A new puppy! So what does a new Great Dane puppy need? He needs “just the right” dog food. So off to the new neighborhood store that carries that “just right” dog food.
When we walked in, we were greeted by the owner who offered his assistance. Once we told him what we were looking for and of the course the proud new parents told him about the new puppy, he led us to the brand of dog food we were searching for and then carried our purchase to the cash stand. After paying for our purchase, he thanked us, offered to take our purchase to our car and even gave us a sample bag of treats. In all, it was a very pleasant experience.
Being totally dedicated to retail customer service and the business of retailing, I was a little unnerved by the many missed opportunities to sell or introduce additional items that will be needed.
The number one missed opportunity was not using the information given to him to suggest bowls, treats, toys, care products, etc for a new puppy. When in a small business, especially a specialized retail environment, it is paramount not to miss any chance to sell additional items now or in the near future. Since our puppy is a Great Dane - not a particular common breed in a large city, you should be ready to offer any assistance for helping to find items that are large enough and suitable for the breed. Again, this is very important if you are already dedicated to servicing your customers.
Another opportunity that was missed was creating an inviting and well organized store. Since the store was small and full of different products all in small quantities, I left the store without really knowing what they sold. It was too pushed together to look at and comprehend. If the intent is to carry a wide selection of products and you have space constraints, arrange the products on the shelves to create ‘sections’ for dog, cat, etc and dividing those sections vertically with subsections. One subsection should be of uniformed or similarly shaped items such as dry dog food, then a subsection of items that are not uniform or similar in shape (such as bowls, toys, etc.) and followed by a another section uniformed items such as canned food. This will give your customers recognizable organization while allowing for some visual excitement and cross merchandising.
Importantly, there was no ability to ‘wow’ customers with table or end cap displays. All the fixtures were shelves except the cash stand. By not having anywhere to create displays robs a retailer the opportunity to feature new products, promote sale or clearance merchandise or give the customer the knowledge that the store has a large selection.
No one missed opportunity will cause a business’ demise, but every customer needs to know what you are offering when they leave (great selection and service) so that they will want to come back again & again and better yet, tell their friends and family about this wonderful store they found.
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