May 2011
Keys to Showing Off By Joe Baer

To become an inspiration destination for your customers, introduce bold colors, technology and better planning to endcaps and dead ends.

Lawn and garden retailers face many of the same challenges as other retailers. Learning from fashion, grocery and mass merchants is a great way to improve the customer experience and build brand loyalty.
Consumer trend reports show customers spending more time at home making improvements and entertaining. This bodes well for your business. When a consumer enters your store, inspire and motivate them to think beyond their initial goals and product choices and encourage them to make the most of their own projects and goals by offering additional resources, options and ideas. Here are three keys to inspirational success.

Color

One of the best ways to invigorate your store and shopping experience is to introduce more color as a tool to improve the visual experience. A brand comes to life when we identify ways to trigger each of the senses to create a unique and rewarding experience. Sight is one of the most important of the senses and can be triggered by using your brand colors as a visual tool throughout your store.

Identify your brand colors. If you think of many of the big box retailers, the primary color associated with these retailers quickly come to mind. What is your primary brand color? What two or three coordinating colors work well with your primary brand color and can help you create a color palette for each season.

Your colors can help you show your brand viewpoint and create a focused experience. Feature your colors consistently from advertising, websites and brochures to your in store experience. In store is where you really have the chance to explore ways to use the colors. Paint a wall or store fixtures, add colored fabric, flagging tape (above, right), colored paper or a special lighting effect.

Endcaps

Some of the most valuable and productive square footage in your store or greenhouse is on your endcaps. Endcaps can be used to feature a key item, new product, new category or a great value or deal. Plan your endcaps and track your sales to see how productive they are. Endcaps can be used not only to help drive great sales, but can also be effective tools to create visual interest for your store. Introduce a bust form into each end cap to add some personality (above, left). Use digital frames, iPad or flat panel television to add more technology into your store experience. Your end caps are a great vehicle for improving the rhythm and shopping process for your customers.

Dead Ends

Dead ends can actually be an invitation to think about a better way to utilize your selling space. If the dead end is an important sight line, consider adding a visual display, graphic image or informational signage. A dead end can often be an opportunity to create a new customer service feature like a seating area, design station or courtesy beverage area. If you anchor your daily basics in the back of your store you may be able to drive more traffic through your store. There is a reason that grocery stores locate milk and eggs in the back of the store.



Joe Baer

Joe Baer is the founder and CEO of ZenGenius Visual Merchants. Visit www.zengenius.com to learn more about Joe and his visual merchant team.





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