A good product is not enough to trigger a purchase—it should also be presented in a favorable way in order to generate the desire to purchase it.
The presentation of products and the environment in which they are displayed play a much more important role in the buying decision than you might think. To optimize these elements, you need to start by drawing up an inventory of your entire product range and the contribution made by each product. Then, take a series of measures:
- Enhance the products that sell best, for example by displaying them in the most clearly lit part of the store or on the first page of your website.
- Find a more suitable positioning for products which are less successful (near the registers or near products that sell better).
- Relinquish products that no one wants and which present no growth potential.
- Extend your offering by introducing new items which are connected or which are often purchased with the goods or services that represent the core of your stock selection. A hairdresser will sell hair products. A butcher will complement his stock selection with meat knives or cookbooks. A gym will offer energy drinks.
A minimal stock selection
Another strategy consists of limiting your stock selection to a minimum. This has several advantages:
- Budget. This requires lower promotional costs, less retail and storage space and fewer staff, and allows you to concentrate solely on selling a small number of products that work. This strategy is particularly suitable for novices, who have not yet fully defined the requirements of their customer base or whose financial resources are limited.
- Specialization. This also allows you to adopt a profile as a specialist in a certain area. Often faced with too much choice, the customer appreciates this reassuring simplicity.
- Standing out from the crowd. For a small company trying to penetrate a saturated market or a market dominated by a giant, this represents the only way to convince customers to be interested in your products. The Body Shop products were successful because the British chain presented a profile as a specialist in ethical toiletries and cosmetics not tested on animals, unlike the products of massive companies like Procter & Gamble.
Sources: Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies, Barbara Findlay Schenck, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2012; Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, Seth Godin, Penguin Group.