Organising your construction materials store is by no means a minor detail. While good stockroom organisation increases the speed with which products can be moved about and boosts economic efficiency, it is the job of the display area and signage in your store to work as an advertisement for your business and stimulate sales.
Do your customers head straight for the counter when they come into the store to ask you for an item that is right under their nose? Do your co-workers keep having to go and fetch products from the shelves? Do you flick through dozens of catalogues and brochures behind the counter – most of which you don’t even know are still valid or not – in an attempt to provide information to customers? If so, then something needs to change.
With little changings, you can increase sales of the items you have on display, provide information on specialist products and leave your staff free to give advice, deal with customer service and manage orders. Check out our list of the tips and tricks you can apply to ensure you never miss out on business again.
The rules of retail sales
There are a number of general rules to follow when it comes to selling to the public, regardless of the product or type of goods in question. If you’ve not done so already, you can definitely adopt these in your store.
Promote your products
Generally speaking, in order to sell you need to be a good promoter and know your products, the entire product line and the category to which they belong like the back of your hand. It’s vital that you have an understanding of multiple brands in order to be able to resolve customer requests and recommend the most suitable item.
How can you avoid spending hours explaining a product?
Get producers to supply you with up-to-date information, supporting material and display resources so that you can create a mini-display with products from a particular brand. Specify which products are available to buy now and which can be ordered by request (and if you have an agreement with the producer, you’ll be able to indicate standard delivery times too).
While your customers browse the shelves or wait to be served, let them use the time to glean information, by themselves, about other construction products which they may need in the future.
Organising a display
It can be confusing for customers when there are too many goods displayed in haphazard fashion. It certainly doesn’t help you to sell more. The space on your shop floor is not an extension of your storeroom. Instead, it should be a showroom for the product lines you stock and serve as a silent salesperson.
Best practices for displaying goods:
Organise your displays by goods categories.
Create a special area for products on offer (such as “Promotion Corner”, “Everything at €XX” or “Construction Outlet”), especially if you’re running promotions or advertising campaigns.
Position one product only near to the till, ensuring that the price is no higher than €10, and try to rotate this item regularly. Do not choose products that don’t sell well.
On the shelves, position top-selling products at eye level.
Don’t place obstacles in the way of your customers when they’re browsing the shelves.
Create temporary or seasonal display areas featuring a range of related products.
Clearly display any information with sales conditions or rules about entering the store (and don’t write these by hand).
Place your best-selling products closest to the entrance.
And above all…
Always display prices
The products on display in your construction store should sell themselves, almost without the help of your staff. Therefore, as well as being clearly identifiable, the products need to have their prices extremely visible, particularly if there are any promotions running. Price is one of the main criteria involved in choosing a product – let the customer decide on whether a product is good value or not and have them come and ask you the difference between one item or another instead. It's when you can make the difference without cutting your profit.
Sell the benefits
Customers who visit your store know (or, rather, think they know) what they want to buy. All they need is confirmation that they are choosing well. But they might not be aware of more suitable alternatives for the job at hand. That's where you step in.
Create a hospitality area
Finally, ensure that your store is welcoming and comfortable (heat it in the winter, keep it cool in the summer). Create corners where you can offer drinks and snacks and – why not? – if you have the space, incorporate an area with seating where you can entertain customers and industry professionals. There’s no better way to seal a deal and/or celebrate an agreement!
A good salesperson is one who knows how to offer value to the customer. And, when the time is right, they are able to offer additional products in order to increase the overall value of the sale.
You might miss out on important sales opportunities if your conversations with customers always start with “how much does it cost?” or if people leave without buying simply because they can’t find what they want.