwear and footwear this year and in 2021?

For footwear in the industry, a 2020% drop in turnover is forecasted in the first half of 35, and by 25% at the end of the current year. The almost three-month failure is difficult to compensate for, even through strong sales. However, the forecast may be more favorable for the meeting. This is due to the fact that this product does not have a pronounced seasonality. Orthopedic insoles sell better in the summer, but, nevertheless, at other times too. Winter insoles are poorly sold in summer, but they are still sold. Impregnation sprays are sold better in autumn and winter, but in summer, shoes must be protected from moisture, dust and dirt. Laces are sold all year round. In addition, all these goods are consumable, they require constant updating or replenishment. We see that the soputka provides the store with some kind of constant recharge. It will not save, will not pull out the turnover if the shoes are not for sale, but this is a solid help. As for the forecasts for 2021: we are engaged in imported goods, and the fall in the ruble in 2020 was a negative moment for us, it is difficult to predict whether an upward price adjustment will be needed. Against the background of a decrease in purchasing power, this may have a negative impact on sales. Despite all this, I will express a cautious hope for an increase in the turnover of the soputka in 2021. Unless, of course, new shocks of an unexpected nature await us.

What new positions may appear / have already appeared in shoe stores after the pandemic? What do they buy, ask, what are people interested in? For example, reusable masks with some stylish design, mini sanitizer bags, spare masks, etc.?

Indeed, now only the lazy does not offer masks. And they are present as a new companion product in many stores of a wide variety of profiles. On the one hand, if the mask, as a kind of attribute, has become an integral part of our appearance, then why not become a fashionable wardrobe item? I've heard this expression: better ironic than hysterical attitude to the situation. As with any in-demand product, you can make money on this product. Many designers already sell masks of different styles, the price jump is incredible. However, I do not think that masks will fully become an object or a sign of individual style. The mask greatly disrupts normal communication, but that's not the point. This "accessory" once again reminds us of an uncomfortable situation for society, of the restriction of freedom and a certain danger. As for sanitizers, the market reacted to this demand quite actively. Sanitizers appeared in the form of a plastic container that contains everything necessary for disinfection. An additional mini-handbag, of course, has the right to life, perhaps it will really come into fashion.

However, I would like to hope that we do not have to introduce such ancillary item into the inventory of a shoe store on an ongoing basis. We will be glad if the goods we are used to sell well, and we can communicate with each other with an open face, without a mask.

Related products are an obligatory component of the assortment set of a shoe store. Accessories, insoles, shoe care products will certainly add variety to store shelves and ...
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