To increase the profitability of a shelf in the DIY section, initially, two factors must be managed and, if necessary, both must be combined.
The first factor is experience, the experience that a customer can’t get anywhere else, an experience that needs to be felt to be believed.
The second factor is active listening: listening to the voice of experience, to the professionals, like REI where we have more than 30 years experience with implementing solutions in establishments in the DIY and hardware sector.
The combination of the two: being experienced and being active in listening, is, without a doubt the masterstroke to progressively increase the profitability of a DIY shelf and to consolidate brand, reputation and profits.
There is no longer any doubt, it is time to observe and listen to the voice of experience. What have others done that made it work so well for them? What steps have you taken to experience this progressive business growth?
Experience tells us clearly that knowing the consumer is the starting point when implementing a strategy to increase the profitability of shelves, and not vice versa. It is not a good idea to be guided by different criteria of strategy and tactics, the distribution has to be tuned like the best of orchestras.
And not only is there a single type of customer that you’ll come across, there is no prototype DIY store or hardware store customer, experience shows that too. All roads lead to Rome, yes, but for different reasons and with different objectives.
We have professional customers and also customers who like DIY as a hobby and are working towards getting a PhD in DIY. Then there are the customers who feel no special affinity with DIY but like to get by on their own, these situations are fertile ground, you just need to sow.
Nor should we take into account surprise customers, those who go in for a light bulb and then get stuck on the furniture handle shelf and, of course, don't forget, the curious customers who are just there as company and end up buying a complete kit of decorative bathroom fittings because they just have to try them out.
In short, knowing the customers, that's what matters, and the shelves have to be thought out, designed and distributed for them, for all of them.
And the store spaces, too.
What do these customers have in common? Basically, they’re all human and, because of that, we know they’re going to come into contact with the products. One of the mostimportant points is the location of each product in the various bands or levels is important for increasing the profitability of a shelf. There are four specific levels:
- Upper level. It is above the customer's head and not easily accessible so that is where the most demanded products must be, those that will definitely be sold.
- Eye level. Love at first sight, attractive products and well-known brands will find their place here.
- Hand level. This is the most accessible level, the products displayed on this shelf are sure to sell. It is a good idea to place products here that are more profitable in terms of sales volume and profit margin.
- Lower level. This is the level where the most voluminous products should be stored - avoiding accidents is also part of the commercial strategy - it should also be a bit of a mixed bag, an unparalleled attraction for those are tempted by the different, almost discontinued, unique items. Although, in reality, these are products from previous collections that have become special objects due to their vintage look or, simply, because they are not available to all consumers on the other levels of the shelves.
And how do you get customers to come to those shelves? This is also part of the strategy to increase the profitability of a shelf. It is true that all roads lead to Rome but if they are lit up and the customers are accompanied, they will get there earlier, less tired and with greater expectations.
A do-it-yourself store is, for the sales managers, a treasure trove, or rather, several treasure troves, and experience is what dictates where the treasures should be located and how to help clients, to help everyone, find what they’re looking for while offering the possibility of potentially stumbling across something that they weren’t looking for.
For this reason, DIY stores have different areas that are perfectly designed, so that customers can walk through the space and find what they are looking for in the Warm Zone; and so that they can discover what catches them by surprise, what they simply can't resist in the Cold Zone. Furthermore, they will also be surprised with products, which the sales manager probably wants to sell, made by well-known brands which are prey to impulse buying in the Hot Zone.
Knowing the spaces in the DIY store properly and stocking the shelves appropriately are the two basic strategies for making the most of the shelves in a DIY store as profitable as possible.
Here's the theory.
Really knowing the traffic flow of the customers in the store and their preferences; accompanying them during their stay, making it as comfortable as possible, and meeting their objective needs, is the first step in achieving the first level of a commercial strategy.
Guiding them to explore new territories, for example with DIY products, is climbing one more step on the ladder.
Making them have a good time and surprise them by offering products that can promote changes in their lives or inspire them to imagine renovations of spaces or complete transformations of their homes, is the definitive turn of the screw.
Achieving all three is the demonstration of the mastery of the commercial strategy to increase the profitability of a DIY store shelf. If you’ve tried it, you know about it.