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Creating an effective retail experience for your customers requires, above all, two things: a solid understanding of your consumers’ shopping behavior, and accurate sales data. Bigger retailers rely heavily on planograms, which are diagrams that lay out how products should be placed in-store in order to maximize profits. Designing a planogram, even if it’s a jumble of doodles on the back of a napkin, is the first step to enhancing both your returns on products and your customers’ overall satisfaction with your shop.

1. Place products by function, not just form

When first designing a planogram, one might feel inclined to place products together on a shelf simply because they fall under the same category. For instance, one might group all whey protein isolates together, all caseins together, and so on. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as this attention to detail and categorization will provide a more streamlined shopping experience for your customer. However, get a little creative and try to–instead–think of how this retail experience would unfold if you were the customer. If you’re walking into a shop to re-stock on BCAA powder, you might also be interested in recovery gels or maybe even some Tart Cherry Powder, although you didn’t know this walking in the door. In this specific instance, as the shop owner, let’s say you’re also keen to the recent rise in popularity of Tart Cherry amongst recovery agents in the Sports Nutrition industry. It might be wise to call attention to this ingredient with a special section adjacent to your BCAA lineup dedicated to supplements containing Tart Cherry, as well as some literature or shelf talkers to help the wary consumer navigate this space. Now, you’ve got customers walking into your shop for one product, and walking out with two or more purchases than they initially intended.

2. Mix things up with shippers & displays

If there is a functional foods (protein bars & snacks, etc.) product in your shop that does exceptionally well, or if the product’s marketing is lively and engaging, look into whether that vendor offers floor standing or countertop shippers and displays. Floor stands are typically about 4-to-5-feet-high popup cardboard displays meant to carry on average about 8-12 sleeves of a product, often times in different flavors. These shippers are a great way to disrupt a customer’s shopping experience and call attention to high margin, high volume items that nicely pad your bottom line.

3. Help your customer learn something new

The Sports Nutrition industry is not short for information on general health & wellness. This consumer is genuinely interested in his or her own health and body, and typically craves a great deal of information broken down into manageable bits. Creating educational and appealing marketing materials for your shop such as popup banners or iPad kiosks are a great way to get customers to hang out for a bit and learn a little something new about the interesting science behind supplementation. These materials are also a fantastic way to curb missed sales opportunities in the event that your shop’s sales representatives are tied up with other customers or duties. Some vendors offer marketing materials like flyers, booklets, or digital guides as part of their launch kits, so always be sure to inquire about those with your sales rep.

By Héctor González, Marketing Specialist | Muscle Foods USA
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