How to Improve Your Foodservice Merchandising Strategy? August 28, 2016,
Food Service Merchandising: Use the Latest and Get the Greatest
Convenience store customers are a pickier breed than they used to be. Back in the day, they would run in, grab some milk, a pack of smokes, and gas up the car on the way home, or grab coffee and a pre-wrapped pastry on their way to work. Sometimes, mom would come in with the kids after soccer practice for sodas and snacks. Times are changing, and so are our tastes. Convenience stores have a potential to really sell their food-service side, stock healthier snacks, and even draw in the picky lunch crowd. The problem for a lot of store owners is figuring out not only what to stock, but how to merchandise the items as well as track their sales.
Not all Apps are Equal
Yes, there is an app for that! More than anything, store owners need easy and intuitive software to bring their operation forward. Too many are still relying on obsolescent technology which leaves gaping holes in their capabilities. Bringing on board retail merchandising software like FreD Field Reporting that is scalable and affordable is a key part of growing your business and your clientele. Going with a one size fits all application is going to get you one size fits all results. What you need is data that is unique to your store and a marketing strategy that will work for you no matter where you are, or where your store happens to go. Working with a mobile merchandising software will keep you in the know.
Your data is some of the most valuable property that you own, telling you who is buying what, when they are buying it, and more importantly, what items they are not buying. An ideal solution will help you plan everything from purchases, stocking, and auditing, to laying out your store. Mobile retail merchandising software makes sure that everything is in its place, and ready to be seen – and purchased – by a customer.
Everything in its Place
But even the best software can’t help you if you do not pay attention to the very basics of drawing customers to your store. Putting it bluntly, appearance counts. The way that your business presents itself dictates who is going to walk through the door once, and who is going to be a return customer.
Stand outside your store, and take a look at the first impression. According to NACS, convenience store consumers are strapped for time. They want to find what they need, and then get in and out fast. What does this mean for you? Ask yourself these questions:
- Is my entrance clean and uncluttered? Nobody wants to fight their way through the door. Make it as easy to walk in as possible.
- Can they clearly see the inside of the store through the windows, and get an idea of the range of merchandise?
- Is the inside well-lit and clean? If you have a dim and dirty store, people are not going to think well of you or your merchandise.
- Are the products on the shelves clearly visible and priced? Customers want to walk in, find what they want, see the price, pay for it, and leave.
- Does something smell really, really good? You would be surprised at what the scent of a fresh pot of coffee can do. This is not surprising, since 64 % of American adults are coffee drinkers according to a recent Gallup poll.
- Is your store a place that people are going to want to come back to? It’s easy to cater to the needs of families for convenience, quality, and price. Instead of being the convenience store, you can make yourself the corner market.
Display to Play
Display doesn’t mean just cramming goods into your gondolas. In fact, CS News specifically recommends that you don’t cram your shelves and that you rotate your products. A good display showcases the product at their very best, and spotlighting a different product from week to week can make a big difference in how many you sell, and how many people come back for more. Of course, this also means keeping track of your stock levels so that you don’t run out of a crowd favorite.
As you gather data you may even notice that certain displays in certain areas of the store work better than others. This will help you plan how and where to display certain types of merchandise, and even to cross merchandise and increase sales. Just a few simple changes and the right mobile retail merchandising software can boost your sales, and turn your store into a destination instead of an afterthought. With a little training, and a little effort, your store can stand out in a crowd. Get in touch with the professionals at FReD and find out what you can do to pump it up! Comments Off