While the recession is undoubtedly affecting almost every one of us, the retail sector is generally being hit much harder than many other business divisions. This is largely due to the need for consumers to reduce their spending on unnecessary goods such as expensive clothing and entertainment products.
There are ways however for a retail business to boost their income, by utilizing the spending potential of every customer that walks through the door. One of these ways is by taking advantage of the consumer urge to ‘impulse buy’ through the effective use of impulse merchandising.
Impulse merchandising entails the employment of in-queue displays, so that consumers are encouraged to browse products while waiting in line to pay.
This is a very lucrative moment for any retail business due to the customer’s relatively stationary position. Customers waiting in line to pay tend to become somewhat bored, and are therefore grateful for any distraction. As a result they will then browse items that are surrounding them, even if they have no intention of purchasing anything extra.
To make the most of this opportunity it is highly recommended that businesses choose to display items of low value, and of mass appeal. This is because it’s likely to lure in even those consumers who were not planning on purchasing anything else – should they see something that appeals to them, or that they need, and that they also deem to be of a low cost.
In fact, the benefits of impulse merchandising extend further than a direct boost in profits. It isn’t uncommon for lethargic or rushed shoppers to leave a queue without making a purchase, due to boredom and a sense that the waiting time is lasting too long. This can result in a serious dent in a company’s profits, particularly if these customers were preparing to make a large purchase.
The situation can even harm a customer’s opinion of the company, since a long and uninteresting wait time can result in a perception of bad customer service. This can have a knock-on effect since the customer may choose to report back to friends and family about their negative experience, thereby deterring others from visiting the premises in the future.
However this can be prevented to a certain extent, simply by employing in queue merchandising in order to entertain waiting customers.
Other forms of in queue merchandising include signage – an effective way to boost brand awareness and customer relations. In queue signage is simultaneously able to entertain customers while also making them aware of relevant events such as an upcoming sale – thereby encouraging them to return on another occasion and make further purchases.
Therefore, in queue merchandising can concurrently boost profits (statistics demonstrate this to be by up to 30%) while also inadvertently improving customer relations. In fact in queue displays have been shown to boost impulse purchases by 400%, while in queue signage, if employed correctly, can encourage the return of customers, at a time that is particularly lucrative to the business.