6 surprising tips for EYE CARE PROFESSIONALS on how to maximize sales with simple visual merchandising
(as told to Stephanie K. De Long, for EyeCare Business, April 2016)
I am a retail strategist and shopper insights expert. That means I watch people shop. I study the maze (the retail environment), the mouse (the shopper), and the cheese (whatever that shopper is after).
My job is to make sure the maze, mouse, and cheese are working together to create the best experience possible.
Visual merchandising is an important piece of that maze. Here are six tips to enhance yours.
#1 PREVENT PAIN POINTS
There are five tenets of shopping—look, touch, check the price, inform, explore. If we have a pain point in any of those steps, it is in danger of becoming a breaking point.
For example, if frames are in a glass case, I may not want to ask for help and, therefore, that pain point becomes a breaking point, and I move on. The display may look great, but visual merchandising needs to facilitate shopping, not just support a good design.
#2 CREATE VISUAL OASES
There are often so many frames along a wall that we need some sort of visual oasis to rest our eyes and, therefore, catch our breath.
The easiest way to do that is with color and color blocking. Create two to three places on the wall where there is no product and you’re not trying to sell anything, other than sharing your brand message and environment. You can do it with humor, color, something fun or even educational— nothing heavy, but something that shifts our brain and lets us refocus.
#3 TALK TO MEN
Look at your customer: Men shop as a task, and women shop for excitement or entertainment.
If a woman needs a product, she will find it. Not so with men. It’s important to help them remember where the boundaries are in their category. Whether that’s with verbiage or signs—or the men’s background is light blue and the women’s yellow—there needs to be some system to help men shop.
#4 TURN TO THE RIGHT
After entering a store, consumers tend to take a soft right. For the most part, the hard right area is out of their sight lines. Don’t just waste that space, though. Put kids frames there or sale product.
#5 MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL
If you have to walk 5 feet to a mirror, and need to do that three to four times to see how different frames look, you will reach a breaking point quickly. This is an important part of visual merchandising that’s often overlooked.
We want to see the frame close up on us, so that’s a hand mirror (and you’ll need lots of them). We want to see how the frame looks on our face, so that’s typically a wall mirror. And then we want to see how we wear the frame overall, so that’s a full-length mirror. Do you have all three?
#6 MERCHANDISE TO YOUR MARKET
Most of us over the age of 40 have trouble seeing small print, so don’t let the 27-year-old who’s making your signs forget who the audience is.
The same goes for lighting. If you’re under 40 and the store looks over-lit to you, it probably doesn’t to your average shopper.
What if you don’t want to follow the standard visual merchandising guidelines? My advice is this: If you’re going to break them, do it in a big way. Otherwise, stick to the retail rules.
Dark Stores, Pickers, Delivery Angst… it sounds so…apocalyptic. It is. It is the rise of a new world of shopping where the physical activity of hunting and gathering has been outsourced. To some, the future is bright; those who know exactly what they want and don’t care exactly when it’s in their cupboards. To some, the future is a slap in the face; the dance is TONIGHT. I ordered the dress hours ago. Where is it!?!?!? Click here for a great article, Shop but don’t enter. The strange world of dark stores. By Chris Baraniuk (BBC) 5 August 2015
This Seattle company, Recycled Waders, recently hooked my curiosity with their product that turns “leakers into keepers.” Not being a fisherperson, I didn’t even really know waders, let alone leakers were. The word’s not in my vernacular. Since first seeing this brand, I’ve asked a lot of men who knew immediately what I meant by “waders.” The premise is simple; as per founder Pat Jenkins, “Recycled Waders brings my vision to life, turning leaky waders into completely functional products.”
Here’s what I love. IT’S AN ACCESSORY! Women have the market on jewelry, bags, shoes…we have more accessories than things to accessorize. MEN, however, have little to choose. Turning “manly” things into manly accessories is smart. It’s a market waiting to be capitalized upon.
Like the Survival Bracelet made of ripcord, it’s less about “jewelry” and more about…survival. [Insert eye-rolling here] That ubiquitous, yellow Livestrong “wrist band”? It’s a bracelet. Because the Wader wallet is repurposed AND manly, it’s not considered an accessory by men but rather a tool. Men can spend as much as they want on tools. I mean, c’mon, it’s a TOOL. You need it. Rationalize away, fellas, the ladies have been doing it all of our lives.
Congratulations, Recycled Waders. You’re hitting several nails on the head with one…tool. recycledwaders.com