Author: Taylor Walston
It’s important to keep your shop clean, sanitary and comfortable, but it’s just as important to keep your store organized and easy to navigate. The easier your store layout is to follow, the easier it will be for customers to find what they’re looking for. Set up the aisles and shelves in a way that makes sense. For example, consider placing the quivers right beside a shelf with arrows. You also want to display information about lessons and offer last-minute purchase items at your counter so your customer has something to look at throughout the entire shopping experience. And don’t forget to organize your storage space as well, so it’s easy to retrieve items for customers as needed.
Find out which items are best-sellers and which aren't performing as well. Photo Credit: ATA
Where To Start
Maximizing the space in your store layout will open up areas for more inventory. Analyze your sales reports and note which items are selling well and which aren’t. Display the hot-ticket items at the front of the store or on a prominent wall. Consider rotating low-performing inventory around the store to give it more exposure. It’s possible the items are not selling well simply because they have been hard to find. Move them to the front of the store or put them in a special display to make them stand out. Monitor whether the items perform better in these areas. If there’s still no increase in sales, decrease the inventory of the products to open shelf space for new products.
Think about your own shopping experience at your local grocery store. Inventory gets moved around, and the contents of the endcaps change all the time. I’m sure this has happened to you: When you go to pick up an item you buy all the time, you find something else in its place. Even if you don’t buy the new product right away, you’ve become aware of it and might buy it in the future. Use this same strategy in your own shop to get lesser-known products in front of people.
Use your register for additional inventory space and encourage last-minute shopping. Photo credit: ATA
Use Your Register Area and Endcaps
At some point or other, we’ve all made an unplanned, last-minute purchase at the register. So put smaller items (think $10 or less) at or near the counter to encourage customers to add them to their order at checkout. This can be food, magazines, merchandise with your store’s logo or anything that your customers might enjoy.
Place gift certificates and flyers for the store’s lessons, programs and events on the front counter. This will encourage people to learn more about your shop on the way out. Even if they don’t ask about any of these things directly, encourage them to take a flyer. There’s a chance they’ll look it over at home and decide to come back for lessons or something else.
Endcaps are great for displaying new items or products for an upcoming season. For example, consider displaying predator-control or spring turkey hunting products here starting in late January. The front-facing displays could be the first place customers look, especially if they’re looking for the new gear. Rotate inventory quarterly or when a new product that you know will be popular comes in. Refreshing your endcaps based on the time of year will keep your store relevant, and it gives repeat customers something new to look at when they come in.
Don't forget to organize your storage space. You and your employees should be able to easily find inventory. Photo credit: ATA
Don’t Forget Your Storage Space
Organizing your storeroom is equally important for an efficient store. You should be able to walk into it and immediately find what you’re looking for. If it’s difficult to sort through, or you find yourself constantly looking in the wrong sections, it’s time to reorganize. Create a filing system that works for you. Maybe alphabetize, organize by product type or sort by brand name. Whatever the setup, it should be easy to use and easy to explain to an employee.
If you organize your store effectively, you’ll have a better chance of selling products. Your store layout should lead customers from one product to another, in the order they would likely look at the products. Place arrows next to quivers or mechanical releases next to compound bows. You want your customers to learn about the accessories that are designed for their type of bow, so those should all be in the same section of the store. Your goal is to encourage customers to look at all of your inventory, not just what they came in to buy. A simple layout change could make all the difference in your customer experience — and your sales.
Questions? Contact Nicole Nash, ATA’s range and retail program manager, at (866) 266-2776, ext. 116, or email@example.com.