Cross merchandising is tricky business. Overdo it and you’ll confuse your customers as they hunt through your store unable to find what they came for. But when done correctly, cross merchandising simplifies the shopping process for customers and increases sales for the store owner. Read on to learn more about how to effectively cross merchandise in your retail store.
What Is Cross Merchandising?
Cross merchandising is a straightforward process. It is when you place complementary items together to encourage customers to purchase all of them. Usually, you place more obscure add-on items near a popular item that customers purchase frequently. It is important not to overdo cross merchandising or your store will become cluttered and difficult to navigate. Instead, focus on small displays of cross merchandising in areas that increase impact - like end caps or high-traffic parts of your store.
How Cross Merchandising Will Increase Sales
Cross merchandising increases sales in multiple ways. First, it encourages shoppers who are rushing in to purchase a single item to toss a few related items in the cart without spending any extra time finding them. Second, it allows you the opportunity to educate customers on how to use certain items. The biggest benefit of cross merchandising is that you choose which versions of items to place together. By using cross merchandising to promote your highest-margin items, you can increase sales substantially.
Getting Started With Cross Merchandising
Placing salty snacks near the beer or a new salad dressing near the lettuce are examples of ways cross merchandising can turn a single-item run into a multi-item purchase. Cross merchandising can also help customers understand the role of an unfamiliar product. Placing a new display of cookie butter near the apples or an aerosol cream whipper near the heavy whipping cream will help customers understand how to incorporate these items into their lives.
Cross merchandising should always be planned with the customer in mind. If you have lots of campers stopping in for S’mores items, why not create a S’mores display with everything customers need including steel skewers and even firewood? You may even throw in batteries and flashlights or bug spray and sunscreen to encourage customers to purchase items they may have forgotten. You won’t only save them time; you will also increase your sales and profits.
The key to successful cross merchandising is to study customer behavior and create cross merchandising displays that save them time or help them imagine new things in the context of their lives. When cross merchandising is done correctly, it can substantially increase your retail sales. Need help figuring out your store layout or how to maximize your cross merchandising strategy? Let us help!