Monday, December 27, 2010

Make a Splash with Comprehensive Selection

John Nese, founder of Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles brags that his store carries more than 500 different beers and 60 different types of bottled water. But as you can tell by the store name, the claim to fame comes from the 450 different brands and flavors of bottled soda that are available. There’s no Coke or Pepsi, though, unless you include the versions imported from Mexico.
     Carrying a comprehensive selection of a product category helps make you a destination location. If you operate a large retail business, you’ll be the Category Killer. People know that they’ve a high chance of finding the brand and model they’re seeking if they come to you.
     If you operate a small to midsize retail business, you can be the Gnategory Killer, focusing on a specific niche. When the niche is unusual, such as classic sodas in bottles, that draws attention, which in turn draws shopper footsteps. Galco’s Soda Pop Stop has been featured in magazine articles and TV shows.
     Certainly, there’s more to successful retailing than comprehensive selection. You must have the business fundamentals in place, including attention to what the customer will buy, not only what you’re interested in selling. Mr. Nese says that when people question the price he sets for a bottle of soda, he frames his answer in terms of customer benefits: At Soda Pop Stop, you can buy one bottle to try out. At most stores, you have to buy a six-pack, at a higher purchase price.
     Here are two more shopper psychology pointers for Gnategory Killers:
  • Being comprehensive often means you’ll regularly be out of stock on certain items. You might carry 450 styles of sunglasses, but you won’t have every one of those models ready to go out the door every day. Cultivate what Stanford University researchers call an exciting rather than a predictable store personality. Maintain the feel of a treasure hunt.
  • Project expertise. Help your shoppers gain a consumption vocabulary. Talking with writer Robert Spector, Mr. Nese said that when a customer asks what’s the best root beer, Mr. Nese uses terms like relative carbonation, dryness, creaminess, licorice and vanilla. A consumption vocabulary helps your shoppers appreciate that there is a variety to choose from and then protects them against being overwhelmed by the variety. Each of those facilitates a sale at a different point in the purchasing process.
Click below for more:
Maintain a Niche So You’re a Destination Location
Monitor the Sales Floor to Avoid Out-of-Stocks
Sweeten Scarcity with Ample Warning
Boost Profits by Making Items Collectibles
Project Your Store’s Personality
Give a Vocabulary for Richer Shopping

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