One week into April and we’re already all-too-familiar with its glorious showers. April showers are something retailers don’t take enough advantage of. Browsing shoppers since the dawn of stalls have been falling victim to the hormonal weather spurts that encompass Spring around Ireland and the UK.
You’ve probably experienced the scenario today like the rest of us; sun shining, refreshing breeze so you decide to leave the jacket at the door and go for a stroll. Ten minutes later, you’re Usain Bolt’ing it into the nearest shop for refuge, waiting for the rainbow to emerge apologetically for ruining your hair.
But how do customers behave in the store that harbours them?
It was on my own panic-filled sprint through town that I took shelter in the nearest store, which happened to be a clothing retailer. Looking around, roughly 10 or 12 very flustered people had also chosen this store as their safe haven. Conscious of everyone, including myself, fearful of being told to leave the doorway, I decided to observe our behaviour.
Three people waited by the door, shamelessly refusing point blank to venture beyond this area at all. A couple of stragglers began browsing the shop floor while they waited, whether it was out of genuine interest or curtosy it was hard to tell. One person graciously purchased a sweets from the til point. I hovered around with what was perceived as a staring problem.
5 minutes later, the shower ceased and everyone casually strolled back out to go about their business.
I found myself thinking, with April being a usually slow shopping period, what could this store have done to make extra sales during these bursts of footfall?
Three things came to mind.
1. Shift Customers From The Entrance
It may seem like a relatively insignificant move, but moving customers from your door can have a high impact on making sales (if done politely of course). By respectfully asking customers to refrain from blocking the door it forces them to browse the store and pass many products that could tickle their fancy.
Perhaps they’ll be enticed by the food counter or try on a jacket that catches their eye while waiting for the shower to stop? Every little helps…
Crowding the door can also drive genuine customers away as it could look too hectic so there’s more than one reason to give them that gentle little nudge or chase with a brush.
2. Stock Up On Some Rain Gear
The reason most shoppers will ambush your store mid-April showers is because they are lacking in protective wear. Umbrellas are a golden selling point at this time which could also lead to other impulsive buys. They’re possibly the most versatile product on the planet so they can be stocked by any retailer; convenience stores, clothing stores, shopping malls, supermarkets or whatever your business may be – everyone searches for them in their place of refuge.
Rain jackets are another sure cert in this light shower season. This is ideal for clothing retailers as they’re probably already in-store for the season, so have them tactfully stocked to greet saturated customers on entry.
Rain jackets mightn’t be as feasible for Supermarkets and convenience stores, but they could certainly stock some compact, inexpensive jacket-in-a-bag variations. Festival season will be upon us in another couple of months so there’s plenty of selling opportunities.
3. Money Makers to the Front
I’m sure there’s no need for elaboration here; best sellers, impulse buys, sweet treats, bargain bins, flashy gadgets or any significant eye-catchers should be up front where the dawdlers do the dawdling; you’ll have customers scrambling for their saturated wallets in no time.
There you have it, three simple ways to brighten up your April showers in-store!
Categorised in: Marketing for Business