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Monday, January 28, 2008

How To Sell Your Retail Experience

Tommy Lee Will Sell Your House originally uploaded by Glark.

A recent article - How to sell your home - from the UK's Sunday Mirror by Barry Cashin inspired a Carpetology blogpost similarly titled: How To Sell Your Home.

As I read the article, I couldn't help but be struck by the similarities between selling one's home and one's retail experience.

What do you think?

In either case, you want to make a good impression on the prospective buyer.

Even though in one case, the prospective buyer is considering a house and in the other, a product or service within your store, in both cases you want to express a strong sense of Welcome To My Home. The stronger the welcome, the warmer the impression, and the more time the prospective buyer will spend considering what you have to offer. The more time he or she spends, the greater the likelihood that he or she will become an actual buyer...

Here's the advice from Carpetology's How To Sell Your Home, modified for relevance to the retail buying experience.

1. Clean, declutter and neutralize the store. "It... comes down to presentation and whether the buyer can visualize themselves living" with the products you sell. In neutralizing, though, don't create an antiseptic environment. Make sure to showcase ideas, offer possibilities and demonstrate style and fashion.

2. Work on the curb appeal: repaint, fix outside details, add flowers or other shrubs. "Purchasers form strong and immediate impressions about how a [store] looks from the outside, so make sure yours halts them in their tracks."

3. Make the inside warm and welcoming. Make sure that anyone entering your store understands immediately what each area of your store is about.

4. If any hallways seem too dark, add a "strategically placed" mirror. "Carefully positioned, it will add space and maximise the light." Although the article suggests that citrus smells are better than baked goods' smells, if you are offering hospitality within the store, I strongly suggest fresh edibles. Don't forget fresh flowers.

5. Replace old, worn, dirty carpet. "It will lift the appearance" of the store. Add new curtains, clean the carpet and generally brighten up spaces with throws and pillows. Be sure to de-personalize the spaces, but make them welcoming. Don't forget - assuming you are a flooring store - that your floor represents selling space. Use it to showcase magnificent product concepts!
6. In the kitchen and bathrooms, make sure to clean, update, showcase ideas, and generally make these spaces drop-dead gorgeous! If you don't believe how important these spaces are, then check out the Bathroom Blogfest entries.

7. Reposition furniture to optimize for space. Make sure that you have tables and chairs in your store. Don't forget the flowers.

8. Best to ask you pets to stay somewhere else...

Do you agree?

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Mario Vellandi said...

The analogy is good; both atmospheres need to be inviting, because without a compelling reason (truly unique product, lack of competition, low price), there's no reason for return visits.

CB Whittemore said...

Thanks, Mario!

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