During Piscine Global Europe 2018, Retail Division Manager Flore Huguet led a conference on the ways to boost sales in pool stores and pool showrooms through better organization. Pool professionals all have an interest in improving turnover. Below is a list of the main points!
Before fitting out your pool store or pool showroom
Initially, define what you are as a brand. This implies setting your own needs and objectives and understanding those of your customers as well as their typologies, their expectations and their decision-making processes.
You must then set your budget limits, including design fees which can cost anywhere between €15,000 and €100,000 and implementation that can cost from €100 to €2,000 per square meter.
And there is a time factor too! Implementation usually takes a whole year! Design agencies often take between 3 to 6 months to produce the project and execution can take at least 5 weeks, so accept this lead time and don’t get too impatient.
Create an attractive environment
What you are doing is setting the scene for your pool store and your pool products to encourage customers to finalize their purchases! Store designs must be 5 things:
- Surprising, to stand out from your competitors.
- Exceptional, to project your customer into an ideal environment.
- Bond forging, to convert your customers into ambassadors for your store or showroom.
- Brand promoting, to build your identity.
- Sense stimulating, to create a unique experience.
Remember that the first contact with customers is the outside of your store. The signs, frontage and window must be in good taste!
The interior design must focus on 4 elements:
- The architectural concept: this expresses the pool professional’s DNA through the choice of materials and colors as well as the furniture, fittings and the outfit of your staff.
- Lighting: it can be general or indirect and vary according to the time of day and highlight pool products or product categories with spot lighting.
- The olfactive and sound environment: beware of excessive scents and intrusive music! The objective is to give your customers a unique experience and not to irritate them.
- Points of stimulation: these highlight a pool product or a service by creating a visual rupture through a specific decoration. This is a dramatic and dramatized area — for example, using a virtual reality helmet to visualize a pool catalog.
Basic pool store layout rules
To create an effective and relevant pool store layout, you have to organize your store or showroom into zones so that customers walk through the products range by range and shelf by shelf.
Store layout and circuits
Instinctively, a customer who pushes the door of a pool store or a pool showroom will direct himself to the right, except if he meets an obstacle. He then circulates in three distinct areas to take into account during installation:
- the hot zone: most customers go there automatically and effortlessly.
- the intermediate zone: easily accessible, but far away from the main traffic.
- the cold zone: difficult to access. Customers must make the effort to get there.
Work around these zones to organize the pool products in three categories:
- impulse purchases: put products that were not the original reason for coming into the store or showroom in the hot area.
- considered purchases: put products that meet a predetermined need, but for which the choice will only be finalized in the store section in the intermediate area.
- obligatory products: put products that meet a predetermined need and for which the purchase decision is known in advance in the cold zone.
Unless part of your corporate strategic plan, each “universe” must pay its rent — i.e. the percentage of turnover generated by a product category must be equal to the percentage of space occupied by this category in-store.
Structure the offer vertically and horizontally
When in front of the shelving, customers scan products visually from left to right and slow this scan in the middle. Impulse purchase products should thus be positioned on the left, considered products in the middle, and obligatory products at the end of the scan.
Put the pool products you want to be seen most i.e. products profiting from promotions and innovations at eye level. The products most in demand must be at hand level, and the lowest levels are dedicated to products less in demand or bulky.
Point of sale communications
POS communications are vital! We list below the different kinds of messages pool professionals should use:
- Signposting supports the store layout. It guides customer towards a pool store or pool showroom zone (directional signposting) or towards a specific pool product (segmentation signposting).
- POS (Point of Sale) advertising that generates impulse purchases. Choose a high impact message readable in a few seconds.
- Information at the point of purchase (IPP) to help customers make their choice. Position it at hand level. You can use more words than in the POS advertising. This is in addition to the part played by floor personnel.
- Store dramatizing tools draw attention by highlighting a pool product, creating additional purchase opportunities.
Read also: How can you create a year-round offering?
The whole interest in developing a pool store or pool showroom layout concept is to create emotions in the consumer and thus build a durable relationship with you, the pool professional. To do that, you have to eliminate all negative experiences, starting with queue management as waiting around irritates everyone!
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