Connecting with electrical shoppers

Jan. 1, 2020
Merchandising electrical products in an automotive parts store can be a challenging task. However, there are some ?silent salesman? techniques that can help you connect with electrical consumers. As more and more consumers decide to do their simple e

Merchandising electrical products in an automotive parts store can be a challenging task. Each new model year brings different and often more complicated electrical systems and components. It keeps getting trickier and trickier to merchandise them effectively, especially in a self-service environment.

There are some “silent salesman” techniques that can help you connect with electrical consumers. As more and more consumers decide to do their simple electrical repairs on their own, they’ll look to your stores for help.

Manufacturer-provided displays: Many electrical manufacturers are providing well-organized spinners or end-of-aisle displays to house their items. These come complete with planograms to ensure their products are easily found. Bright graphics and clear signs also help these displays stand out in the store. Related items are often positioned next to one another to spur multiple sales. Research reveals that related items displayed side-by-side increase sales by 170 percent over a non connected presentation.

Point-of-purchase displays: Since electrical products tend to be scattered throughout the store –– trailer items in one area, bulbs in another, and items that require assistance behind the counter — shoppers need to rely on point-of-purchase materials to direct them to the area they need. Shelf talkers, when used properly, can boost sales by 125 percent. Point-of-purchase materials also help shoppers understand the difference between one electrical product, such as a wiring kit, over another. Header signs also help organize the department.

Reshuffle the department locales: Although this could be a large task, it might be the time to begin using a merchandising strategy that locates all electrical needs in one master department complete with large signs. With category management principles now being integrated into aftermarket retailing, this mini-store or store-within-a-store initiative could be the next step to increased profits. Any shopper looking for anything electrical could go to one area versus several different areas within the store. Although a radical departure from older layouts, the revamping makes for a more consumer friendly experience.

Endcaps: Seasonal items often are selected for end-of-aisle displays. However, electrical products such as work lights, can be good ideas for these displays. Customers in need of a quick replacement for an electrical product appreciate finding them with ease on endcaps. You can also create an entire lighting selection on an endcap. For seasonal promotions, gear up in the summer for camping with a special trailer electrical accessory end cap. Learn about local spending habits to help determine the mix. For example, a larger display of halogen lamps in upscale areas may be appropriate.

Windows: Too often, merchants overlook the age-old sales tool of windows. Customers driving or walking by may notice your selection of electrical products and remember to frequent your store the next time they need an item.

Housekeeping: Electrical, with hundreds of tiny blister cards, can get unruly. Take time to dust off and straighten the department up. It’s important to “front” (pull to the front) all pegged items. And, try to have things in stock since shoppers will quickly exit and go to another store if they don’t find the brand or stock-keeping item desired.

Carrying a wide selection of brands, without duplication: This is a category that is often brand driven so carrying the right brands is paramount. However, while two or three major brands, plus a private label, are important, you should avoid undue SKU duplication. Use product movement data to weed out slow movers. With some SKU’s moving fast and others slower, category management is critical in electrical.

Education: Your counterpeople should be familiar with all electrical items sold. That may sound easy, but keep in mind the many changes there are in products each year and you’ll realize the importance of boning up on what is new. Encourage your counterpeople to ask customers about the use of the product to build add-on sales and to boost customer comfort levels.

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