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Intermediate Merchandise Presentation

Lily O'Halloran

Presenting your merchandise in an attractive, attention-grabbing manner can increase your sales dramatically. The ideas, tips, and techniques in Introduction to Merchandise Presentation will lead you in the right direction. Although many of those tips appear to be intuitive, they are often overlooked. Techniques in Introduction to Merchandise Presentation lay the groundwork to build a successful business. However, there are more techniques that you can use to further increase your sales. In this article, I will cover additional techniques that you can implement right away. Get ready to watch your holiday season sales rise to new heights!

Passion for your Products

Learn all you can about your products. You should understand them inside, outside, and upside down. How can you convince customers to purchase your products if you do not understand them? Let your passion for your products shine! Passion and excitement are contagious; they build enthusiasm and increase sales. Don’t know where to start? Consider a few questions:

  • What do you love about your product? Is it the scent? Is it the feeling of luxury it evokes?

  • Does your product help you achieve your dream lifestyle?

  • Is it a top-rated product?

  • Color, style, scent, flavor, brand, ingredients, demand… all of these characteristics are important and a reason to love your products! Show your excitement; spread the joy!

Cross Merchandise by Grouping

Cross merchandising is simply grouping related products together. There are a few methods that you can use to accomplish this technique in an online setting. Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

  • Create gift baskets or sets that include multiple related items, such as a skincare basket with a moisturizer, cleanser, toner, and an eye cream. Maybe you sell books. You can create a Reader’s Dream set that includes a few bestsellers, a bookmark, and any other related items in your inventory selection. A Writer’s Dream set could include a hardbound journal, notebooks for everyday use, stationery with matching envelopes, a selection of note cards, and a nice pen. Whether you sell DVDs, game consoles, fragrances, lingerie, or toys, you can build gift baskets or sets. Customers love sets like these for the holidays. It saves them time and money, because they don’t have to shop around for ideas or each piece to make a set. You did the work for them. Dress packages up nicely for the holidays and watch them fly out the door!

  • Group similar items on the same web page. A customer who plans to purchase a game console would be a prime candidate for buying games as well. This approach is similar to the gift basket idea, yet products are sold individually. Present related products near each other to suggestive sell additional merchandise. A build your own set or deal works wonders to increase sales by discounting the sale for each additional item purchased in the same transaction.

  • Another popular method used by many stores, such as Victoria Secret, offers a related product once an item has been added to the customer’s cart. For example, when a customer adds a pair of pajamas to their cart, an offer for matching slippers appears – either on the shopping cart page or through a pop-up. Nowadays, many Internet users block pop-ups, so an ad placed on the actual web page may be a better option.

Cross merchandising is a viable merchandising solution for e-commerce stores. Choose a method that is suited to your unique situation. Grouping merchandise is similar to suggestive selling without the verbal aspect. Customers tend to spend more money when cross merchandise presentation strategies are used.

A Customer’s Perspective

View your merchandise presentation from a customer’s perspective. This can be difficult, because of the hard work that you put into creating the presentation. Try to clear your mind though, and then experience what it feels like to shop your merchandise from a customer’s viewpoint. Consider a few points:

  • Do the merchandise groupings make sense? Are the products related?

  • Does the presentation enable you to view each item? Do you know exactly what each presentation is offering? Does each set include product details?

  • Are the merchandise presentations attractive, logical, and themed?

Use your answers to each of the questions above to determine if your merchandise presentation is both logical and attractive. The presentation should grab your attention and hold it; it should make you want to know more about the products. How well did you do? Don’t worry; you can always change you presentations. In fact, change is necessary as product inventory fluctuates, seasons change, and promotional events rotate. Change is great, because it keeps the customer excited about your products.

Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More

The planning stage of a promotional event should begin long before the event is to be held. A lengthy planning time will allow you to work out all of the details of the event. There are many things to consider when planning a promotion, some of which include:

  • Pick a theme. Every promotion should have a theme to tie the presentation together. Be creative! Your theme should be fun and relate to your product selection.

  • Choose the products that you want to highlight during your promotion. Choose products that relate to your theme as well as other current elements, such as the season or an approaching holiday.

  • What’s the deal? A promotion is a special deal that draws a customer to your store and entices them to make a purchase. The deal could use price points, dollars-off, percentage-off, or it could be a buy one, get one free sale. Consider your costs and profit margin when deciding on what type of deal to run. The deal should be cost-effective for you, but still allow the customer to feel as if they are getting a great deal.

  • Set the dates. How long do you want the promotion to run? Not sure? Start with the common length of two weeks. Then adjust the length of the promotion to suit your individual needs. Now you have a length, but when will it start? To choose a starting date, you will want to consider the day of the week and whether the event relates to a holiday. If the promotion is holiday related, then it should begin and end before the holiday.

Enjoy Your Success

You have passion for your products, and it shows! Excitement pours off of you. Everyone around you wants what you have, which are the products you sell! You cross merchandised your products by offering fabulous gift sets. The sets are so hot customers are not only buying them for gift giving, but also for themselves. You viewed your merchandise presentation from a customer’s point of view, and it looks hot! You are planning promotions for future sales; customers are eagerly anticipating your next big event! Everything is going great! Take a moment to enjoy your success; you deserve it!

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