Business Lessons 13 Mar 20 Manoj Kumar

We all have been witnessing an economic slump in India. It has adversely impacted all major sectors of India, and the retail industry is not an exception. Looking at the current scenario, it won’t be wrong to say that we are going through a very serious crisis. The philosophy of ‘survival of the fittest’ has become more significant than ever! Hence, we just don’t have to think about attracting more customers, but we should also emphasize on getting brownie points so that customers come back again. We need to focus on taking our retail game to the next level. How can that be ascertained? Well, for that you need to leverage perfect store strategy. 

An array of market reports and sales figures have denoted that most of the buying decisions can be influenced by the shelf. Hence, your prime focus should be to ‘ace at the shelf ’ i.e. you need to present your products optimally. 

You can apply the perfect store strategy to up your game. In this era, it is a game-changing strategy that will surely facilitate you to grow your business.  Now, let us find more about the perfect store and some powerful strategies to implement in a retail store.  

What is a perfect store?

A perfect store has different connotations for customers and retailers. For customers, it refers to an ideal store where they can easily find whatever they are looking for. Brands refer to a perfect store as an amalgamation of different KPIs and measurements that find out the success of retail execution strategies of an outlet or its departments.      

In order to make an outlet a perfect store, several shelf strategies are implemented. In such outlets, products are strategically showcased in a manner to influence the buying behaviour of customers to a great extent. As a sales head, you should analyze, define and capture in-store standards to ace at the shelf.  

What are the significant points to address while formulating perfect store strategies?

You must have understood until now that perfect store strategies are a set of tactics that are formulated with an aim to create a perfect store that drives more sales. The process of creation of a perfect store includes market research of customer insights; translation of customer insights to actionable strategies; space planning and category management.

A perfect store strategy will give valuable insights related to:

  • SKUs that are popular among the customers
  • Ideal location of a product to gain maximum visibility on shelf
  • Optimal presentation of products to attract customers
  • Pricing that is best to win at POS (point of sale)

The insights gained are then translated to effectual strategies that include discussion on key points including:

  • Where to place the products and how it will appear to the shoppers
  • How to boost the shopping experience of customers by displaying appropriate messages and using suitable merchandise
  • How to club the products in the right way to enhance consumers’ visibility   
  • Shelf positioning of products and their presentation for optimal visibility
  • Right way or strategy to perform in-shop branding 
  • Best packaging of products to attract customers

Chief components of perfect store strategy

As mentioned earlier, the sales head and managers of each retail enterprise create perfect store guidelines and strategies. However, different companies create different sets of guidelines. There are more than 20 sets on which store guidelines can be formulated. If you are just starting with the creation of strategies and guidelines, you don’t need to get overwhelmed in the process. There are some major components that you should consider. You must ensure that your perfect store strategy executes these levers:

On-shelf availability

This is the most imperative factor to win over more customers and retain existing customers. You should ensure that the right products are available at the right time on the right shelf so that the right customers can find them easily and make a purchase. This ensures that customers never leave your store with disappointment.  

Make demanding SKUs available at all times

As a sales manager/head, you should be aware of the SKUs that are fast selling and totally in demand. Such SKUs should be stocked in the highest proportion and they must always be available for the shoppers. This strategy will not just win the customers, but it will also augment your revenues exponentially as even customers disappointed from other outlets will pay a visit to your store.

Adjacency

This is one of the smartest moves to sell a product with other products. You can place complementary products in high-flow regions to attract the attention of buyers. In this way, they may be influenced to buy a product that wasn’t there on their list. For example, You can display packets of soups or ready-to-eat food items alongside cash counters. These will surely catch the attention of buyers and some of them may even include them in their bucket.   

In-shop branding

In-store branding facilitates in attracting customers to make a purchase thereby elevating the overall sales. In order to ace in-store branding, you can paste signage, wall graphics and posters in the store strategically. The posters can include close-up pictures of products along with details of offers and discounts available in each. These posters can drive in a lot of sales and most of the customers lookout to save more in every purchase. You can also make your customers aware of super saver deals and heavy discounts through wall graphics. Your sales representatives can be trained to exhibit product demonstrations that can convince shoppers to make a purchase. 

Manoj Kumar

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