The other day my in-laws came for a visit. I had done the usual tidying up because my house is generally presentable with a slight fluff. My father-in-law is 6’6 and I am 5’6 and as a joke I pulled out my 1’ step stool in my kitchen for a side-by-side photo of the two of us. I was mortified! I could see what he sees every day, including the dust on top of my refrigerator. It’s not because I don’t normally clean. Heck, I actually pay someone to help me! It’s just that my world is 5’6 and I don’t see (and can’t reach) the tops of refrigerators, range hoods, cabinets (the list goes on and on).
The point is: we don’t always notice what we can’t see. It’s the same with your store. Day in and day out you walk through the same doors and put your things in the same place. We’re creatures of habit – it’s understandable. But sometimes, we need to walk through our stores as though we’re 6’6 (or 5’0) and notice what others can and do see.
Here are some quick ways to make an impact on your store without spending a dime.
1. Clean: Walk through your doors for the first time. Yes, you should act like you have never been in your store before. You may not notice the dust bunnies on the baseboards, but your new customers do! See your store with fresh eyes and make a list of all of the easy cleaning you can do immediately, then do it! If you cannot do this, ask your most outspoken customer. They will!
2. Rearrange your displays: Have your in-case displays been in the same spot for the past 5 years? Even if they have for the past five weeks, change them. There is an old saying in retail: Movement is Money! Do your rings go here and your pearls there? Ask yourself why. If your answer is to make it easier on you, ask if it is making it easier on the customer to make a purchase. If not, change it.
3. De-clutter: Your store may be spotless, but you still have those 1980s gold nugget rings lined up next to your newer stuff. Time to make a decision so your customers can truly see your newer product. What’s on your walls? Remember, clutter, even on the walls, distracts from the merchandise.
4. Scent: What does your store smell like? Scent memory is real and powerful. Make sure your store gives your customers a pleasant experience. Make them comfortable so they linger to enjoy (and buy) your jewelry.
5. Think outside the box: Do you or your employees stand in one place every day? Usually behind the counter? Try standing outside the showcase so you can welcome your customers face to face. Research has proven that this approach disarms the customer and the employee and creates a more welcoming experience.
If you make these simple changes to your store, you too will see your selling environment in a fresh light. You may even become inspired to take a peak at the top of your refrigerator.
Kathleen Carmical is an Account Executive for Interiors by Stuller. Kathleen has 15 years experience in sales in design/build industries. She comes from a three generation retail family. If you’d like ideas for simple, sales generating improvements you can make to your store, contact Kathleen at 337-257-0192, Kathleen_carmical@stuller.com or www.stuller.com/interiors.