From the time you walk in the front door, until you are safely back in your car, savvy retailers are doing things to entice you stay longer, and spend more while you are there! Just in time for the 2012 holiday shopping season, retail experts Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender uncover the myriad of secrets retailers use to sell more merchandise.
St. Charles, IL November 6, 2012 -- Consumer anthropologists, Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender of Kizer & Bender Speaking, have studied shopping patterns and retail stores for decades.
The duo has surveyed the science of how retailers set their stores to sell.
The Decompression Zone: The Decompression Zone is the first 5 to 10’ just inside the store’s front door. The Decompression Zone is used to slow shoppers down from whatever speed they entered the store to a comfortable shopping speed.
Speed Bumps: Speed Bumps are fixtures or displays that are located approximately 15 to 20’ inside the front door of the store. The Speed Bump’s job is to stop the shopper and redirect his or her focus to the merchandise. They work the same way speed bumps in parking lots work.
The Impulse Zone: Watch out for merchandise displayed on tables in the aisles, on the end features (the part of the gondola that faces the aisle), and at the check out counter. These areas are where you are most likely to pick up things you did not intend to purchase.
The Wall Stripe: Ever notice how some stores paint horizontal stripes on the walls, a few feet below the ceiling? That’s to make shoppers eyes stay focused on the merchandise.
Disco Music is the Sound of Money: The right music can actually make you spend more money. That’s why familiar, up beat music is played during busy times. Disco seems to put everyone in the mood to buy.
Shopping Carts and Baskets: Do you know why the big box stores offer you a shopping cart or a basket when you walk in the front door? It’s because you’ll spend 25% more than you originally intended to spend, and up to 15 minutes longer in the store. The lure of the shopping cart/basket is so strong; we’re even seeing fancy department stores getting in on the action.
If It Smells, It Sells: The holidays aren’t the only time some retail stores smell so good. The old retail adage, “If it smells, it sells”, holds true all year long. Retailers light candles, and turn on the fragrance machines, to turn up the sales. Grapefruit is said to renew energy; Pine inspires positive feelings, and Cinnamon, bless its spicy little heart, is said to attract money!
Vertical Merchandising: Retailers display product in vertical rows so that customers are exposed to a greater variety of the assortment at any eye level. And since we’re naturally inclined to read from left to right, Vertical Merchandising encourages purchases because customers will see the entire selection of merchandise wherever they look.
Small Sizes on the Left, Large on the Right: Stores that sell similar items in various sizes obviously profit from selling the largest size because it’s likely to be the higher priced item. That’s why when a product comes in more than one size, you will always find small size of the product on the left, and the larger size on the right. This trick works because most customers are right handed, and will unconsciously reach for the item closest to their right hands, rather than reaching across their bodies or shopping carts.
“Hot Spot Cross” Merchandising: Every section of every fixture has what’s called a “Hot Spot Cross” – the part of the fixture that sells the best. Since most customers have a tendency to stop at the center of the category, the Hot Spot silently points out important merchandise. You can locate the Hot Spot in any fixture, simply by drawing an imaginary cross through the center of a fixture. Incidentally, fixtures such as gondolas, with many sections, will have a Hot Spot in each one of the sections.
Hot Spot and One to the Right: Remember this: “Hot Spot and one to the right.” Since most customers will reach for product with their right hand, the position just to the right of the center of the cross is an equally hot display area. Retailers use this space to display new items, and to energize product that might be suffering from sagging sales.
Visual Curve Merchandising: Visual Curve Merchandising involves the use of slanted shelves to increase the customer’s strike zone – the amount of product the customer sees in just one glance.
Cross Promotion: Cross-merchandising is a technique that mixes different product categories together allowing customers see and buy more because they can easily visualize how the items will work together. Cross Merchandised items are the ones hanging on clip-strips throughout the store. Drug stores are great cross merchandisers: If you had a cold, and came in for cough syrup, you might also be in the market for disposable spoons, Kleenex, or juice. Drug store retailers are more than happy to put it all together, making it easier for you to spend more money when you’re feeling lousy.
Gift Cards & Gift Certificates: When it comes to choosing the right present, gift cards may be a no-brainer for you, but they are a windfall for retailers. You may love that cashmere sweater Uncle Bob gave you for Christmas, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever personally shop in the store that it came from. Enter gift cards.
According to a study by ValueLink, the gift and spending card service of First Data Corporation, 54 percent of consumers spend the initial value of their gift card within one month; 61 percent of consumers spend the initial value of their gift card in their first visit; and 56 percent of consumers spend more than the initial value of their card.
The Checkout Counter: Even the placement of the checkout counter encourages you to spend. Smart retailers never place the checkout as the first thing shoppers see. Instead, it’s generally located near the front, toward the left of the store and a natural stopping point.
Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender are nationally recognized experts on customer diversity, marketing and promotion, and everything retail.
Contact: Georganne Bender or Rich Kizer (630)513-8020