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Show and Sell

By: Patti Biro
Posted: March 30, 2012, from the April 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Remember looking forward to show-and-tell in your elementary school days? Finding and sharing the story of a special item for your peers was exhilarating. Recall that experience and apply it to the skin care environment. In today’s competitive world, skin care professionals cannot sit back and hope that a client will purchase retail items while waiting for an appointment or on the recommendation of a therapist. Retail consultants Frost & Sullivan have reported that in-store retail displays can boost sales by 65%, and a study conducted at the University of Minnesota found that consumers infer qualities of a product with the type of retail display used.

Can you afford to ignore this information? Not if you want to boost retail sales. The drugstore approach to visual merchandising, using neat rows of available products, will not invite clients to connect with your retail in a way that sells. Following are simple ways to improve your in-spa displays.

Mix it up! Product placement is important when designing your retail area for maximum sales. If your retail items are displayed in the same location they were last month, then move them. This is a good time to deep clean those display areas. Nothing kills a sale quicker than dust, which signals that the product has been sitting on the shelf and is not desirable.

Pick a theme and tell a story. Engaging retail displays tell a story and urge clients to interact with the products. There are literally hundreds of possible themes you can use; the easiest is a holiday theme, and seasonal displays are effective as well. Examples may include winter-skin needs, after-work relaxation and summer-related skin products. Create a theme that encourages browsers to spend time interacting with the display and the products. The more time clients spend in your retail area, the more likely you are to make a sale.

Function = education. You can group retail items by function, such as travel sizes, stocking stuffers or sun protection. Use signage or shelf-talkers to explain the items and their benefits. Signage can be as simple as an information card in an attractive picture frame or a digital photo album.