One Merchandising Tactic That Can Triple Your Sales Instantly

When it comes to the food and beverage space, product placement matters big time. Customers shouldn’t have to play “Where’s Waldo” trying to find your product in a store. If it’s not easy to find, they will give up and opt for something else.

With that in mind, investing in your product’s position in the store (and on the shelf!) can lead to a massive lift in sales. In fact, being in the right spot in a store can sometimes “double or triple your sales instantly,” according to Christina Korkowski, co-founder of OUNCE WATER.

For Korkowski’s water company, that means getting a spot in the cooler instead of the warm shelf, but every product has a different winning position that can make all the difference. In this post, we’ll run through a few tips to dazzle retailers and get your products the sales-boosting spots in the store they deserve.

Interact Consistently With Retailers

Building relationships with retailers depends on communication. Sales reps need to have consistent interactions with store managers, and setting standards of communication for the team will keep everyone accountable, engaged, and connected. Once you create strong bonds, use them as bargaining chips to petition retailers for better product placement.

“Leading companies establish a system to ensure that their brands are unfailingly activated in the store as intended,” say the expert consultants from Bain Insights. “They lay out clear steps for sales reps to follow before, during and after store visits to ensure compliance to the picture of success.”

How to set up standards of communication:

  • Hold regular meetings to define goals and discuss progress with individual retailers
  • Use a CRM app to keep notes on retailers that reps can reference easily
  • Log client information immediately after a visit and share this among your team
  • Keep connected using technology — video chats or instant messaging are just a couple methods you can use
  • Use quick, casual communication in the field to keep everyone in the loop

Your communication standards create the bonds with store managers and employees that will make them more familiar with your brand and your team. The stronger the bond, the more likely you’ll be given preference when it comes to product location.

Demonstrate Your Product’s Demand

As they say, seeing is believing, and retailers won’t give your product preference until you show them you deserve it.

When first starting out, Brian Chossek, the president of Garlic Gold, convinced a Gelson’s grocery store to let him carry out a product demonstration. “During a four-hour demo, Mr. Chossek sold 92 bottles [of seasoning],” according to the New York Times. “After that, he gave demonstrations in the store every weekend and four weeks later, Garlic Gold was sold in a second store. Within six months, it was on the shelves at every Gelson’s store.”

 How to impress retailers during a product demo:
  • Respect the space you’re in and introduce yourself to the manager before setting up
  • Use effective but not overwhelming signage
  • Tell store employees to also sample your products (this is super important, as they can advocate for you later!)
  • Have plenty of product on hand, both for sampling and selling
  • Don’t stop at one — seek out multiple opportunities to demo
  • Track demo data to present to the retailer later on

A few well executed product demos later, and managers will begin chomping at the bit to get your product placed front-and-center for their customers.

Invest in Your Product’s Display

Like Christina said, investing in a well designed display rack for non-refrigerated products can have the same positive effect on sales as getting the center spot in a store cooler. If a retailer gives you the opportunity to promote your product on a display rack, you need to be strategic in order to be successful.

“You should have an assortment of your best sellers on display,” advises Pretzel Crisps VP of Marketing Perry Abbenante. “Absolutely make your display shop-able! Can the customer grab multiple bags or products without the display falling apart? Always be cognizant of store volume when you build a display. Your display should be able to survive several hours of shopping before a refill is needed.”

How to create an outstanding display rack:

  • Display a few of your products rather than just one
  • Make it eye-catching, but don’t make it overwhelming
  • Put enough product on the display to avoid selling out
  • Constantly check-in with the retailer to see if you need to tweak the display
  • Consider partnering with another brand and offering a promotion
  • Explore opportunities for different display rack types, such as end caps, islands, or feature coolers

If successful, a temporary feature display can skyrocket your sales far into the future, boosting brand recognition and showing retailers your product’s demand.

At the end of the day, you know where your product will sell best based on what it is and who you compete against. If a cooler or a display rack isn’t your ideal destination, you can still use the tips above to score prime real estate for your product, and watch your sales take off.

Repsly is a mobile-CRM provider empowering brands to grow from where they are today to wherever they want to be tomorrow, in a human, enjoyable way. Repsly’s super-easy-to-use software helps brands like like Vita Coco, Moosehead Brewing, and Altra Running get closer to their customers by simplifying the way their teams in the field collect data, work together, and drive sales. To learn more about why more than 1,000 brands in 75 countries around the world love Repsly, come chat with us at www.repsly.com.