Merchandising is a complex process. What works best for your store depends on your clientele and what you sell, but it’s always a blend of science and psychology. You need to be smart about merchandising throughout your store, but given the exceptional impact end caps can have on sales, you should pay extra attention to them. Above all, work to avoid these four end cap display mistakes.
1. Ambiance killers
A superior shopping experience starts with a sparkling clean and tidy store. An end cap display that is grubby or messy is off-putting to customers. A display that is poorly lit or hasn’t changed in weeks becomes invisible. But that doesn’t mean you should scrub, restock, or change displays during store hours. That makes more mess and makes it hard to get around, telling shoppers they’re in the way. If they are uncomfortable, they are likely to leave.
2. Poor product choices
Every end cap display acts like a beacon. That makes them ideal for showing off your hottest new merchandise, impulse items, and even clearance goodies. You want your best sellers here, and nothing less. Be careful not to cram each end cap with too much “stuff,” but don’t allow displays to become barren-looking, either. Visuals like these suggest a lack of quality – in your merchandise or your entire store.
3. Weak displays
You can’t afford to treat your most valuable sales space lightly. Savvy merchandising tactics are essential for end caps to grab shopper attention and draw them near. Use clever upselling techniques such as showing higher-priced options along with featured products. Show complementary groupings rather than a single product. Since most stores have more than one type of target customer, make sure you have end caps that appeal to each of them.
And make sure those displays are anything but boring. Bold colors, signage, and other graphics help shoppers instantly “get” what your end cap display is all about. Interactive technology, hands-on interaction through product demonstrations, or how-to-graphics, etc. encourage customers to explore your displays. And don’t neglect lighting – mistakes here can negate your other efforts.
4. Guessing what works
Today’s consumers are sharper than ever. So, you have to be sharp, too. You can’t do that without tracking sales from each end cap display to see what is working. If a certain product isn’t selling, try moving the end cap to a new location before giving up on your display or the product. Ultimately, you cannot design the best displays or fill them with the most tempting merchandise unless you know your target customers well. Remember they are a study in progress, so ongoing tracking and analysis are vital.
Want some additional insight about how to make each end cap display “selling moment” a success? SellCheck, a company that studies shopper behavior, offers this article that describes the most common marketing mistakes and illustrates “good versus bad” ways to address them.
In the end, there are many ways to do things right with end caps in your store. Avoiding these four major mistakes gives you a great place to start.