When stocking larger products that generally take up a lot of space, it is important to ensure there is good merchant marketing and POS in place as this could be the key to securing sales. Joanne Mitchell, Marketing Manager at WernerCo, discusses how working with suppliers can enable you to make the most of the space you have.
Space is a valuable commodity for all merchants and every supplier is vying for a prime position within the store. It can be a real challenge for merchants to juggle the demands of its partners versus demand for products. The key to return custom, aside from offering excellent customer service, is having the products that your customers want, when they want them.
However, the visual appearance or in-store experience is also important, displaying products in an attractive way that doesn’t appear cluttered.
A report conducted by WernerCo in March 2018 looked into purchasing behaviours, where over 200 Builders and Tradespeople were asked about outlets and sources used when purchasing ladders. Although most would choose to buy from a merchant branch (72%), many said having products in stock and availability determined where they would buy — often above price.
Historically, larger items such as ladders can be hard to display on the shop floor and are often hidden away in the back, especially when space is restricted. However, this is when key sales opportunities can be missed as once products are out of sight, they are often out of mind.
Functional ladder displays have been a key tactic used to help grow the sales of ladders in merchants, but it is an aspect of in-branch marketing that has been relatively untapped before WernerCo introduced its Tactical Display Units (TDU) for its brands.
The TDUs and shop floor rackings were originally proven successful in the USA. Now, further developments have been made to create dynamic POS and marketing collateral to help grow the brand’s presence and better educate the market on which ladders should be used for certain jobs.
The design is beneficial for two reasons. Firstly, it provides safe storage of products and is able to showcase a variety of products within one display. Also, high-quality POS can boost order numbers when used correctly, and variety is key.
The TDUs are compact in size and can allow up to five products to be displayed (depending on the size of the ladders themselves). The Werner or Youngman branded units are 1m wide and designed to be positioned at gondola ends or for neat positioning around the counter. They can even be displayed outside the main entrance.
The TDUs can hold a range of products allowing merchants to offer popular SKUs from different ladder categories such as aluminium and fibreglass ladders, work platforms and extension ladders. Two side mounted POS panels are also supplied with each unit.
The £70 million ladder market presents a huge opportunity for merchants. On average a tradesman owns at least five sets of ladders and when it comes to working at height safely, it isn’t a case of one fits all. Considerations should be made into the type of work being carried out, the time the job will take and any obstacles that may mean certain equipment isn’t suitable.
WernerCo works closely with its merchants to suggest the product groups that would work best for them, and tradespeople are beginning to move away from just buying any ladder but ensuring it is right for the job and fit for purpose. For instance, the trend of fibreglass is continuing to rise and electricians will rarely purchase an aluminium ladder. This is a message that WernerCo has been pushing through its marketing and this has begun to reflect in sales.
Growing sales through in-store marketing support is about more than just POS — it is also about working with sales staff to arm them with the knowledge they need to sell the equipment in the right way. If employees are knowledgeable about a product category, it will translate into sales.
It’s also key to ensure products are readily available and to support the TDU range WernerCo also offers a next day delivery on its ladders, so in the event of merchants not having the right ladder in stock they shouldn’t lose sales due to availability.
The benefits of looking at new ways of displaying stock mean you can provide your customers with more than one option. A one-size-fits-all is no longer suitable for the working at height market and it is crucial that merchants are able to meet the demand and ultimately grow their sales.