According to the American Marketing Association, merchandising includes the “planning involved in marketing the right merchandise or service at the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities, and at the right price.”
Creating the “Right” Atmosphere for Your Customers
I’ve been there, I have an idea of what I want but, having several choices can be so overwhelming that I walk out the door without purchasing anything. In this case, the “right” for me (the customer) has not been accomplished. So where did the store go wrong? It all comes back to the right merchandise, at the right place, at the right time. If customers are bombarded with too many choices, they become overwhelmed. This negative feeling leads to customer shut-down which in turn leads to shopping abandonment instead of a purchase.
Merchandising Can Overcome Shopping Abandonment
Merchandising helps catch your consumer’s eye and is critical for your business to stand out. Merchandising helps customers remember you. More importantly, merchandising helps focus the customer thus creating a more enjoyable and relaxing shopping experience. When customers feel relaxed, they tend to spend more time in a store. The more time they spend in a store the more likely they will make a purchase.
Using the Five Senses to Create the “Right” Shopping Environment
Sounds can bring back memories for your clients and can soothe them into taking in the beauty of the visuals you have set up. If you have food in your store, try having a “Sample Day,” where you open up some of your items for customers to taste test. Don’t forget about the sense of touch. With fingers having the most nerve endings on our body that can send messages to the brain, it’s important to make available items your customers can hold, take off the shelf, pull from the flower cooler… you get the picture.
I believe a sixth sense could be added to this list, and that is the ability to create a personal relationship with your customer. What does the relationship have to do with merchandising, you ask? The customer’s experience. That’s why we involved all of the senses.
The way you make your customer feel when they enter your store is just as important as what they see, touch, hear, smell, and possibly taste. So, do you make an extra effort to go above and beyond for your customers? Do they know they can rely on you? When they walk in, do you begin to establish that rapport and acknowledge that they came in at all? At the end of the day, most customers will always go back to their relationship with you. Making that relationship is a top priority in your business and is ultimately what will keep your customers coming back. Remember, always think like the customer.
So let’s face it, your customer’s experience is a crucial, deciding factor when it comes to purchases and customer loyalty. Retailers should have the mindset of keeping the customer for life, to establish that personal relationship and loyalty. With such a need for merchandising, there are many website resources and companies who specialize in marketing that can help create your perfect atmosphere. Taking those extra steps to ensure their experience is an opportunity you can’t afford to lose!