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In the Zone with Impulse Buys

Big box stores often have something referred to as the “impulse zone” in the center aisle (drive aisle) or near the registers, filled with products they simply must sell! Smaller retailers often do not realize that they can use this same concept in a boutique or mom and pop store.

The concept of an impulse zone is to get the consumer to purchase something they would not have come shopping for in the first place. This is like going to the grocery store for a gallon of milk and leaving with candy from the colorful display on your way to the checkout. How can you set up your own “impulse zone?”

Create easy displays for seasonal items. A good example would be stocking stuffers during the Christmas season; there is only a small window of time when you can really bank on customers buying stocking stuffers. If they are not easy for the customer to access, or they don’t know where to find the items in the store, they won’t sell as fast! Make them easy to access, easy to sell. Virginia Gift Brands makes the quintessential stocking stuffer – Money Soap!

Front load! Customers will not always make it all the way to the back of the store. Put great impulse displays right at the front, near the registers. If it’s back-to-school time, and you sell journals, backpacks, or notebooks, have those front and center. Create displays that are designed just for a month long period when the impulse to buy that item is highest. Abdallah Candies is a great example of an impulse buy that can be placed right at the register area, particularly during Valentine’s season, or the holidays. Something like 3D Deco Lights from Blue Sky Wireless can even be on the storefront window for maximum exposure.

Stack ‘em high and watch ‘em fly! Whether this is a candy display at the register, or the latest fad gift item (think fidget spinners), keeping your displays well stocked will make a bolder statement than a half-filled rack or shelf. Periwinkle has an excellent holiday program that creates a perfect display for any counter top. By keeping it filled, customers will surely be attracted to the sparkling jewelry like bees to honey.

Try out a small Impulse Zone with your products and track the results! Think about how and where in your store you can appeal to a customer’s urge to buy. Good Luck! Share your success in the comments!

Instagram: The New Runway

instagramrunwayWe recently partnered with Gifts and Dec to host a round table discussion with 12 amazing retailers to talk about where they look to learn about new products and trends. We learned that good reps are important but that “Instagram is the new runway.” Retailers no longer wait for fashion reports or trade shows. They see what their customers want through their Instagram feeds! Fads have become so short that they can start and end before you ever see the customer.

One retailer explained, “Instagram, is set up for my business. So, I can stand at the booth, take my notes in my phone, go back  later through my pictures, and then directly, with a button, click and say which vendors to follow up with.”

With the changing economy, gift retailers are also focusing their efforts on enhancing the customer experience by finding ways to make shopping fun and enjoyable. Promoting the message of “supporting local” among customers is important for gift retailers. Many of the retailers stated that their customer base will pay higher prices at their store because they want to ensure their business continues to thrive.

But the user experience starts long before they walk into your business. With 52% of consumers researching purchases online before shopping, the retail experience starts with your website and social sites. Instagram, is easy and can quickly communicate to a shopper that you carry products that relate to their lifestyle. So, if you aren’t already on Instagram, go check it out and see why it’s being called the “new runway.”

Where do you learn about new fashion, accessory and gift trends? Leave us a comment and let us know! And, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!