Store Merchandising and Customer Education

Give yourself a competitive advantage to stand out from the crowd, writes Josephine Ayre from JAK Max.


IMG_Cleverland MowerIn the world of retail, one of the key sales metrics you’re going to want to focus on is ‘sales per square footage’, which is the average revenue a retail business generates for every square foot of sales space. Essentially, your retail space has to be your post productive and most efficient salesperson, and how you go about optimizing your sales space for maximum revenue is to employ the art and science of visual merchandising.

Visual merchandising is about presenting your retail space in a way that maximises your sales. Strategically presenting your products in your retail space helps you to create a unique identity for your business. You can set yourself apart from your competition by making your retail space interesting, friendly and approachable.

Retail displays can help your business to achieve sales because these visual elements make a good first impression on your potential customers. Retail displays are an element of your branding. If customers like the way your store looks and your products are made to look appealing through window, shelf and stock displays, they are likely to spend more time and money at your business.

Our friends at JAK Max who have invested in optimising their dealers’ retail space have been kind enough to share their knowledge with us to help you – we want to help you make the most of your retail space and turn those browsing customer into paying customers who will return time and time again. Keep these tips in mind when planning your next merchandising display;

1) Make the interior (and exterior) of your stores as inviting as possible

A tidy store is a must – remove anything that isn’t adding to your brand. Ensure you have good lighting in your space; this helps the customer to navigate and highlights key promotions.Slat Wall Hook Close Up_JakMax_Large

2) Keep all surfaces clean and dust free. If you’re in a high traffic flow area, you may have to dust every day

3) Create a feature display at the entrance of your store

A striking product, top selling or new product at the entrance of your store invites people in and encourages them to ask questions. Think about your product range and make this feature display something that customers will come back to see. When creating a focal point, you need to consider the message/look you are trying to achieve. Why not use some empty oil drums as a display stand, to display oils and lubricants, or set up a chainsaw with packaged chain and safety equipment surrounding it.

4) Present your products clearly, full shelves, clearly and correctly labelled                 Ensure products are clearly and correctly labelled, with as much product information as possible. Pricing and offers must be understandable. Shelves should be well stocked but not cramped as this will take away from the product itself. As a rule of thumb, place your popular and targeted products between eye level and knee level.

5) Ensure all old display materials are removed at the end of a campaign               Displaying old promotions not only looks lazy but could potentially bring your margin down on products. When displaying promotions, customers are more than likely to ask for that offer and as you are still displaying it, should honour it.

6) Encourage add on sales – group like with like                                                                 Grouping like products with like products will give your customers additional reasons to buy more items from you, but it also has a more utilitarian reasoning behind it, namely saving them time from looking around and trying to mix and match things. It’s one reason grocery stores will put corn chips right beside their salsas, or peanut butter with jams.

Grouping similar products together also encourage add on-sales, i.e. Ride on cover with ride on mowers. You can also think of it as creating categories, but you don’t need to limit your creativity there, you can also create ‘groupings’ within categories. That means having merchandise that might be the same colour, price or type together – for example, include all components for a lawnmower in a lawnmower display.

7) Avoid confusing the customerSlat Wall Display

Analyse your retail space; understand the maximum number of products you can present at any given time. Range proliferation can strangle a business from a cash flow perspective, so getting the balance right is critical. Too little choice will put customers off, too much will confuse them.

8) Make sure you target customers to feel at ease

Once a customer is in the store and feels comfortable, they will linger longer, typically the longer they stay the more they will spend! Make sure the lighting is sufficient so products can be seen and understood clearly. Allow customers to handle or test the products, this encourages conversation and rapport with your customers. Try not to have your mechanics revving engines or starting chainsaws on the showroom floor, this will make it difficult for your customer to think or listen to what you are saying.

9) Make sure customers can find products in store easily, and that they have access to the information they need in order to buy with confidence

Ensure your products are presented in a way that a customer can understand exactly what they do and how they help them. Keep products ranges together and the accessories to go with them nearby. This is where our Nylon Line stand (JM-Nylon) and/or Oil stand (JM-Oil) really come in handy.

10) Most importantly remember to change it up!                                                            Remember that when trying to optimise your square footage for the most of sales, a scientific approach of formulating a hypothesis, executing your idea, and then testing for results will put you in the routine of trying out new ideas and sticking with what works.

Visual merchandising can make a good retail business great. Investing a little time and money in giving your store a facelift can make a world of difference. JAK Max has invested in a state of the art range of display products to give you a competitive edge and to help engage your customers when in store.

More information JAK Max (03) 8390 3900 or