Does your store stand out from the crowd? Does it excite customers? Is there a way you can beef up your merchandising to increase sales? Is that even possible in a bookstore? I say YES! Having 11+ years’ experience working for a major book retailer in Canada, I have seen many ways to increase sales via in-store merchandising. People come to your brick-and-mortar store to discover new items, to be WOWED. Making your store stand out from the competition is crucial to staying healthy and profitable in this competitive marketplace. Not only are you competing with other brick-and-mortar stores, you are now competing with online retailers too. Therefore, creative merchandising becomes even more important. You want to provide your customers with the ultimate shopping experience! Here are six easy ways to boost sales, while making an aesthetic impact on your store.
Change displays biweekly
All of us know that it is crucial to merchandise displays to follow holidays, seasons, etc. But is that really enough? Keep your store vibrant and fresh by switching your displays on a biweekly schedule whenever it is possible. This will keep customers excited and looking forward to see what’s new when they return.
Is your cash lineup exciting?
New arrivals should be displayed near the front of the store. Most book retailers have ample new arrivals weekly. Keeping your cash lineup fresh gives you more opportunity to entice your customers to impulse buy an item they didn’t even come into your store for. Alongside these sought-after new arrivals, display easy add-on items (low ticket priced items – like bargain books) to increase your customers’ basket size.
Tables should tell a story
Grouping like products together will give your customers additional reasons to buy more items from you, saving them time mixing and matching categories and topics that interest them. All tables should tell one cohesive story. A customer is looking for a complete solution. For example, if doing a Mother’s Day table and you are featuring some books on tea, cross merchandise this with tea, tea cups, and cookies, for example. Table displays that tell a story are more interesting to a shopper and potentially much more profitable to you as a retailer.
End-caps should be used to display new releases or older books by popular authors. When customers browse through your store and pass by the ends of your shelves, they can be influenced by what is displayed. Use end-caps creatively by adding products such as book lights, reading glasses, or gift cards. Adding one or two higher-margin products to every basket can really affect your bottom line.
Back of store merchandising
Categories such as Science, New Age, and Crafts and Hobbies, to name a few, should be placed in the depth of your store. Less impulse in nature, customers will travel to the back of your store to find these categories. By doing this you will increase the chances of those customers putting other items in their basket, increasing their basket size.
Make the shopping experience a comfortable one
Most shoppers shop with another person; a spouse, a friend, or a child. The more uncomfortable the spouse, friend, or child may get, the less time your customer will spend in your store browsing and adding to their basket.
Examples may include: chairs and sofas to make browsing more comfortable, ample heat/air-conditioning, or sufficient room to maneuver between shelves and tables.
These are just a few ideas to get your juices flowing. You will have many unique ideas that tailor to your store and your target customer. Have fun and be creative!