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As you might be beginning to guess, the key to success with Facebook is experimentation.

The Art and Science of Buying and Merchandising - #BoFEducation

Outside of its targeting, Facebook tends to be more cost-effective than other advertising channels like Google AdWords or even advertising in your local paper. For cash-strapped retailers, the bang for your buck that Facebook delivers can make it an ideal tool for growing your brand awareness and driving more foot traffic to your store.

Casting a wide net online is about intelligently engaging your target audience. If people are looking to inform themselves online instead of in store, you simply have to meet them where they already are. This means becoming a part of the conversation online by engaging in proactive content marketing. It just so happens that you are in luck! Our team takes content marketing very seriously obviously and has put together the Small Business Guide to Content Marketing. Intelligent, useful, and engaging content is your way of demonstrating the value you will add.

And through this, boost your retail sales in the process. The second stage of the funnel is the first engagement customers have with your physical location. Because of this, it can be one of the most important aspects of increasing sales in retail for your brick-and-mortar location. Again, it is important to focus on the customer journey and take into account all of the elements that contribute to a customer transitioning from researching online to visiting your store in person.

Below are a few of the key aspects to take into account. Though this is an impressive number, what really hits home in this instance is that 90 percent of this group use their smartphones to get directions and business recommendations. For an added advantage, consider subscribing to a service like Yext to keep your local business listing info up to date across dozens of the different sites potential customers are using to learn about you. The world is your oyster and being able to start from scratch and choose an ideal location will have a tremendous effect on drumming up sales initially and allowing you to boost and improve upon sales in the future.

To begin with, you must choose a location that is easy to discover. Lastly, make sure your signage is large and easy to read. Seriously, you have to get people in the door. And how are you going to do this? Offering deals that create a sense of urgency think 25 percent off all sweaters this weekend only , is a great tactic for getting customers in your door ASAP. Keeping it simple can be just as effective when it comes to bringing customers through the door.

Maximize Your Curb Appeal Your storefront is the window to the soul of your business , and with it, you can make or break your attempt at increasing retail sales.

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You might consider using digital signage or experimenting with different window displays to catch the eye of passing shoppers. Sometimes doing something as simple as moving a few clothing racks out to the sidewalk can be enough to stop a passerby in their tracks and draw them into your store. Event Marketing: Create an Experience An excellent way to increase retail sales and introduce your business to new customers is to create an experience that aligns with your brand.

If you are a clothing boutique, you can use a slow afternoon to offer personal shopping services or provide free manicures to the first dozen customers.

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If you do these events correctly, you can reward your top customers, creating an awesome viral buzz that will lead to a ton of raving fans. Events like these can make your brand come alive and allow customers to experience your store in a new and unique way. Remember, event marketing is about brand awareness, so you might not see an increase in your retail sales immediately. No discussion of the in-store retail experience is going to be deemed complete without a mention of Apple. So, I may as well get it out of the way right at the start. Apple is awesome, and they have truly cracked the code when it comes to retail design.

We all know this. Do you want to learn how to increase your retail sales? Read and take note. Employees are equipped with an iPhone app that acts as a level to help them achieve this. It might sound nuts, but this kind of attention to detail is what distinguishes an exceptional in-store experience from a so-so one. Apple understands that as we walk through the doors of any new establishment, we ask ourselves a hundred questions in the blink of an eye: Is this location trustworthy, clean, friendly?

Are the staff likely to treat me well? Will the merchandise be to my liking? Will I find what I need and complete my purchase quickly? Will the prices be too high, too low, or just right? And, perhaps most importantly, is there anything different and distinctive about this place? Does this feel like my kind of store? Your job as a small business owner is to make sure your store is answering these questions. The overall goal of this section of the small business sales funnel is simple:. Every single person who walks through your doors should spend money in your store.

Easier said than done, right? So how can you make your in-store experience world class and get customers opening up those wallets? The first step is acknowledging that process of creating the perfect in-store experience — often called visual merchandising — is part science and part art. Counter Position and First Impressions For most stores, the counter remains the central, beating heart of the store. Regarding your store layout, all roads should lead to Rome, with all aisles and walkways driving towards the point of sale.

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This will give you a chance to greet customers as they arrive and establish the right atmosphere from the onset. It will also give you the opportunity to thank customers as they leave and has the added benefit of deterring shoplifters, who prefer to be able to grab and exit without going past the cashier. Signage and Guiding the Customer Journey As with all elements of your in-store experience, the best signage is a hybrid of form and function.

Functionally, it should provide clear guidance that helps customers find what they are looking for. This should include providing signage for products themselves, as well as miscellaneous items like restrooms, or an indication of which way to line up at your point of sale.

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If you can learn how to accomplish this, you are well on your way to learning how to increase sales in retail. The key with in-store signage of this kind is to consider how much time people are likely to spend in the each area of your store and target your message accordingly. If you are going to offer promotions here, they should be straightforward, for example, 15 percent off all T-shirts. At the point of sale, where people are potentially waiting in line, you can afford to provide more copy-heavy messages and more elaborate promotions. For example, the counter is the perfect place to advertise your loyalty program.

The point of sale is also a great place to use cross-selling tactics. You can arrange a variety of small, lower-priced products at the counter to guide shoppers towards purchasing more than they originally intended. Think about the last time you were at the pharmacy. What did you see at the counter? Did you grab a pack of gum and add it to your purchase without even really thinking about it? An impulse purchase like this is called an incremental sale. Replicate this strategy in your own store to increase the size of an average purchase. Information, Authority, and Trust As discussed at the start of this guide, customers are now coming into your store more informed than ever before about the products they need.

It should go without saying that you, therefore, need to train your staff to know your product line inside and out. Along the same lines, how do you convey this expertise to your customers? As with the content marketing approach, use in-store signage and a customer-centric approach to conveying authority on the subject at hand.

Ever wonder why the guy in those old toothpaste advertisements was wearing a white coat? Of course not. He was made to look authoritative so you would trust his recommendations. The walls of this store are often home to pictures of their staff performing challenging yoga poses. This positions the staff as both insiders and experts whose advice can be trusted.

Make sure your staff reflect the diversity of your potential customer base and then make it clear that your staff are personal devotees of your product. This allows your customers to identify with your products on a deeper level. This deeper connection is essential for increasing sales in retail. Make Your Store a Destination To further increase sales in retail, consider converting your business from a simple store to a destination.

Doing so gives you a leg up on online retailers that may offer lower prices, but lack that community feel. To achieve this, offer amenities that make the shopping experience more pleasant. Some amenities to consider adding include free wifi, charging stations for smartphones, comfortable seating, and a free beer or wine if it aligns with your brand and target audience. You could even tie your events into this strategy to offer things like classes or free consultations. Depending on how much you want to invest in teaching, you could even start charging for these classes, turning them into a supplementary revenue stream.

Greet people as they come through the door, find out what they need quickly, and go out of your way to make their experience a personal one. Above all else, your mission at this stage of the funnel is to provide a fantastic customer experience, coupled with incredible customer service.

For as long as time, retailers have been experimenting with design, layout, color scheme, music, smell, signage, staff uniforms, and more — to delight customers and encourage them to take out their wallets. Small business owners obsess about bringing new customers through the door, but the fact is, the customer standing right in front of you is probably your most underexploited resource.

How many customers walk out of your store having spent all they were willing to pay? How many are going to come back in tomorrow? It might seem that the small business sales funnel would finish at the point where you greet the customer at the counter to process their transaction, but there is so much more opportunity to take advantage of here. By exploiting the opportunity that is right in front of you, you know that you are getting the most value out of each customer.

There are four core goals that your staff should be pursuing at the point of sale in order to increase your retail sales and boost profit:. The Upsell Upselling is truly an art. For any retail merchant that needs to see a speedy uptick in sales, implementing proper upsell training for their staff is probably the most efficient available in terms of boosting sales. You find these outside on sidewalk A-frames, and in both window and product displays.

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Explain benefits over features. Use humor. Use analogies. Test signage for clarity by using your desktop printer before committing to having them professionally printed.

Read The Art of Retail Buying: An Introduction to Best Practices from the Industry (Hardback)

Add translations. The fitting room is a huge advantage for brick and mortar retailers. However, when the apparel is tried on in-store, that drops to the single digits. The proof of your retail merchandising comes together in the fitting room which moves your shopper from browser to customer.

Just like a well-designed display, the fitting room experience has to continue the engagement from the salesfloor, so here are three tips to make that happen:. Retail Merchandising refers to all the activities both seen and unseen which contribute to the sale of products in your store. It includes the visual merchandising which creates the environment to sell, the displays which stops shoppers in their tracks, the signage that directs, informs, or inspires them, and the fitting rooms where the final decisions are often made. Use these tips and tricks as well as best practices to merchandise your store like a pro.

Skip to main content. Introduction: What is Retail Merchandising? Subscribe to RetailRX. Get it in your inbox. By entering your email you expressly consent to receive other resources to help you improve your marketing efforts. A department plan that changes with the seasons and holidays. A budget for store fixtures, props, lighting, and signage. The thing to remember is that there is no merchandise in your store that a customer can't purchase online.

Here are 7 tips and tricks for visual merchandising your brick and mortar store: Great in-store merchandising invites shoppers to take a look, so avoid putting a display table perpendicular just inside your entrance. Put sale items in the back so thrifty consumers have to move through your store to get to them.

Here's how merchandisers create effective and interesting retail displays: 1. Begin by asking yourself these questions: Is the retail merchandise you select for your display high profit? Will it deliver more profit if you pull it off the shelf and feature it? Is it a limited-time item that can only sell for a short period?

Are the products you select solutions for a common problem? Is it a want, an item that a customer might covet in their heart of hearts but probably doesn't have on their shopping list? Is it something that can be bundled? Put new arrivals first 3. Use a color story of contrasting colors 4. Vary heights and add at least one prop to add interest 5. Light your display like it's show time 6.

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Add well-placed signs 7. Keep it simple.

Visual Merchandising: Begin With Your Target Customer In Mind

Don't group more than five different products together. Three things you can teach your retail associates about displays: When something is sold off a display, put another item on it. What would they be most interested in knowing? What if they wanted to go to the bathroom? What would they need to know to get to the department they are interested in? The nine best practices for creating signage: Find a color palette and stick with it.

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Use big enough font so no one has to squint to read it. Keep the word count short. Make sure the sign applies only to what it is in front of, on top of, or next to. Just like a well-designed display, the fitting room experience has to continue the engagement from the salesfloor, so here are three tips to make that happen: Keep the fitting room floors spotless - pin, hanger, and clothing free. Jovanka runs a product development company, specialising in fashion accessories, supplying British retailers.

She also designs and produces a collection of luxury leather handbags. Stephanie Liberman has over 20 years experience in the fashion industry. Starting her buying career at Woolworths, she worked in variety of multi-channel retailers and was a senior buyer at department store, Debenhams and stationery retailer, Paperchase. During her buying career she travelled extensively to Europe and the Far East and has built up a wealth of sourcing experience and relationships with offshore suppliers. Whilst at Debenhams she also developed and ran the buying school program and ran training and mentoring for all levels of the buying and merchandising community.

Short course enquiry form Sign up to our mailing list. Subjects Courses Colleges and Institutes Menu. Taught by. View basket. Description This fashion buying course will help you to make that leap forward into the fast paced world of fashion retail. Feedback from students: "I really enjoyed the course, I'm inspired to move forward and study more in fashion buying and merchandising. Tutor Description Frankie Law graduated from LCF with a first in Fashion Management and has since gained over 14 years of fashion buying, merchandising and design experience within UK retail, holding positions at high street and department store retailers.

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