I happened to go into the local Lowe’s home-improvement store last night. The main aisle was filled with Holiday gift ideas all lined up. Wooden birdhouse kits for the kids, tool boxes, saws, all kinds of items all lined up, with special signs suggesting these choices as great gift ideas. Price points ranged from $8 to over $100. A clueless shopper did not have to wander all around the store looking for the “right” gift, Lowes had done that for them and identified these items as great gift ideas.
What has that got to do with jewelry? Lots!
A few weeks ago, I was in North Carolina redoing a store and I suggested a similar merchandising concept. We identified “The top 10 great gift ideas for her”. These were jewelry pieces that were were a popular style and a good value at our full markup. We made up small signs identifying each of the 10 ideas in their respective cases. When a customer enters the store and says that he is looking for a gift, the salesperson simply says that XYZ jewelers has already identified 10 great ideas that are proven as great gifts and ”Let me show these to you and see if one of them will work.” The prospect is then shown the different choices. Maybe they chose one of the 10, or maybe it prompts discussion about something else in the store, but the salesperson has established the impression that he/she has listened and understands the challenge, is there to help and has provided a solution to the clients “problem.” We placed each of the Top 10 gift ideas on a red paper gift-wrapped box in the center of the showcases. We made sure that the price points of the 10 ranged from $ to $$$. We had a Top 10 item in almost every showcase around the store (Diamond fashion, Diamond Studs, Diamond Crosses, Pearls, Watches, Color, Silver, etc.) to be sure the client saw the range of merchandise offered. We only chose items we knew could be replenished quickly if sold out. We made sure each salesperson knew the 10 items thoroughly.
We started this on October 15th. Initial sales of the suggested 10 items have been promising. As of yesterday, they have actually had at least 1 sale of 5 of the 10 items. There have been 2 instances of people “spending up” and buying bigger pieces prompted by the suggestion. Sold pieces are replaced immediately.
Lesson: Help out the clueless and time-strapped buyers in your store (and your own bottom line!) by doing the choosing for them. Identify with special signage and display, the “Top 10 for her” (and maybe even a Top 5 for Him) and get the sales team on board. By trying this strategy, you’ll not only make the customers search easier, but you’ll find your sales staff will have time for talking to more customers as well. Try it and if it works you can repeat the same basic idea for Valentines and Mother’s Day.
Good Luck and let us know if we can help.