Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

6 minutes reading time (1124 words)

Generate interest in YOUR store

We live in a world of multiple distractions, often occurring at the same time. People are rushed, impatient, and sometimes low on funds. How do we make our store stand out from the crowd? How do we gain their attention so that they not only choose us over the competition, but they choose to spend their time in our store over any other store in the mall or on the street?

Well, you have to make your store eye-catching and attractive. You have to find ways to not only be noticed, but to encourage passersby to stop in. I have a few ideas as to how to accomplish this, based on my experience of what customers like and the reasons why they seem to enjoy our store. 

We live in a world of multiple distractions, often occurring at the same time. People are rushed, impatient, and sometimes low on funds. How do we make our store stand out from the crowd? How do we gain their attention so that they not only choose us over the competition, but they choose to spend their time in our store over any other store in the mall or on the street?

Well, you have to make your store eye-catching and attractive. You have to find ways to not only be noticed, but to encourage passersby to stop in. I have a few ideas as to how to accomplish this, based on my experience of what customers like and the reasons why they seem to enjoy our store.

Let there be light

First and foremost, lighting is key. Our store has a multitude of pot lights as well as some fluorescents. A few years back, we took the initiative to switch all of our fixtures to high-efficiency, and all the bulbs to the kind that mimic natural light. The reward? We are often told that we have the brightest store in the mall, which is an immediate attention grabber. To be effective, the critical component is to make sure that lights are always replaced once they burn out. Nothing looks worse than when half the lights are dark. It can be expensive yes – but, as always, you have to think about your store's image and how it looks from the outside.

Do you use posters and cardboard displays? If so, are you changing them regularly? Do you keep an eye on them to make sure they aren't looking old and tattered? Are the displays being re-stocked on a daily basis? It's not enough to simply throw up a display or a poster here and there. You need to make a conscious effort to keep these things looking good and up to date, as well as organized. Organization is incredibly important; you don't want your store front looking like a Pinterest board. Too many signs will overwhelm people and they won't be able to focus, so your efforts will most likely be lost, which is the opposite of what you want.

Powerful endcaps

Next, end caps and product displays. Our store in particular has two end caps right at the front. These can be very powerful for attracting customers as we typically feature products that are currently on promotion. However, I do find that if I'm busy, I sometimes overlook them since I'm on the inside looking out. This can be a problem as these are the main displays that people see as they're approaching and walking by the store. Front of store displays should really be tidied up and re-stocked every day, and depending on your sales, maybe multiple times throughout the day. Clear, concise and computer-generated signage should also be used.

Have fun with displays

How about fun and exciting product displays such as the kind you create for a contest? I recently did a fun fish oil display at the front of my store. I incorporated signage, balloons and I even made a mannequin who wore some promotional clothing. This attracts all kinds of people to the store, even those who would never step foot inside a health store normally. If you can think of something sort of different, people will want to know what's going on. Try to bring in lots of colour and accessories that match the line of products you're featuring. Having trouble with finding inspiration? Ask an employee or a sales rep to help. They are both usually full of creative ideas!

Now, this may be the ultimate suggestion, especially with the phenomenon that is Dr.Oz. Have you started an "As Seen on TV" or "As Seen on Dr.Oz" or simply just a hot items display somewhere in your store? To me it feels a little tacky, but sometimes you just can't fight it. I was resistant to jump on this band wagon a few months ago, but after the repeated sales and new customers and daily requests for something on TV or in a magazine, I finally decided to make a display with "As seen on Dr.Oz" signs. Of course, this needs to be very visible from the outside of the store, but as long as it is, the products sell themselves.

Another crucial suggestion is to listen to your customers. Why do they like shopping in your store? Do they compliment your selection and the variety of lines you carry? Do they think it's clean and tidy (my personal favourite)? Do they like the staff and service? Do they like your location in the mall? Hopefully, it's a combination of all these factors, along with many others. Your current customers really are a wonderful resource as these are people who already make the choice to give you their business.

Popular demo days

Finally, why don't you incorporate a weekly demo day? Having someone standing at the front of your store handing out taste samples to people is a tried and true way of generating attention. Everyone likes free samples! Ensure your table is nicely arranged, you have product information, pricing readily available, and samples are fresh and you're good to go. Only catch is, try to demo out the most palatable products since you are dealing with the general public.

These suggestions are simply things that I believe to be effective. There are many other ways to generate interest. The most important thing is to take the time to step outside your store and really look at it from a customer's perspective. If you were walking by, would you want to go inside? Walk around your mall and look to see what other stores are doing. Figure out what your weaknesses are and try to improve on them. Keep in mind that merchandising is fun and creative and that you cannot fail, unless of course, you don't try. •

 

CNHR News Podcast

cnhr radio hour

News, Views and Happenings in the world of Canadian Natural Health.

Check out this month's podcast here

Your customers have spoken.  The numbers are convincing: Canada’s natural health retailers turn to CNHR for your new products.  A survey conducted in June 2020 shows retailers read the ads and Product Profiles, and react to them.  They order products they’ve seen in CNHR.  They look for your new products in CNHR.  Reach your customers via CNHR by print, video and/or podcast.  Various opportunities available to fit any budget. 

• Launch your new products

• Support your sales team

• Be visible as stores re-focus and re-charge

• Stake your position in the “new normal”

• Reach more stores – from coast to coast

• Introduce your company to new potential customers • Combine CNHR’s print, video and podcast options

 

New!  Product profile package

Retailers want to see more of your new products.  So, we’re making it easier for you and them. 

Introducing our new Product Profile Package:  a three-pronged way to reach retailers by combining print, video and podcast.  You get all three!

PRINT:  Claim a spot on CNHR’s Product Profile pages, mailed to health food stores coast to coast, and read by over 10,000 retail store buyers, owners, managers and staff.

VIDEO:  This is new for CNHR – video product reviews.  You’ll get a 30 second review of your product with product image and voiceover.  Five products per video, then e-blasted to CNHR’s database, to be shared among staff and with the store’s customers.   

PODCAST:  Also a new feature.  Your product will get a mention on the New Products portion of the popular CNHR News Podcast, hosted by CNHR editor Bruce Cole and Deane Parkes.   Your company name, product name, a couple of lines, followed with your company contact information.

Three-platform exposure for your new products, delivered by CNHR, the trusted source of industry information retailers have counted on for 24 years.   Three platforms for $699.00

The Product Profile Package is FREE to all full or half page advertisers!

For more information please contact:

Ellen Wheeler, Director of Sales    
ellen.wheeler@alive.com
604-295-9126