By Leah Swain, Contributor (Email me here)
Please note, this is post 2 of 6 on using the senses to market more effectively to customers in the retail environment.
The key to being profitable in retail sales is to market products to your customer in store. Customers want to enjoy making purchases. The happier and more comfortable they are in your store the more likely they are to buy your products. Sounds obvious, right? Focusing on your customer’s five senses draws them into each product while they are shopping. It gives them more of a connection to the item and, when done properly, enforces the idea that this product is going to make them feel good or fits their needs. We will begin to review how to implement this in your own business.
Touch is essential in your retail store. Clothing and accessories, for example, are on display for customers to feel and test by hand in department stores. Most people who shop in retail stores, instead of online, want to feel the products to examine the fit, the quality, and the overall substance of each item.
Another aspect of touch is how your store is designed regarding textures. You want to use textures in each department that appeal to the customers looking for a certain product. Think about an expensive ring, for example, there is a reason the ring boxes are lined with velvet or satin. It makes the customer feel that the ring is luxurious and romantic.
- Wood: Health, Rustic, Natural, Studious
- Stone: Stable, Long Lasting, Natural, Manly, High Quality
- Metal: Industrial, Long Lasting, Heavy Duty, Urban
- Plastic: Basic, Low end, Use to draw eye elsewhere.
- Velvet: Mysterious, Magical, Romantic, High End, Luxurious
- Satin: Romantic, High end, Luxurious, sophisticated
- Silk: Romantic, Feminine, Romantic, Calming, Delicate
- Plaid/Burlap: Outdoorsy, Rustic, Iconic, Functional, Primitive, Rural
Be sure your customer can handle the products! Often items are packaged well to prevent theft however that makes them hands off to customers. A display of unboxed items or sample products help the customer to get the feel (pun intended) of an item before purchase. Use your imagination when incorporating textures in your design! Maybe a faux fur rug in the dressing room to replace a cold concrete floor, or a silk scarf draped over a shelf displaying cosmetics. Something as simple as a natural wood frame around a sales poster will add a touch (me and those puns again) of texture and add to your merchandising.