By Anthony Jansen, January 9th, 2023
For any retail business, two vital tasks stand out the most, stocking & merchandising. While merchandising requires analytical and creative abilities to grab the attention of customers to purchase a business’ products, stocking requires the physical ability to place products on the shelves and display areas in retail stores, as well as to store and replace products in the backroom of a store or a warehouse. In this article, we will look at some points to consider when stocking new items for your retail store.
Your Target Audience
The first and most crucial point to consider when stocking the products you plan to sell for your retail business is your target audience. When considering your target audience, the intention must be to target a group of people with the same background as your ideal customer. An ideal customer’s background includes age, gender, education, location, social class, consumption habits, and purchasing power. To know how much demand for your products you will be facing from your target audience, you will need to know the size of your market to meet your business goals. Selling to a market with trending products that will sell out quickly will require you to contact wholesalers or distributors to support your business to meet the demand. Imagine that you are running a retail business that sells different fragrances and perfumes, products that fulfill a customer’s wants and desires. You will need a leading perfume wholesaler to help your business meet the demand for your products that will sell out in a hurry.
When running a retail business, competitors will always be selling similar products that will try to upscale and aim to do better than you. If you want to stand out from the rest, having a good idea of the competitive scene will be a good start. Here is a fantastic guide to help you analyse your competitors to figure out who they are and what they do differently to sell similar products. When you do research about your competitors, it is important to consider some key points, which include their catalogue of the products that they’re selling, how much they charge, how well of a rapport your competitors have built with their customers and how they promote their products to grab the attention of new & existing customers who enter their retail stores.
After obtaining information about your competitors, you can find out whether there are any holes in the market that you can exploit and focus on less competitive areas if some regions of your market are saturated with competitors. Learning from these essential points about your competitors will help your retail business stand out from the rest and do better.
Stocking an inventory of your products does not mean you can avoid any expenses for your products. The costs of your products will depend on what you offer, whether it be convenience, shopping, specialty, or any other type of products you plan on selling for your retail business. What you should consider about your products are their size, fragility and weight. If you have products that are big & heavy, shipping fees will be more expensive, and it will require a warehouse to store these products.
Another factor to consider with your product expenses is perishability. There are some items that can be perishable, with some common examples including food, flowers, pharmaceuticals, and more. When it comes to perishable products, preparation, handling, and expiration dates contribute to higher costs. Considering these factors about your product expenses can still help you make a profit and make the investment in your products worth it.
Putting New Items In Front
When you have new or limited-edition products that you intend to sell to your customers, you should consider displaying them in an area of your store where more customers can view them. This could be near your retail store’s entrance or check-out areas, as the more customers see your new products, the more likely you will profit from them. You must make sure to promote that these items are new or limited-edition to help gain your customers’ attention and interest.
The cross-selling technique is one of the most effective techniques you should experiment with when stocking new products. The cross-selling technique allows your customers who were planning to buy one of the products to purchase similar products that are within reach. Imagine yourself owning a store where one of the products you sell is perfume sets. You can also sell makeup sets and display them on the other side of the aisle. This type of display will make their shopping easier or give them new ideas on what they want to purchase. One of the benefits of the cross-selling technique is that it can increase the customer’s average order size. If you have a point of sales system, it can help you plan these displays by understanding which products customers buy together.
Regular Shelf Checks
When the items are on the shelves, one of the most important things you must do for your retail store is regular shelf checks. You must make sure that there is someone to check the shelves and displays regularly to make sure they are stocked sufficiently. You could implement a system where you check the inventory during your retail store’s daily opening and closing to see if all of the items you plan on selling are on all the shelves for your customers to purchase. If this is not followed up, you can avoid losing profit because your customers cannot find what they want to buy. Another factor to consider when checking shelves is to ensure proper maintenance of your products, as having neat and organised displays can help make your business more attractive and be represented more positively.
Remember that when planning to stock new items for your retail store, you must first understand to who you plan on selling your products. Then you can identify your competitors and how they sell similar products differently, and what expenses you have to cover for the products you plan on selling for your retail business. Once you figure these out, you can then plan on using different techniques to help your business stand out from the rest by finding new ways to promote your new products and organise your business in a more attractive and positive way.