You have selected your assortment. Next, you must get your customers to shop and ultimately buy. This is the retail assortment presentation stage.
Years ago, Merchants simply delivered a cool and attractive assortment to stores, and the customer showed up. We are living in a very different world today, where the customer has so many different options available online. So how do you invite your customer, or prospect, to shop your online site or visit your stores? You must share how cool, unique or comfortable your product assortment is. A challenge is sharing all the features and benefits with them in a very short amount of time. You need something powerful in your messaging or photography to grab their attention. And it should be short, sweet and to the point. Together, with your Marketing, e-Commerce and Merchandising Teams, you can share the story and create a valuable assortment presentation.
There are several ways to communicate your assortment to your customer. Ask yourself these questions:
Floor space is a premium for most merchants. Each product within your assortment needs clarity on how much space will be dedicated to the category or style. You know there are parts of your store that experience high traffic so be sure to leverage them. Depending on the value or priority of the product, determine if it will be on key tables or end caps. You are limited by tables, end caps and racks, but think about how to utilize all parts of your real estate to visually merchandise your product. The key is to showcase your product to ultimately achieve sales.
Ensure there is clear signage on price, along with other key features and benefits. Sales associates should be well-trained to share more about the assortment – how to properly care for product, how to wear it, how to cook using it. The greatest advantage your stores have is the ability to personally connect and tell the story to your customer. Customer-facing should equate to higher basket value, higher average units per transaction and higher conversion rate.
Adhering to your overall brand is also important. Each product should align to your brand image. Think about the experience needed by your buyer such as the necessity for fitting rooms. Perhaps lighting and music changes based on different categories selling in different parts of the store.
Like in-store assortments, you want to know how your product assortment is laid out online. The taxonomy needs to be clear and allow customers to find your item easily. Depending on the product value, the product should be prioritized at top of search filters. As mentioned above, ensure the features and benefits of each item are consistent and easy to find. Highlighting two or three cool things about the product helps the buyer related to it. You need awesome photography to showcase your product as it’s the only way your customer can engage with the product.
Email or Direct Marketing
Determine if the product should be the focus of a direct mail campaign. In some cases, the product is specific to select customers. As a result, you’ll need to ensure you target your marketing accordingly. Identify characteristics of the target buyer as it relates to your product. For example, is it intended for higher income customers? Or perhaps this product is geared toward value-focused customers during promotional times. Identify opportunities to utilize dedicated emails focused on a specific product or style. As you look at online shopping, ensure there an online style guide you can direct customers to. Again, great photography is needed!
Social Media/ Influencers
Identify the influencers (paid or non-paid) wearing or using the product. Create promotional offers available via sharing. Show different ways to use or wear the product. Utilize lifestyle photography to tell the story. Find ways to get the word out regarding how great your product is. Ensure you include current customers, friends or family to talk about how great the new product delivery is. You may consider doing in-store events to share your new product line!
Bottom line, offering up a great product assortment means nothing without customers! Critical to product assortment success is engaging with your customers to pique their interest in your product assortment.
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