Thursday, March 17, 2011

Keep Your Eye on Merchandising to the Right

During a retailing seminar I conducted a while back funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Northwest Area Foundation, and the Iowa State Legislature, I gave a quick bit of advice which led to questions from participants afterwards: I was discussing product adjacencies—how to arrange products on the store shelves—in the situation where you’re featuring a deeply discounted item. I said that immediately to the right of the deeply discounted item, you should have products priced for a healthy profit margin that are natural accompaniments to the deeply discounted item.
     It’s the peanut-butter-and-jelly principle of product adjacencies: When you’ve assigned the peanut butter a bargain price to draw footsteps into your store, then shelve the popular jelly flavors—priced for your profitability—just to the right of the peanut butter.
     Why to the right? It’s only an overall tendency, of course. If the shopping cart is to the left or if the small child the shopper is carefully attending to has now walked in back of the shopper, it might very well be that the shopper’s eyes will dart to the left or to the rear. But when aiming for the retailer’s edge in profitability, it’s the small tendencies we’ll leverage for big profits.
     Still, why to the right? Because that’s where the shopper’s eyes tend to go the instant after they recognize that they’ve gotten a really good deal on a purchase. Our eyes move rightward when the left hemisphere of the brain gets active. It’s that left hemisphere which specializes in doing the math and telling the whole brain, “Hey, we saved some real money here!” and gets more likely to ask, “Are we ready to splurge?”
     The fact that the left and right hemispheres of the brain process information differently can also be used to introduce featured products as a shopper enters your store. Have a display of one package of each of the featured products to the left of the shopper as they come on in. Have signs with brand names in large letters and very brief statements about product benefits on the right side of the customer who is entering.
     Product shapes and brand name fonts influence purchasing when they come in from the left side of the eyeballs. The brand names themselves and very brief product benefit claims are most effective when caught subconsciously from the right side of the eyeballs.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Introduce Featured Products as Customers Enter
Notice Where Your Shoppers Look as They Enter

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