Beauty Store Business

JUN 2017

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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60 June 2017 | But society evolves, as do habits and technology. Today's retailers must capture a shopper's eye in just a sliver of time due to abbreviated attention spans and the multitude of competition on the market. But there's good news for beauty suppliers. Recent surveys (see Impulse Buying Stats, right) show that brick-and-mortar stores have a big edge over e-retailers in this arena. An on-screen image still can't compete with the view, scent and touch-ability of the real thing, nor can it impact the shopping experience like stores can. Here, retail experts share the best merchandising techniques for making the most of the buying impulse. PUSH THE RIGHT BUTTONS. Fran- cesca Nicasio, retail expert at Vend, says impulse buys tend to involve one, two or all three consumer "buttons": 1) urgency, 2) value and 3) excitement or novelty. Urgency might be communi- cated by limited-time offers, such as a bin of merchandise bearing a large "$5 Today Only" sign; value is often hawked via BOGO-type offers. And if an item is interesting or novel enough, you don't even have to offer a deal. "If you have new and original items in your store that are handy and low-cost, consider testing them out as impulse buys to see how customers react," Nicasio suggests. OPTIMIZE PRODUCT PLACEMENT. "Shoppers naturally will turn right when walking into a retail store, so put your most-shopped items on the right side," says Carol Phillips, beauty industry sales expert, author, speaker and CEO/founder of Beautee Smarts. But don't use your major merchandising shelves to create excitement and movement—save that for your displays. "If your store is mostly self-serve, create an impulse area of the items that salon pros urgently need but are most likely to forget, such as gloves, wax strips, hair clips and disposable makeup applicators," Phillips advises. There's no question that placing items near the cash register is a fantastic way to attract customers' attention as they're waiting to pay—they can't help but gaze at the items positioned within easy reach for picking up and dropping into a shopping cart. The key is choosing the right merchandise, experts emphasize. Slow-selling items aren't going to sud- denly become popular because they're near the checkout line. "Many beauty stores use their ultra-valuable checkout space for items that are dead, dirty and discounted, which is a big mistake," notes Phillips, who lauds Starbucks for savvy use of its point-of-purchase area. "The consumer checks out with a fancy $4 or $5 coffee and at the same counter are the $4.95 Starbucks mints to get rid of coffee breath, which literally doubles the sale," she says. Along with the proven success of stacking items near checkout to encour- age impulse buys, consider additional placement strategies to boost sales. suggests arranging retail shelves with core products paired with small, complementary items. In a beauty store, for instance, you might place wide-toothed combs or picks alongside perm products. CHOOSE TRIGGER ITEMS. Even a speed shopper is susceptible to items that are eye-catching, aromatic or soft to the touch, especially when displayed to opti- mize those attributes. Phillips says that female shoppers, in particular, respond positively to the appealing use of color, lighting and mirrors to feature items. As for price, the average shopper doesn't agonize over whether to plop down another $5 on some especially fra- grant body lotion or unique, handcrafted hair ornament. This goes double if that item is spotted toward the end of the shopping expedition. Here, behavioral psychology writer/researcher James Clear cites "decision fatigue." He says, "The basic idea is that your willpower is like a muscle. Like any muscle, it becomes fatigued with use . . . By the time you get to the checkout counter, the number of choices about what to buy and what not to buy has drained your willpower enough that you give in and make an impulse purchase." A simple trip to the supermarket is all the evidence you need. "They don't put Scientific American at the checkout for a reason," says Brad Klontz, cofounder of the Financial Psychology Institute and associate professor of economics and finance at Creighton University. "They place candy there, and magazines like The National Enquirer. Those things are more likely to elicit emotions." PROMOTE AND DIRECT. A strong promotional strategy can drive impulse purchases, and that includes plenty of signage bearing evocative buzzwords. Phillips recommends creating a "New to Our Store" display, table or rack that ultimately "trains" shoppers to look there every time they visit. "This works extremely well for all right-brained shoppers who emotionally and physically react to the word 'new,'" she says. Phillips also sug- gests that stores adopt monthly themes they can promote and "layer in" with their retail partners. "For example, in February the theme could be 'love,' which easily folds into 'products we love,'" she explains. You might very well ask, "Well, is all of this worth it? How much difference will impulse buys really make to my store's bottom line?" The answer ulti- mately depends on your store's average ticket, and many retailers say the strat- egy is a key revenue booster. Recently, amid concerns of slowing sales and shorter dwell time at checkout lines, marketers at Hershey Co. implemented a renewed effort to boost the company's impulse buys. They even experimented with a "store within a store" concept to replace the conventional candy aisle at the supermarket. It's all just a matter of keeping up with the times, but human nature remains constant: We'll always give in to sweet temptation. ■ Linda Kossoff is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and former executive editor of DAYSPA magazine. "Many beauty stores use their ultra-valuable checkout space for items that are dead, dirty and discounted, which is a big mistake." —Carol Phillips, CEO/founder, Beautee Smarts IMPULSE BUYING STATS A 2016 random sample survey of 1,003 American adults conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International and commissioned by showed that 5 of every 6 participants claimed to have made impulse buys, with 54 percent of these shoppers having spent $100 or more on such a purchase. The poll also found: • Nearly 8 in 10 impulse buyers made most of their impulse purchases in a store, which experts attribute to the compelling draw of tangible items opposed to online pictures. • 61 percent of consumers ages 18 to 29 bought impulsively for themselves, whereas those ages 30 to 49 were more likely to impulse buy for a child. • 20 percent of seniors say they have never made an impulse purchase. • One-third of consumers who make more than $75,000 a year have made an impulse purchase of $1,000 or more.

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