Wednesday, November 9, 2016

3 Tips to Increase Your Retail Sales

The Best Water-based Pomade on the Market!

            A few weeks ago we discussed the benefits of starting or developing retail in your shop. This week, I want to offer 3 tips for increasing your retail so you can get that product flying off of the shelves. I call it, “The Proper Method.”


            First, you need “Proper Display.” I don’t mean buying massive retail hardware, shelving, racks etc…I simply mean a clean and enticing retail space. It doesn’t have to be majestic, and it doesn’t have to be expensive or even look official. A proper display constitutes a space where the customer will experience 3 things: (1) eye-catching, (2) organized, and (3) products they actually want. Story time: I visited a shop where the owners were trying to set up a retail section in the corner, but they had the product in the original wholesale boxes on a folding table with shipping tape hanging off the side, and no prices marked. It was dusty, covered in hair clippings, and rather unappealing. It looked extremely unprofessional! I suppose it caught my eye, but not for a good reason. Instead, think of ways where you can pose the product in a way that is going to catch the customer’s eye when they walk into the shop, and before they leave (in a good way!). Make sure this space is organized and that your entire product line is marked with up-to-date pricing.

 In the same way, make sure you always have enough product on hand to fill the space. You don’t want to have a single dusty jar representing your retail line. Stack the product in a way that looks “artsy,” whether it be in a pyramid, or lined up and slightly turned in a direction as to reflect light in a positive fashion. Eye level is also important. You don’t want your product too low, or too high. Somewhere in the 5-6 foot range is perfect—people shorter barely have to look up, and people taller barely have to look down. Don’t put your product on the floor, and do not put your product up high. If you need a shelving unit, check your local thrift and antique stores for a great, cheap find. I found a vintage wine-rack with tons of slots and shelving for less than $50 a few years ago. I don’t use it for wine—I use it for all of my wet-shaving accruements like straight razors, shaving brushes, soaps, etc… I use it every day, and it looks AWESOME! You don’t have to break the bank to make a good display!
           
I can’t hit on this enough: make sure you are carrying products your customers actually want to buy. If you think a handmade comb is really “neat,” so you order 100 of them and mark them up appropriately, but your customers don’t want it, well, it looks like you are stuck with 100 handmade combs. You might think it’s an awesome idea, but your preference comes second to customer’s purchasing habits. Find that need, and then fill it. Is it a pomade? Great! Fill your shelves with pomade! But now you need to identify your customer’s spending habits. Is a $20 jar really your customer’s price range? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. That’s all dependent upon your customers and location. Need help deciding what to carry? Our phone lines are open to ask questions and give ideas.
           
            Second, you need to develop “Proper Advertising.” Let your customers know you have the product they want for sale. You can do this in a few ways: first off, actually use the products you are selling and become knowledgeable on the details of the product. If you are carrying an aftershave, actually use it on customers after a shave. They will say, “Oh man! That smells really great! What is that!?” Then you come in and say, “This is my MD Topaz Elite aftershave. I have currently carry three different aftershaves, Topaz Elite, Captain Black, and Conquistador, all in 8 ounce bottles for $15 each. If you use it every day, 1 bottle should last you between a month and a half and two months. Can I get you one to take home today?” Too easy. Not every customer will buy one, but you will sell more than you would have otherwise!  

            Utilize product posters and signs as much as possible. Many suppliers will have a variety of posters that you can place in your shop, and when coupled with digital Social Media banners, they prove to be extremely useful for getting the interest of potential customers. Many of your customers have already liked your page on Facebook or interact with you on Twitter, so get a hold of some digital product banners (usually provided by the manufacturer) and plaster them across your social media pages, with the physical posters in your shop. When in doubt concerning a specific style or design, keep in mind—you can never go wrong with tasteful.

            Another idea for advertizing your retail can be found in advertizing you and your shop. I know of a barber shop in Eastern Montana that runs radio ads for their business, and in the radio ad they mention their product line. This shop can be found in a town of less than 9,000 people, yet they push over 50 jars of pomade a month and various other products in the same timeframe. They may be pushing over $1,000 a month in product sales, which for a small town is absolutely fantastic. Develop proper advertisement, and you may see a wonderful return on your investment. Of course, you don’t need to run radio ads, but if you did you should also keep in mind that you do not need to continuously run the ads. Perhaps you run an ad for 2 months out of the year?

            The last tip I have for you is “Proper Development.” Always keep it fresh. If you are starting a retail line, it is completely acceptable to begin with one or two products, but make sure you are continuously adding new flavor to this product line. Don’t give the consumer the opportunity to get bored with your line-up. Consider setting goals for every month, or every other month: release a new product within your goal’s timeframe, and make sure you are keeping track of the numbers. Over a year’s time, you will have added 12 new products to your shop’s retail section and since you were keeping track of the numbers, you are now able to invest into the products making you more money, and will have the capability of discontinuing the products just taking up space on your shelves. This is the fun part in retail, as it gives you the opportunity to experiment a little bit. You decide what goes on the shelves, so if you want to experiment with aftershaves, alum blocks, pomade, even razors and blades, then you absolutely can! Some items may take longer to sell than others, but by the time you have developed your product line, your profit margin is not dependant on one product alone. Properly develop your product line, and your bank account will properly develop along with it.

            The “Proper Method” seem easy enough: Proper Display, Proper Advertisement, and Proper Development. You might be rolling your eyes saying, “Tyler, that is all common knowledge! It doesn’t take someone with a business degree to see that.” Well, my question is, if it’s so “easy,” why aren’t you doing it yet? If you are utilizing these 3 tips already, then I encourage you to keep developing! Check it out…if you truly invest in your product line, it’s only a matter of time before you start calling yourself “Gent’s Barber Shop & Grooming Accruements.” Just think of it…4 barber chairs in one room, and an entire beauty and grooming shop in the other room. What if that pool table room turned into an area with nothing but money-making retail items? Imagine if the other barbershops in the area came to YOU for their everyday items! And to think it all started with a single product.


MD Barber Supply exists to help make this a reality for you. Call or email us for consultation!

(866) 939 5588

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