Merchandising Your Store for Maximum Sales


Retail Merchandising.jpg

With Holiday shopping well underway I know you’re probably filling and replenishing your store inventory more often than normal. This can be a stressful time trying to keep up with demand, keep the shop clean AND merchandised in a way that maximizes sales. So I’m going to give you my top tips for merchandising your inventory that will help your store look incredible, and help your customers leave happily with a quality purchase.

Merchandising, from my experience is largely misunderstood. Merchandising is especially misunderstood by small business owners who don’t have a background in retail or fashion prior to opening a shop. The general understanding shop owners have is the need to stylize your products for marketing purposes, but that isn’t merchandising’s ONLY responsibility. If you’re surprised, don’t worry. It’s not your fault. The moment you Google or look up merchandising displays on Pinterest, the results show the coolest most creative window and store displays. They’re artistic, thought provoking, and attention getting which is absolutely what you want your displays to do, BUT there’s more to merchandising than looking cool. So one of the first tips I have is to

Understand ALL the things merchandising can do.

One of the biggest objectives to merchandising well is making your store look full and impactful- well stocked with several options, neatly organized for easy browsing.  This eliminates gaps on the sales floor where the customers attention could be pulled away from the products.

That means filling holes on your tables, shelves, and racks where product has sold out or sold down. Keeping everything full keeps people shopping. This means that merchandising, especially during the holidays, becomes a constant task. Displays that are usually “set it and forget it” are being updated daily based on sell through, and it can become a problem that snowballs if you don’t have enough inventory or a good understanding of how or why you should keep things replenished. It only takes a matter of hours for your store to go from looking styled, clean and cohesive to an absolute mess that doesn’t make any sense at all.

Merchandising also requires identifying when and where products sell well and where things aren’t performing as well as you’d like, then moving those items around to see if they’ll sell better somewhere else in the store. Maybe an area that gets better traffic, or can catch the eye differently. Maybe it would be a great complimentary item to something that sells well, or the perfect add on at the register. Survey your inventory as you clean and sell so that you can make adjustments as the day goes on.

The last responsibility that’s often overlooked with merchandising is knowing your customer, what they like, and where they like to shop from. Do they often shop the table before the rack as retail statistics often show? Do they pay better attention to the mannequins in the window or next to the fitting room? Weight your decision to place certain products in certain areas based on what actually moves the products out the door versus just catching attention because selling the item is obviously the end goal.



Maintaining inventory levels.

Now, as I mentioned all of this is hard to do if you don’t have the inventory to pack things out and make the sales floor look as full as you’d like! It can also mean missed sales opportunities if you don’t keep tabs on which sizes or colors are available on the floor. It’s easy to overlook pulling surplus stock from the back for sizes or colors that have sold through or sold down. That can be solved in a number of ways;

  • Make sure your back stock inventory is minimized through the holiday rush. You can represent several size, style or color runs in various places throughout the store. You might not start out with enough room for it all, but as things loosen up, pull out the remaining inventory to your sales floor. You can’t sell it if it’s sitting in your back room.

  • Keep track of what you’re selling, so you can replenish accordingly. This is also a great way to be aware of what is selling well and what isn’t, so you can make floor adjustments accordingly.

  • Order more product if you don’t have enough to stock the store well. I know that is easier said than done with buying seasons, trend forecasting, and projected sales, but there are always vendors and designers out there looking to work with stores who need more inventory. You might have to reach out to local makers or wholesalers that you haven’t worked with before. As long as you do your research on them, there’s no need to worry.

  • Eliminate some racks and tables to cluster more product together. Rearrange racks and wall displays to fill empty space without the need for more product. This should only happen if you do not have any remaining inventory to restock your sales floor. There are merchandising tricks that will give the appearance of fullness when product is selling out.

  • The best solution, however, is to be proactive and have the product. It’s much easier to keep a floor beautifully merchandised for maximum sales when you have lots of options to play with.




Placing product by price and shopping habits.

  I already mentioned paying close attention to the shopping habits of your customers, but there’s a few more variables that can maximize sales and that’s why it’s important to always know what areas in your store sell the best.

   First, it’s definitely advantageous to put items at a higher price point in the areas of your store that sell the best. There are statistics that support table displays sell the best. It doesn’t matter if you sell apparel or soap or crafts. Tables can sell it all. With that knowledge in hand corporate retailers have been making table displays a focal priority for years.

   But it’s not enough to just slap your most expensive product on a few tables and call it a day. You’ll want to:  

  • Maximize the full space on that table, so choose the products you want represented there carefully.

  • Be aware that tables are easy to shoplift from. Take extra precautions with security tags and table placement.

  • Add complimentary products in order to sell a collection of items that work well together. Example: I was recently looking at home interior store. They had a fabulous round table near the front of the store with some beautiful chairs pushed in around it. The table was filled with center pieces. Further back in the store there were plates, drinking glasses, and other decorative items. I thought there was a missed opportunity to set the table as it would appear in someone’s home. They had enough pieces to set a beautiful table, and certainly a set table with all the stylish details would sell much better together than a bunch of centerpieces? It was hard to see the potential the table had with it buried under all the centerpieces, and so customers weren’t even looking at it as a piece they could potentially purchase, and that is a loss to store.

                 This kind of thoughtful merchandising helps you build the sale without having to say a word. It showcases the items together and helps the customer see how well they work together. Which is a great for…



Maximizing sales by pairing complimentary items together.

The objective is to never sell a solo item, but to surround the feature item with complimentary items so that the customer wants to buy it all together. Using my example from earlier: would you rather sell a centerpiece or sell the table, chairs, and the entire dining set?

  This works perfectly for clothing stores too. By layering displays with a top, a bottom, a jacket, and a handbag you suddenly have a whole outfit, not just one piece. The customer might not buy the display exactly how it’s represented, but it opens their mind to the versatility of each piece and how they can make their own outfits while shopping. And all of that simply means…

  

Creating an experience with displays that help the customer see your products in their life.

   Visual tools such as the examples I’ve given above are incredibly useful in helping a customer make a quick decision. You’re helping them see themselves using or gifting that product, and. you’ve taken the time to make an entire atmosphere for them. It helps them piece together an enhanced version of the gift they were planning to purchase, and who doesn’t love when shopping takes less time than expected?

Ease of motion through your store is also worth mentioning. You want a merchandising plan that pulls your customers through an experience, that draws them into the store to look at all the items. I know I just said STOCK THE FLOOR FULL, and now I’m going to say do that without cramping your customers personal space. If the racks are so full customers can’t walk around without knocking things over, if it infringes on wheelchair and stroller accessibility, or if there’s product in the way of reaching other product then you’ve gotta rethink product placement. If the racks are so full that customers can’t look at a garment on the rack then it’s time to loosen things up. You’ll have to get creative, but there’s lots of options for moving product up and out so that you can fill in the floor with lots of inventory without interfering in the customers positive experience with your business.

To take this one step further we need to consider the one bottom line, make-it-or-break-it-variable; PRICE. You want to make pricing clear and straightforward. If you want to run a promotion, I strongly suggest a promotion that incentivizes and rewards customers for buying multiple items.

   Most people statistically will not ask for a price if they cannot locate it quickly, or if they’re confused by a convoluted promotion/discount. The biggest merchandising tool in all the land can help with this and it’s called SIGNAGE. Clear and straightforward signage helps your customers understand discounts, and special offers, and if done well, helps the store look more brand consistent and full.

   This can be done as tastefully and unobtrusively as you’d like. Window signs especially help with attracting new customers. They work as silent sellers, and it’s pretty cost effective way to market your holiday promotions without breaking the bank.


THERE YOU HAVE IT. Merchandising for the holidays can feel like a daunting task. Especially with so many sets, resets and updates, but I promise if you keep these rules in mind and combine them with a winning customer service experience you will sell more than you have ever sold.



MONDAY MONEY MOTIVATION- jump start your busy week with high vibe energy work!


chaseyourdreams (27).jpg



  Now that you’ve got your sales goals in place with The Goal Setting Sunday Worksheet,  you can now move on to the energy work!



Energy work is my favorite because no things are bad things inside this mind space. I know a lot of different people would describe energy work numerous ways, but for me it’s simply getting my mindset, confidence, and beliefs inline with what I desire to make a reality this week. I align with my soul filling purpose and the passion that drives everything I will do and say for the week. It’s a fantastic way to be present with yourself, to check in throughout the day or week on how you’re feeling, to upkeep your mental wellness, AND above all it gets you super jazzed to get to work!



Since Monday is officially the day we all start to come out of hibernation on social media it’s the PERFECT DAY to boost your frequency, and get fucking motivated ESPECIALLY around all the money you will make this week. I understand that not everyone feels incredible about Monday and that is first mindset shift that needs to change. Mondays have always been gold for me. They’re a clean slate, they’re a brand new opportunity, they’re filled with potential, and it’s important you set yourself on the right track from the very first moments of the week so that you carry that through to work you do, and the life you want to live.



 You’re going to make a heaping pile of money this week, what’s not to love about Monday?  You have more control than you think and you’re in the driver's seat of your reality what’s not to love about Monday?



So if you’re not a big fan of Monday’s lets start there!



  • Why ? If you’re a business owner who has fully committed to your purpose and stepped into your passion you should absolutely be OBSESSED with Monday!



  • If the things you don’t love about Monday could be fundamentally changed to make you more a productive and positive person on this day- what would you do differently?



  • Would you rather take Monday off and work on a weekend day?



  • Would you consider outsourcing things that you despise doing on Monday?



  • What things could you incorporate into your schedule to make Monday more enjoyable?



  • What about your environment could change to make Mondays more desirable?




If you already love Monday and everything I said above then let’s move on to the energy work!



Your passion and purpose are the core of everything you do and that is what we will focus on today!



  •    What kind of difference do you want to make today in people's lives?

  •    What kind of difference do you want to make in yours?

  •    What amount of money do you decide to make today?

  •    What do you decide happens right now for the rest of day to make that happen?

    

See, sales and the energy/positivity to create those sales come from your purpose and passion. It comes from you honoring the quality of service you have to provide others. It comes from deciding you will have it, from believing you already do and feeling the feelings of that truth.



Imagine a Monday where you get to have everything you want! What would the perfect Monday look like for you?



  • How would you serve your passion and purpose?

  • How much money would you make?

  • How would you make it?

  • What would your message be to all your humans?

  • What would you have for lunch?

  • Where would you go?

  • What would you do?

  • Who would you do it with?
    Why would this make you the most unstoppable, successful, abundant, and happy human on earth?

  • Where would you choose to work from?
    How would you serve your humans?

  • How would you make sure you delivered some of your good vibes onto them?

  • How would you pay it forward?

  • How would you give back?

  • What would you wear?

  • What music is on this epic days playlist?

  • Who is owning their shit today?



Now go out there and make this your Monday!!  There is absolutely no reason I can think of if you are a healthy business owning person why you cannot get in on these vibes and raise that energy from the time you roll out of bed in the morning to the time you get back into it at night!



If you’re all ‘but, but’ with some excuses as to why this isn’t practical, I really want to challenge you to rethink practical. If this is what serves your soul and facilitates your highest frequency of soul filling work and soul filling joy, then why can’t it be this way? What can you do now to go into the week making sure more of this is actually happening, not just on Monday but every day.



Now, go out there and crush it! Sell more than you’ve ever sold and live your best life! Period!



TIPS FROM AN EXPERT FAILURE!

WARNING! IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED BY FOUL LANGUAGE, THIS ONE ISNT FOR YOU. ONWARD.


         Like almost every other business owner on earth I’m reflecting on this past year in business and planning for the new one. 2017 was a year of Phoenix-ing the fuck out of my business. Rising from the ashes each time a little more pissed and jaded, but somehow more determined than before.  Stubborn is as stubborn does, I guess.  Im kind of laughing at myself now think how I was envisioning a much smoother ride last January.   I did have clearer vision, focus and all the ambition in the world, but that still didn’t stop me from belly flopping in the shallow end of business ownership on occasion. That’s right. I had some failures. 

But just because I had some failures doesn’t mean I am a failure. Each time I failed, my business changed a little. It improved. Without failur my business would not work like it does now. While we all aspire to be that person who lucks into a successful business model on the first try and magically starts crushing every financial expectation, I think deep down we know that’s not realistic. Hope for the best, brace for the worst? No. First, I do not hope. Hope is not a strategy. Actually it’s the most non strategy there ever was because it doesn’t specify any tangible action or reaction. Hoping, wishing, and praying need to be done in unison with taking action. There is no part of any strategy that will help you accomplish your goals or fix problems by sitting back and crossing your fingers.  
    So here we are, right at the ass end of 2017 and ready to hit the restart button. How can we do better? Well, first we should learn how to fail! In my opinion there is a better way to fail and it starts with looking at failure as a positive thing. Nothing brings about needed change like failure and the sooner we accept and embrace failure for all the good things it brings us, the better off we will be. Here are just some of the things I think make failing so awesome. 

COMMITMENT
How committed are you to the following: 
your plan? 
That plan’s timeline? 
Your clients?
 Their satisfaction? 
To quality?
 To your employees?
 To yourself? 

When we fail to make commitments we fail to really nail down our objective, and if there’s no objective there is no blue print for how to accomplish it. This is where things get awfully wibbely wobbly and fall apart. Failure is eminent, and again your commitment will be challenged. Let’s use  mission statements as an example. From my experience working with clients there’s often not a huge amount of time or energy spent on whipping up a mission statement. Probably due to their shitty title. No one knows what the fuck a mission is or why it’s important. A mission is literally your businesses commitment and something to fall back on when you need direction. Your mission statement helps you to remain consistent, and it helps your audience understand what is important to you and how you’re working toward those values every single day. Ok back to commitment. 

Now that you’ve experienced some kind of failure and you know what doesn’t work, how committed are you to: 
Fixing it? 
Starting again?
Admitting defeat and what brought you there?

OWNERSHIP
Own it. If you fuck it up, own it. If someone on your team fucked something up on your watch,  YOU need to own it. After all their hiring and training falls squarely on your shoulders.  Take ownership of  failure and then take ownership of improvement. Take responsibility for holding others and yourself accountable. If you suck at self accountability find a mentor or an accountability group. Learn and grow from the knowledge you need to own the shit out of your results every single day.  We live in an excuse ridden era where we’d rather point the blame on anything or anyone other than ourselves. I’ve blogged and facebooked about this before, but this a great opportunity to revisit this amazing question! 

WHAT IS YOUR BUT? ....Yeah, you heard me. What is that thing you say “ I really wanted to do this BUT......” fill in any excuse you can think of here. The hard hitting truth is you’re either going to make an excuse or you’re going to execute. It’s really that simple. Not everything is easy, but we make excuses as a surival instinct to talk ourselves away from things that make us nervous. It’s really fight or flight and 110% all mental. There’s always a way, you just need to realize no one can do it but you and you need to do both of these things COMMIT and OWN the shit out of it. 

CHALLENGE
Challenge what you know, and challenge  industry standards. There are so many different ways to arrive at the same answer. Challenge your failure. How can it make you a bigger and better person? How did this failure teach you something? Failure doesn’t make your vision or your objective wrong, it makes the plan for achieving them better. There are infinite ways to refine a plan until it works, but you must be willing to challenge yourself not to give up too quickly. Challenge what you know and what you don’t. Challenge yourself to push on even through the set backs. 

PATIENCE
Rushing into anything  almost guarantees an incredibly high failure rate. Don’t forget to plan. Don’t forget structure. Don’t forget that YOU need a system. That system doesn’t have to look anything like anyone else’s, but it does have to keep you from distractions, and skipping important steps in achieving your goal! Be patient and forgiving of yourself. You don’t know what you don’t know, but don’t worry..you WILL find out as soon as you’re in a situation that requires expertise you simply don’t possess. Prioritize quality over quantity. Do not learn on the clients dime. They deserve a fully equipped and knowledgable professional and you need to do a quality jobs. Don’t rush into work you aren’t qualified to do just for the sake of earning a paycheck. Patience doesn’t pay the bills in the now, but it will in the long run when you take the time to really specify the who, what, when, where and why of your business. 

HUMILITY
Accept and admit defeat. Ask for help! Outsource those things you don’t know how to do, don’t want to do, or those things you are just shitty at doing. Be honest with yourself and own your strengths and opportunities. The more focused you can be on the things you’re good at it and love to do the better you will be. The support is out there just waiting for you to ask for it. Unfortunately not everything in business is a DIY project. Leave the DIY to pillow making, and decorations. We’ve all seen those Pinterest cupcake fails. There are just as many business related Pinterest fails, but snapping a photo of those issues are generally closely guarded secrets and in the moment, probably not very funny to us.... maybe this should be thing?!  

TRANSPARENCY
Fake it till you make it no more! Fail the shit out of something and then come clean. Share the story. Share your missteps and the learning experiences. It just might help someone else, or shed a very much needed light on the topic of business failures. One mishap isn’t going to sink your business, but you would be surprised how many people walk away without ever realizing their potential all because they felt they were struggling alone. Without candidly sharing their hardship with anyone they were unable to get the support and encouragement they needed. Not to mention the help they needed to right their wrongs. 

HONESTY
Get real. Like, really real. Especially with yourself on your strengths and weaknesses. Make a plan for improving the things you care to do better. Be honest with your employees and your clients. Admit when you’ve fudged it up. You’re human.  Making mistakes is very, very common. Take responsibility instead of deflecting blame or making excuses. Is this sounding familiar yet?! When it comes to failures it is so much easier to point the finger, but that doesn’t help us grow. It’s super hard to take the reason you’d like to blame the failure on and then there’s usually the real reason somewhere under that…pointing right back in your direction. 


    So what does this all have to do with branding? And my answer really isn’t any different than the answers I’ve given in the past. This all has EVERYTHING to do with branding. Every decision you make impacts client experience, and your brand identity, which is how people feel, and view your business. When we try to sweep failure under the rug there’s just a huge lump under the rug for us to keep tripping over. Using it to our advantage by growing and learning from it helps us to architect a better brand that strategically understand our clients needs better, and helps our business efficiently rise to the occasion. 
    Think of a flower for a moment. Pretty and conspicuous on the outside, but flowers have stems and roots that keep them alive, and although not as pretty are still essential to its existence. Branding your business internally might be more important in 2018 than it ever has. The need for small business branding to be more sensual and intimate increases daily. People want to know the business they’re supporting better than they ever did before. They want to support businesses that matter to them. They want to feel connected and invested in a part of your story, and the very first step to all of that is knowing how to fail and what do when it happens!