Strategizing the last three feet of retail executionOctober 16, 2013 By Nancy Klosek
It’s where everyone making a purchase absolutely has to stop before exiting the store.That forced pause affords CE and appliance dealers a final, ready-made opportunity to engage, present and even cajole an extra question or two about a product from a paying customer who’s already on the hook. And if that area is merchandised just right, time spent by a customer there can lead to some of the highest ticket and highest margin sales in the store.
At appliance and electronics retailer Schaefer’s, Lincoln, Neb., the design of the checkout counter - an octagon with 45-degree nooks where registers alternate with glass showcases - lends itself to the display of small items like dishwasher detergents and refrigerator filters.
“It’s little add-ons that we never used to sell. We used to just turn that business away to the grocery stores,” Steve Kleinschmidt, Schaefer’s electronics buyer, said.
“Are we killin’ with that stuff? Not really, but it keeps them coming back to us on a regular basis, and they might say, ‘Oh, there’s a new TV that’s interesting…’ So it’s more about footsteps on those small items, and getting them back in frequently.”
Not far from the checkout counter is a full-blown Monster cable and accessories room and a DirecTV display. “Opposite that, we feature the ‘latest thing,’ like Ultra HD TV, to grab their attention,” Kleinschmidt said.
In the glass showcases are items that make up a full solution, such as wireless HDMI transmitters, for when questions about hooking a laptop up to a TV without a computer input arise. Schaefer’s also displays high-ticket remote controls in those cases.
“Of course, remotes are very important to our bottom line. But what showing expensive ones up front says to customers is, ‘We believe in this category; you should consider it and ask questions about it while you’re waiting,’” he said
Displaying pricey remotes at checkout also flies in the face of the notion that counter-area items need to be cheap.
“We don’t find that needs to be the case,” Kleinschmidt said, noting that having them near checkout “brings up the conversation, ‘Wow! That’s a $1,500 remote control. What does that thing do?’ Then you explain, and maybe you’ll sell a $250 one just because the conversation got brought up, and not a $19 one.”