3 steps to avoid “Consignment Tunnel Vision”

May 15, 2015

Is your business suffering from Consignment Tunnel Vision?

In an article by Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender, national speakers in retail circles, the importance of avoiding “Retailer Tunnel Vision” (which in our case would be “Consignment Tunnel Vision”) couldn’t be stressed enough. Consignment Tunnel Vision happens when a shop owner gets so involved in the day-to-day of running a business that they miss the things a customer might see.

Of course you’re proud of all you’ve accomplished. Of course your niece, Brittany, did an incredible job with the front window and your cousin LouAnn is the best merchandiser you know. But have you really stepped back and looked at your shop through your shopper’s eyes? Kizer and Bender refer to this as “Visual Merchandising.” Let’s run through a list of things you can do.

1.) Walk your store as a customer

Okay, so the first one is pretty obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of shop owners who don’t take that time on a regular basis.

  • Walk the aisles  Is there an opportunity to cross-merchandise that you’re missing? Showing your customers how to mix and match clothing or create a beautiful furniture scenario is your best opportunity to make more sales.
  • Push a stroller  Especially if you’re a children’s shop, push a stroller through the aisles. Is it easy to maneuver?
  • Check for the “butt-brush” effect  Shoppers, especially women, do not like to be brushed or touched from behind. They will move away from a product they are interested in if they feel they will brush up against something (or someone) else in the aisle. Make sure your aisles are wide enough.

2.) Make a purchase

Have you ever really shopped at your store?cluttered check out counter

  • What does the checkout counter look like? Cluttered? Clean? The sales process should be professional all the way to the end.
  • Are the cashiers friendly? You may have to enlist a “mystery shopper” to discover this. Invite a friend or family member to give you their honest opinion of the process.
  • Are there opportunities for impulse buys? This is key for making those last minute purchases that a shopper may have forgotten.
  • Is there enough room on the counter?  There is nothing worse than being a shopping mom and having no where to lay your keys, phone and purse while holding onto a child and making a purchase.
  • The wall behind checkout is prime real estate  Notice the wall behind the checkout counter. Are there items you might like to purchase?

3.) View your shop from the outside   

Pick up your keys; get in your car and drive around the block. When you pull up to your shop, what is the first thing you notice?

  • From the parking lot   How does it look from the parking lot? Is there too much signage or not enough?
  • From the front window  Take a close look at your display windows. Are they clean? Free of dead flies? Make sure your front window is attractive and gives a true picture of what’s inside.
  • From the front door   Open the front door. What is the first thing you notice?

If you enjoyed reading this, you will also enjoy “Avoid the “butt-brush effect.”




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