Small Products = Big Sales
While much has been made of bundling gear and displaying accessories alongside core products, industry players say the retail houses that move the most peripheral products these days are the ones that do it the old-fashioned way: charming customers into those add-ons located throughout the store and at the counter. As Rachelle Friedman, owner of J&R MUSIC and Computer World in New York City, said, “You keep it close to a salesman so he can take it right off the peg and say, ‘You’re gonna need this.’”
Fine salesmanship—that profitable cocktail of flirtation, persuasive psychology, trust and knowledge—has been overshadowed in recent years by the Internet-educated customer and hot CE products that, in many cases, sold themselves. But in an age when those traffic-driving hot products have the lowest profit margins in the store, CE retail managers across the country are looking to their sales staff to push the one category that consistently keeps retailers in the black: accessories.
Mississippi shoppers, as another example, don’t get out of a Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City branch without a full Southern-hospitality offensive. The 12-store chain’s general manager, Joe Schneeberger, said every customer buying a “core product” is going to automatically hear about two or three accessories from a salesperson who’ll say: “Look, to get the maximum out of this product, you’ll need THIS to fully enjoy it. If you don’t buy it now, you’ll be back later, and I don’t want you to be mad at me when you get home for not suggesting THIS!”