As the nation’s biggest retailers get into the beauty game, you need to step up your own by learning how your clients shop. Some of the industry’s top experts in consumer behavior teach you how to design retail environments that encourage the purchase.
Extend Their Stay
Don’t Even Go There
Sometimes following your gut instinct leads you off path, caution the experts. They list some frequent missteps:
1. Product displays are placed too close to the entrance. “It’s not until the customer is about six feet into the store that she’s adjusted to the differences between the outside and inside,” says Leon Alexander. “Her nerve endings are picking up all the stimuli—a new temperature, different lighting.” Give her that six-foot space to adapt and transition before you hit her with your Promotion of the Month.
2. Too much product is at the styling station. “We’re moving away from having a ton of product at the styling station,” notes John Moroney. “The client should be looking at only those products that fulfi ll her needs and do not compete with each other.”
3. Seating is placed by the window. “Owners pay thousands of dollars for a billboard to advertise their brand, when you already have one—your window,” says Alexander. “When passersby see only the backs of your clients’ heads as they sit on comfy couches, you’re losing an opportunity. Besides, you don’t really want people sitting down; you want them shopping.”
4. Retail is grouped by category rather than by product line. Should you line up all of your mousses together? “Sephora tried merchandising by category, and it didn’t work,” says Moroney. “Aim to have a brand portfolio that offers a unique benefi t with products that do not cannibalize each other. Then all of your brands have a chance to win.”
5. Income is lost by neglecting the impulse buyer. “I defy anyone to exit Walmart with only the intended products,” says Alexander. “Yet no one’s advising you at Walmart; you’re serving yourself.” To address the impulse buyer, Moroney recommends keeping your point-of-purchase displays supersimple. “If your client is overwhelmed,” he warns, “she’ll just walk out empty-handed.”
6. A campaign is not thought through completely. “Let’s say you’re designing a Nioxin display,” says Moroney. “Don’t put up a sign on your shelf that shouts, ‘Thinning Hair!’ Who wants to be seen walking up to that product?” A more sensitive—and effective—message could be an instruction to “Ask your stylist about Nioxin’s solutions to thinning hair.”