Norman Shimwell, National Account Manager at ROYD Tool Group, gives us an insight into utilising your trade countertops for the best ROI, and shares his advice for the perfect countertop seller.
Is the trade counter the best location to increase sales of a product? If so why?
It is one of the most effective ways to increase sales of a product, yes – in fact this increase can be huge. Ultimately, a product placed on a trade counter has been known to increase sales by up to 3 times, and as such has this space comes at a ‘premium’, that is well sought after by brands. By placing products at the point of sale areas, you’re encouraging customers to make impulse buys and trade counters are a prime location for them. When a customer makes an impulse buy, they’re purchasing an item they had no intention on having when they entered the store, so not only does it increase the sales of a particular product, it can increase overall spend too. The perfect time to entice customers is whilst they’re queuing to pay because they’re already committed to making a purchase, therefore are much more easily persuaded to add extra items, particularly if it only accounts for a small amount of their overall spend. According to recent research from Whistl, 91% of Brits admit to making impulse buys each month, making trade counter ‘countertop displays’ a very reliable sales tool.
What’s the ideal number of products to feature on the counter?
The ideal number depends on the size of the counter, but getting a fine balance is crucial. This balance is important because you run the risk of creating an overcrowded and untidy area by trying to feature too many products at once, there’s diminishing marginal returns to the point where you’ve completely lost the impact. On the other hand, you may not fully utilise the space and be missing out on potential sales. Getting the balance right is something you will probably need to test and fine tune until you’re seeing the maximum ROI for the space.
To achieve successful countertop sales, it’s important to keep counters fresh with new products as well as featuring products that fit the pricing ‘sweet spot’. For example, customers aren’t going to be tempted to make an impulse buy on an item that costs more than what they originally intended to buy. Similarly, a product that doesn’t have good perceived value for money isn’t going to appeal to customers.
Should products on the counter be part of a deal or do they perform just as well without?
Promotions encourage customers to buy the product as they fear the price will go up when they come back to it. This creates a sense of urgency and suggests there’s a reason behind the product being featured on the counter. Therefore, products that are on promotion are much more likely to sell and there can be consequences for not following this rule. For example, countertops are a premium space where companies look to receive a significant ROI. If a company gets this wrong, the opportunity cost can be very high which is why it’s so important to give a countertop product the best possible chance of success using a promotion.
Are there certain products that are more successful on the counter than others?
The success is dependent on the right price point, how consumable the product is and the number of customers the product is relevant to. It’s also important the product is well displayed inside a built-for-purpose countertop display unit. Additionally, you’ll want to select a product that’s an impulse buy and is relatively small, effectively a small add-on to their main purchase. For example, a larger or more expensive product probably won’t perform as well because it’s not an impulse buy, if they wanted it they’d have specifically looked for it and are unlikely to make a last minute decision to purchase.
Do products on the counter ‘sell themselves’ or is customer interaction still required?
Self-explanatory products are much more effective on the counter, so are more likely to sell. The reason for this is that products that sell themselves don’t require much explanation to them as customers can quickly understand what it is. Therefore, the ultimate countertop doesn’t require any interaction between the customer and the counter staff, although it would be advantageous to have this too. Featuring stronger brands on the counter also helps to sell the product compared to unknown brands. Simply displaying the company logo prominently and using brand associated colours can often be worth more than taking overly attention-seeking measures. On the other hand, relying solely on the power of the brand for countertop displays may only entice customers who have a loyalty to the brand which may be overlooked by potential new customers. For this reason, selecting products with eye-catching packaging and interactive POS elements, such as videos can help to reinforce the product.
Whilst it’s always beneficial for the counter staff to understand a product, realistically it’s difficult for staff to understand all of the countertop products when the products are constantly changing. But that doesn’t mean a product that isn’t self-explanatory doesn’t work. As countertop products are such key items, counter staff will have an understanding of the product. Nevertheless, you can’t rely on them to have a strong knowledge on every new product that’s added to the trade counter.
Does a clean counter work better than an overcrowded counter?
Generally speaking, the greater variety products you have on the counter the better chance you have on getting an impulse buy. However, there’s a fine line between a full and varied countertop and it turning into storage space. In addition, it’s important to remember that countertops should only be used as a sales point rather than an information point. A common mistake is to waste countertop space with signs and banners which don’t serve much purpose. A good rule of thumb is to display a minimal number of each product on the counter to allow each brand to stand out, avoid stacking many of the same product.
What makes the perfect countertop seller?
TRACER is a fine example of a brand that, with their professional construction markers utilise the countertop space efficiently to achieve the greatest ROI for their customers.
Using a combination of industry leading counter display units and a popular range of products they tick all the boxes for the ‘perfect countertop seller’.
To be specific, TRACER have invested heavily in developing the brand so it’s well recognised, the products are self-explanatory and have wide appeal (everyone uses a pencil) and the product is consumable or requires refills. Furthermore, the price point hits that ‘sweet spot’ of just under £10, the POS units are clear and visible yet use space efficiently, with a product that’s small and easy to pick up as an impulse ‘add-on’ to a main purchase.
To conclude, there’s many key features to think about when creating your countertop display. For that reason, TRACER have created a checklist to having the ‘perfect countertop seller’ to help make a real difference to your sales and increase your customers average spend.
- The product is a known brand
- The product is self-explanatory
- The product has wide appeal
- The product is consumable
- The pricing hits the price/quality ‘sweet spot’
- The POS provides information clearly and is ‘high-impact’
- The counter unit uses space efficiently
- The product is relatively small i.e. would fit inside a shoebox
- The product is an impulse buy and not a considered/expensive purchase