Are your products selling well? Are you still tripping over product that has dust on it? Bear in mind the image that slow-moving or unsold products can create in the minds of a customer. Finding dust on items tells the customer the product has been there for some time and may be outdated. Seeing the same display month in and month out suggests to the customer that the product is stale and not very popular. So how can you ensure that you stock the best-selling products for your consumers? Here is a simple guide to help you find and get the best-selling products for your store:
How to find the best selling products: The first step is to identify what are the top selling products for your customer and this will vary based on seasons, economy and product popularity. Internet research is the quickest way to find the hottest new products out there and DIYWeek.net is a good resource for trending “Do-It-Yourself” products. You can also browse through online chain stores in your area to see what they are offering and for how much.
Another tool you can use is “secret shopping”. Send an employee to “shop” your competitors’ stores to see what are they are stocking and to see what people are buying. Have them look around the department they are the most knowledgeable about and ensure they make notes (a lot of people shop around and carry notebooks or even use their smartphones to write down prices and to make comparisons, so nobody will think twice about it).
The best resource you could possibly have is your own customers! This is sometimes the most overlooked resource in meeting your customers’ needs. Simply ask your customers what they are looking for, whether they found everything they needed and what they would like you to carry in the future. You can also install a Suggestion Box for customers with an easy form they can fill out and submit. Make the Suggestion Box prominent and easy to find and provide a pre-printed form & pen to help maximize feedback. You can help encourage participation by integrating a specialized promotion, such as “If we use your suggestion, you will receive a FREE tool”.
Where to find the best-selling products: Now that you have identified the best products to carry, the next step is finding out where the best place is to get them. Many store-owners think that the cheapest way is to “buy direct” from an overseas supplier. However, that is not true is most cases. Overseas suppliers require that items to be purchased in large quantities – quantities that are so large that it may take so long for you to sell them that you can’t keep up with the “latest and greatest” products. Retail store owners usually can’t justify buying from overseas vendors vs. buying from U.S. Distributors especially when they factor in the costs of customs fees, shipping costs, delivery delays and other factors that make buying overseas more costly and troublesome
Once you have determined the products you want to carry, you need to find a stable distributor. Again, the web is a great way to find distributors, but keep in mind where they are located, whether they offer discounts on shipping and if they have online purchasing options. You can also consider buying from local distributors of that product in order to reduce your expenses even more by eliminating shipping costs. Whether you decide to buy from someone in your area, across the country or on the other side of the globe, make sure the vendor has a good reputation and that they can get you the latest products consistently. Check out their Social Media pages (such as Twitter, Facebook or Linked In) to see if they have a presence, to see if they offer more than just products (they may offer things like sales tools, specialized customer service, special deals, etc.) and to see what others are saying about them.
The bottom line is this, in order to find and carry the best-selling products for your customers; you have to do research, research, research. The key to a successful retail store is making sure that your products don’t get stale and end up in a “bargain bin” that will eventually cost you more than what they’re worth. Customers want what is hot right now, they want “Today’s News” not “Yesterday’s News” so keeping up with the latest trends is the best way to keep your customers coming back for more.
If you like this info, you’ll really like this “Top 5 Strategies for Retail Store Growth in Difficult Economic Times”.
About the author; Elias Amash is the President of GRIPOnTools.net. Located just south of Grand Rapids, Michigan, GRIP features a 200,000 sq. ft. state of the art warehouse facility including a 2,000 sq. ft. product showroom. GRIP carries a product line of over 1,500 specialty hand tools, household items, automotive, air tools, wood working, and general merchandise. With its proven track record of excellence in supplying retail hardware clients with innovative products, timely fulfillment, and world class customer support, the ideal solution to your tool needs in Grip-On-Tools.