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Front End Management Services Are More Than You Think

Front end management services are more than just re-arranging the merchandise or putting up "sale" banners at the front of your retail store. It will take a lot of research, study, and some trial and error until you get it right.

Implementing the right front end management services can bring a strong earnings potential, but a majority of retailers do not realize this and thus miss their chance of enjoying increased profits.

Sure, a retailer may have a great line of products or a comprehensive knowledge of certain products. But if they cannot "up" their front end game, the retailer will never be able to effectively sell their merchandise to customers.

Many retailers never realize that the front end has the strongest impression on a shopper's idea of "customer service." Contrary to popular belief, the front end is more complicated, labor-intensive and even costly than what's between the shopping aisles. The front end is now often considered as a separate department, rather than as a mere extension of the store. As a retailer, you want to market some of your best products possible by putting them in front of your store or near/around the checkout counter, hoping to catch the shopper's eye. But it's not just all. You have to do some research and study in order to reach your front end sales goal. Take some key practices and solutions:

  • Remember why there is a "front end" in the first place -- to encourage impulse buying. Studying and understanding your shoppers' behavior will help you to suit their needs, wants, and whims. Set up compelling displays near or around the checkout counter. In this way, it will most strongly reflect the shoppers' purchasing behavior.
  • Sell items that are widely and frequently bought by customers on an impulse like magazines, candies, cosmetics, toiletries, and snacks.
  • In addition to selling the most commonly bought items at front end displays, think of other items that will excite the shoppers. Bring in some novelty products or items that are trending or the hottest sellers right now. Shoppers would love to see something new in your store, and including these eye-catching items are surefire ways to get them spending.
  • As implied before, the front end is now often seen as a separate department. Hire someone who's tasked to manage the front end section of the store. Training may be required on how to effectively sell the front end to the customers.
  • Amp up your product promotions with "buy-one-take-one" or "for a limited time only" deals. Any customer who comes across this would be hard-pressed to resist them!
  • Do not hesitate to renovate or reinvent the front end area. This will help you determine what the best products to sell are, and the best ways to display them.
  • When selling magazines, quality is better than quantity. Rather than selling a large volume of magazines, prominently and strategically display the best-selling titles at the checkout counter. This will give impulsive shoppers an opportunity to pick the magazines up and buy them.

Managing your store's front end section will definitely be a handful, and retailers shouldn't be doing it on their own as it is more complicated than it sounds.

This is true especially when selling magazine titles and doing Retail Display Allowance (RDA), which involves dealing with an overwhelming number of contracts from several publishers, recording and computing sold titles, preparing invoices and magazine rebate claim documents and submitting them to the publisher, and doing follow-ups in case the publishers don't pay the RDA's on time.

Hiring someone who's professional and experienced in front end management services and RDA administration will be a huge help to the retailers. Having legitimate professionals as a business partner will allow you to focus only on your store's front end section and improving it to attract customers. Moreover, these companies will help in boosting your store's profit margin, and provide you an incentive to expand your merchandise (magazine titles, in particular)

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