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Front End Merchandising: How to Increase Income on the Front End

In recent years, retailers have been slowly realizing the importance of front end merchandising. That's because their stores' front end checkout area signifies a critical location for such items as sweets, drinks, snacks, newspapers, and magazines. Suppliers and retailers know it is possible to profit from the high-traffic visibility and impulse purchases. In other words, checkout counters are the key to impulsive buying.

Magazines, newspapers, and confectionaries are some of the usual items commonly seen at the front end checkout counters. As a retailer, maximizing your front end merchandising efforts can help you to boost your business' profitability.

Have you ever noticed that customers barely glance at or pass by front end displays as they are making their purchases? Your mere wondering actually turns out to be a fact, because a recent study has shown that only almost one-fifth of the customers will buy something from the front end displays. This proves the downward trend in front end purchasing over the last several years, reflecting the change. If you aren't getting the front end merchandising profits that you are expecting, then your front end may need a makeover.

To help you get a remarkable boost from your sales from front end magazine displays, then Premiere Retail Services, Inc. is here to provide tips on how to encourage impulse purchases from your customers and boost your profits from them.

1. Creating the right merchandising plan has the potential to increase your sales and your profits.

2. Wisely include products that are most likely to induce impulse buying from customers. Magazines, drinks, gum, mints, newspapers, and other items that you think buyers will pick up on an impulse as they line up for the checkout counter. Think about some of the best-selling items in your store such as granola, yogurt-covered almonds, fruity-smelling lip glosses, trial-sized fragrances, soft drinks, organic chocolates, candies, toys, and house ware products. The items don't have to be expensive; when a larger quantity of items is sold, the profits will follow.

3. Be strategic in placing your products. For instance, think of introducing novel items, and then place them near your best-sellers. Position these items in an attractive way. Customers who are near the checkout counter are likely already in the mood to buy, so you can expect a relatively higher purchase from these items.

4. High visibility of the products is also a key to boosting impulse purchases from shoppers. To increase your products' visibility, your items must be positioned right in front of the buyers to make sure that they will buy them. You can also use signs which are one of the most effective tactics to catch the buyers' attention. Use eye-catching signs that announce sales and promos -- you know your buyers can't resist picking up something that is on sale or has a bonus item.

5. Understanding the purchasing behavior of your customers will help you adjust to their needs and wants. If you push the right psychological triggers of your customers, you can make impulse buys more noticeable and enticing. The following are some psychological triggers that will help:

  • Urgency - You can provoke your buyers' sense of urgency through sales and promos that run only for a limited period. For instance, if a there's a sale of a certain product that lasts only for a day, shoppers realize that they will never see such a sale again, so they will take advantage of the sale by buying the product.
  • Value - Who can resist a good deal? Make customers see that they're getting the best value for their purchases with generous offers. For instance, set up "buy one, get one" promos with impulse products to further encourage your customers to buy.
  • Excitement or Novelty - Sometimes, you don't have to throw in an offer with your impulse products. Most shoppers love novelty -- something new, original and fresh. Customers want some more time to walk through aisles and see things that they haven't seen before. But if you put these novelty items at your checkout shelves or racks, you may help these customers save their time from cruising through aisles.

6. Implement space-saving ideas by creating racks that feature the products but will otherwise take up less space. For example, magazine racks that are aimed to sit at eye level allow some more space for other items. This will also make the magazines look more appealing to the customers.

7. Make sure that you keep clear of anything that will get in the way of the point-of-sale merchandise. Remove side-stacks, floor stands, and moveable displays that will make items inaccessible on the checkout racks and shelves. These obscurities will negatively affect the items. Because of the high-impulse sales nature of these items, it is important they are at the front of the display. So if you want to maximize your profits, eliminate those blockages.

8. Do you know that 80% of the front end income (according to some estimates) comes from the actual sales of the products? The remaining small percentage comes from placement fees. So it's better to put more emphasis on product over placement.

9. Take advantage of the trends. If you've got wind of goji berries, acai berries, or dietary supplements that are made from them, create vivid, eye-catching and informative displays around them. Also, take advantage of seasonal eats. In the summer, focus on organic foodstuffs such as condiments and other must-have items for the beach or picnic. Cider is the ideal item to offer in the fall, while breads are good offerings for the winter season.

10. When selling magazines or other publications, it's a great idea to do a tie-in with other products that are mentioned on the magazine's cover. For instance, if a cover of a consumer or diet/health magazine mentions "Ways to Beat Stress and Fatigue," include vitamins and minerals, food supplements, and herbs on the front shelves. If a food and drink magazine has a cover of a sumptuous holiday meal, include some ingredients near the magazine and also near the checkout.

You can double your profits by using methods as simple as changing out a few displays. If you understand your customer's behaviors and habits, as well as discover the profit potential of your product, follow trends as well as developing appealing displays that feature a variety of products, then you're on the right track. We at Premiere Retail Services, Inc. can give you professional assistance in developing a solid plan for product placement that will help you boost your front end merchandising efforts.

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