Marketing, rent, inventory, utilities, staffing, etc. are ‘serious’ expenses, while merchandising and display are ‘frills’. You couldn’t be more wrong!
There are more choices out there for consumers than ever before. In this cut-throat environment, how will you grab your share of customer attention? Well, you’ve secured that highly sought, competitive location with the most footfalls but how would you make your customer stop at the front of your shop and be inviting enough to urge them to walk in? Even if you manage to get your potential customers set their foot inside your store, how would you manage to make sure that they return? Even after all that expenditure on the so-called ‘serious’ funding, would it bring uniqueness to your store?
Great location, part-time staff, insurance, accountant, advertising, sure you have all that, but what happens if your store fails to meet the expectation of your potential customer? This is where merchandising wins hands down.
More importantly so, merchandising and display are priority expenses for the small business owner who is just starting up. Even for a retailer operating on a shoestring – merchandising and display are an important part of the marketing plan, and should have a reasonable budget allocated.
You can have the best products on the planet in-store but if you have doors and windows covered with posters do you really think after spending all that money on those ‘serious’ expenses that your customer would come inside? Imagine a store with hand lettered signage and untidy display, what kind of message does that send to the potential customers walking by? Lack of lighting and untidiness sends out the wrong message. This is where retail merchandising really speaks volumes.
If your store looks like a bargain place then your customers would expect bargain prices, no matter how good your products are. Just because of that display, they may even think that your products are poor quality. Obviously it has nothing to do with the product itself but actually is a result of poor display. And that tells you a lot about the importance of merchandising.
Merchandising is more than simply the arrangement of products on the shelf. It is an integral component of the business image. It should be considered when you design your logo, business cards, brochures, letterhead, packaging, and product mix. Including merchandising in your marketing plan and budget makes sense. It can make the difference between selling a product or having it sit on the shelf.