How to sell goods at the end of the season without a remainder? What to do if shop windows do not work as we would like? What should I do if a client cannot find a discounted product without the help of a seller? Galina Krylova, trade marketing and visual merchandising specialist at VM-consulting, tells about the tricks and techniques of merchandising aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the store during the sale period.
For the retailer, the sale period is the only opportunity to sell the remains of the collections of the last season, to get rid of poorly sold sizes and models, and often products that have lost their presentation. For buyers, the sales period is the time when they can buy their favorite models at a very attractive price. And since the price is the key factor, the seller’s interests are often at risk, because in an attempt to overtake competitors, stores sometimes take extreme measures in terms of discounts. To comply with the economic interests of the seller, but not to deprive the sale of attractiveness in the eyes of the buyer will help competent clearance of the sale by visual merchandising.
Determined with the target audience
Different price segments use different sales strategies. Therefore, the first important step for the proper design of the “sale” is to determine the price niche that this store occupies in the market. Practice shows that often the idea of retailers about themselves and their target audience does not correspond to reality. Hence the errors in the registration of shares and, as a result, low sales. In order to maximize the impact on your potential customer, you must clearly understand who the target audience of your store is and what level of goods you present to the buyer. For example, the use of vivid graphic elements with the percent discount indicated is more likely to frighten off a potential buyer of a premium store and, moreover, can ruin the intelligent image of the brand. And, on the contrary, bright labels and POS materials will work very successfully in a store of medium and low price level, where a low price is a key factor for buyers. The conclusion is simple: honestly look at your customer and be prepared to work with him using methods that are clear to him and not to your ambitions.
We calculate the stages of the sale and assign them the corresponding zones
As a rule, the sale takes place in several stages, at each of which the discount becomes larger. And if in the high price segment the discount mainly reaches 30%, after which the collections of the last season are sent to outlets, in the shops of the middle and low price segment the discount can reach 70%. However, it must be borne in mind that the psychological threshold for discounts for buyers is still 50%. Therefore, it makes sense to resort to radical discounts in 70% only in extreme cases, otherwise buyers will suspect something is amiss either with your product or with your original prices.
Let's talk about zoning during the “sale” in the shops of the middle and low price segment. In them, the first stage of the sale is usually accompanied by a small discount on the earliest arrivals of the last season. Often these are small residues that are recommended to be placed in a cold zone in the back of the store. At this stage, the showcase should already be reissued and should broadcast the beginning of the sale in your store.
The next step is the 40-50% discount. At this time, all goods are sold at the same discount and are located throughout the store.
At the third stage, the discount reaches 50-70% and discounted goods occupy a significant part of the sales area. At the same time, 30-40% of new collections are already appearing in the store, which are recommended to be placed in the back of the trading floor.
And, finally, at the final stage of the sale, new collections are presented in the trading floor almost in full and are located in the most active zone - the entrance. It is recommended to move the remnants of the goods to the far side of the trading floor. As for the showcase, at this stage it makes sense to leave one showcase in the sale format, and arrange the second in a new seasonal concept, presenting new arrivals.
We make "talking" showcases
Showcases are the face of your store and the formation of the “see - I want” impulse to buy, so the quality of window dressing during the sale period is extremely important. However, this does not necessarily imply the high cost of producing decorative elements. Sometimes it’s even the other way around: the less elements are placed in the window that distract from the main message about the sale, the better. It is recommended that store windows of premium-level stores be extremely delicate without compromising the value of the brand itself. When window dressing for such stores, the minimum number of decorative elements and the laconic designation of the beginning of the discount season in the form of the word sale on the glass or the interior wall of the window are mainly used. For graphics, it is recommended to use colors such as gold, silver and black. The presentation of the product on a mannequin or in a display in a display case should not differ from generally accepted seasonal standards: this is important to maintain the brand image and its value. The product must be presented in a window so that it looks as valuable as in the main season.
When window dressing in the bridge segment, it is possible to use more active tools to influence the buyer. This is primarily color, large print, a clear indication of the percentage of discount. As for colors for graphics, the most advantageous combinations are red + white and yellow + black. Recently, however, an increasing number of retailers are using other colors, for example, blue, purple, orange. This move attracts customers, highlighting the store against the backdrop of red and white competitors. Also in the middle segment, banners and special decorative price tags work well, highlighting goods at a discount on a shelf.
Bridge is a price segment that has recently stood out as an independent layer between premium brands and brands of an average price level. It includes brands offering quality clothing, shoes and accessories at mid-range prices. In shoe retail, the players in the bridge segment are such networks as Carlo Pazolini, Econika, Hogl, Ecco.
Mass market stores use the most aggressive methods of influencing a customer, in particular, large bright elements with discount sizes. Showcases should rightly shout about a low price, and the main message should be read unequivocally: “Favorable price !!! We're having a sale!!! Everything is cheap !!! "
Choosing working POS materials
Very often retailers are faced with this problem: considerable funds have been spent on clearance sales, printing creative labels indicating discounts, and the sale is sluggish, the buyer is not able to navigate the hall on his own, sales staff do not have time to serve everyone, and as a result, the potential client leaves a store without a purchase, but with a feeling of dissatisfaction with the store. In most cases, the problem lies in broken POS-materials, framed with errors. How to avoid them? When developing POS materials, it is very important not to overload them with unnecessary information. This is one of those cases when it is necessary to be guided by the principle of Less is More - the less, the better. Sometimes retailers place brand logo, complex decorative elements or additional discount conditions in small print on POS materials. Practice shows that such methods not only do not work, but, on the contrary, distract the buyer’s attention from the main information, disorienting and annoying him.
The main features of working POS materials:
In the middle and low price segment, it will be appropriate to especially emphasize the benefits of the purchase by placing the old price next to the new one. In this case, it is recommended to make the new discounted price in large print, and the crossed out old one in small print.
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