Profitable Times Newsletter

Do You See What I See?

The following is a quick checklist and a few comments about those aspects of the store most likely to affect the visitor/customer and lead to incremental sales. The suggestion is to put your feet in the shoes of your customer, be honest with yourself and periodically give the list to members of your team and ask them to evaluate the store.

The following notations on the lines preceding each item my help to prioritize follow-up.

A Since we do this well, let's find something else to worry about
B We'd do this even better if we spend a little time working on it
C This needs to be done better so let's focus on it
D This needs attention — NOW!
F Fahgeddaboutit — this doesn't apply to our store(s)

By the way, the "WOW" at the end of each section refers to that certain something that pleasantly surprises the customer.

           Background Music
           Beating expectations
        "If you can lean you can clean."
           Condition of:
     • Carpeting
     • Fixtures
     • Glass cases
     • Glass shelving
     • Hard surfaces
           Enjoyable place to be — Leads to lingering
           Experience and the product are equal
           Fun; is there some humor
           Lush, full, rich, warm, attractive and inviting feeling
           Smooth transitions between floor surfaces
           Tactile experience
     Seven senses:
     • See
     • Hear
     • Touch
     • Smell
     • Taste
     • Sixth
     • Common
           ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
• Letter of the law
• Practical considerations
           Cash-wrap design
• Area to accumulate products of interest (Drop zone)
• Is the Drop Zone NOT the top of a glass case?
• Ease of signing credit card slips and checks — 42" high
• Secure area to put down purse, other packages
• Uncluttered
           Dressing room
• Size
• Quality of mirror
• Quality of lighting
• Seating
• Sufficient hooks
• Privacy
• Apparel
• Dressing room
• Quality of lighting
• Eyewear
• Jewelry
           Mitigating what customers don't do
• Ask questions
• Bend
• Reach
• Read
           Products priced
           Public restroom
• Clean
• Sufficient toilet paper, towels, soap, air-dryers work
• Opportunity to feature soaps and lotions
• Not used as storage area
From Common Area
           General Appearance
• Appeal
• Cleanliness of entrance area
• Cleanliness of exterior
           Signage perpendicular to vehicular and foot-traffic flow
           Snapshot view of store selection and ambiance
           Useful Information
• Hours (if different from institution)
• Web address
• Forms of payment
           Window display
• Fresh looking
• Inviting
• Lighting
• Reflection
• Theme
• View into store
Customer Service and Selling
• Pro-active opening line
• 'Best' opening line
        "What part of your experience did you enjoy most?"
           Add-on/suggestive selling
           Answering the telephone
           Assistance for foreign visitors
• Signs in foreign languages
        "We ship anything, anywhere."
           Closing — especially bigger sales
           Empowerment to quickly make things "right"
• One last, positive, friendly comment
           Handling more than one customer at a time
• Acknowledge presence of additional customer
• Flow from one customer to the next
• Suggest things for customer to do
• Tell customer you'll be back
• Pace yourself
• Thank the customer for waiting
           Highlight best sellers
           Highlight new products
           Immediate attention to customer
           Listen to the customer
• Register comments, questions and complaints
           Name tags/"Uniform" identification
           No eating in the store
           Positive attitude and body language
• Hire for attitude, train for skills
           Probe for interests
           Product knowledge
           Properly attired and groomed
• Consistency
           Quickness of the checkout process
           "Thank you" NOT "No problem"
           Truly believe the customer is always right
• Welcome legitimate returns
           Value added
Interior Displays
           Add-on/suggestive ideas
           Best selling
           Emotional match of color and product
• Blue — cool, relaxing (air, water, distance)
• Green — relaxing
• Orange — warm, heat, energy—make food appealing
• Purple — dramatic & rich
• Red — visible and evokes emotion—good for accents
• Yellow — cheerful, vitality—enhances lighting
           New products
           Special/popular exhibits
           Well signed
Layout, Design and Merchandising
Take and study pictures — they provide an accurate visual representation of what the customer 'sees'.
           Aisles clear
           Ambient music
• Play what is sold, sell what is played
           Audio listening station
           Dead spots
• Movement, noise
• Use for non-selling purposes
           Departments preferred over cross merchandising
           Fixture height and merchandising density
Do any fixtures block a significant view of the store? Is the merchandising close to the entry too dense? Take and study pictures — they provide an accurate visual representation of what the customer 'sees'.
           Foot comfort
• Books
• Generally
• Jewelry
           Foot-traffic flow
• Approach to cash wrap
• Draw customers throughout the store
• Facilitate initial movement to the right
• Attraction of first fixture
• Attraction of back wall(s)
           Horizontal surfaces for displays
           Interactive displays
           Lingering encouraged?
• All lights lit
• Ambient
• Enough light
        • Generally
        • Jewelry
        • Service areas
        • Cut glare
        • Reduce window reflection
        • Shining into eyes
• Glassware
• Clutter controlled
• Complimentary products together
• 'Grazing' facilitated for higher priced, higher quality and sophisticated products
• Lower priced — organization is critical
           Quiet zones
• Jewelry
• Books
           Safety issues addressed
           Non-shopper companion entertainment/diversion
• Children
           Vendor supplied fixtures
           Vertical first, then horizontal
           Video viewing station
Product Selection
           Best selling products consistently in stock in season
           Constantly changing selection of new products
           Good selection of higher priced products
           Lush, full, rich, warm, attractive and inviting feeling
           Pricing evaluated for:
• Perceived value
• Higher-priced products
• Sweet spot for the store as a whole
           Surprise once in a while
           Consistency of style (Font type and size, color, graphics)
           All in perfect condition
           Apparel sizes
• Especially for T-shirts and sweatshirts
           Benefits before features
           Book categories
           No negative signage
           Pro-active words
           Product descriptions
• Local interest
• Connection to mission
• Higher priced products
• Special characteristics
• Unknown value
           Provide ideas along with pricing and care information

See the complete list of Profitable Times™ Newsletters.


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