I love the fact that someone is thinking rationally during these tough economic times. We’re so focused on how bad things are that we lose sight that 90 percent of Americans are still earning paychecks. We’ve lost 5 percent of wage-earners to economic downturn. That’s it. Just 5 percent. Granted, some cities are more impacted than others, but there’s a lot of opportunity out there still.
People have to eat, and to wash their hair and their clothes; kids still need back-to-school supplies; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, and all those other holidays will still occur. So why not take advantage of it?
Panera Bread is choosing to target that 90 percent of Americans who are working by touting its free wi-fi, focusing on quality of the food product, and rolling out new products as a way to entice customers to try Panera, or continue coming back.
But Panera is also touting sandwiches and salads that offer the highest margins, suggestively selling customers through visuals and prominent signage. That’s not taking advantage, that’s just smart business.
I was doing work for a client recently that had a line of private label products. My recommendation was to pull all of the product front and center, versus having a few displays featuring different products throughout the store. Building the feature area to something that was large and in charge, smack you in the fact bold right when you walk in the door was done for one simple reason: To sell more customers more products that offered the highest. The added benefit is that customers took home branded products, so now that brand is in their home, reinforcing the need to revisit that one and only store when it’s time to buy more.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Retail means selling your customer. So sell them.
If you haven’t figured it out, you’re being manipulated every time you walk into a store. Promotional offers, signs, displays and more are all ways to get you to buy one product versus another. So why aren’t you doing that your store?
The client I mentioned above was just selling products on shelves. You wouldn’t know about promotional deals (which there were) unless an associate told you; only one sign on a 50 percent rack was found, even though other products were on sale elsewhere in the store; and new products just came in and were put on racks and fixtures without any attention being called to them. Exactly the opposite of what Panera Bread is doing.
Take a page out of Panera’s book and sell your customers. You are in retail after all.
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