The holidays are a peak sales time for many businesses. After all, nothing encourages a shopping spirit like festive decorations and attractive seasonal displays. With strategic product placement, though, even products and services offered throughout the year can become more noticeable and appealing to holiday shoppers – which opens the door to a host of new marketing opportunities.
Product placement is especially important during the holiday season, when consumers are unusually busy juggling work, family gatherings, and shopping. I recently stopped to check out a collection of rare books at a local store that several friends had recommended. Though the books were neatly stored on shelves, however, they hadn’t been organized in any way whatsoever. I found harlequin romance novels next to self-help books, and clusters of titles by the same author in three or four different locations. To search, I would have had to skim every single title, on every bookcase – something I didn’t have the time or the energy to do that day – so I walked away without making a purchase.
With so much holiday sales activity depending on impulse buying, product placement plays a big role in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Presenting your offering in a way that’s both logical and irresistible to customers means they’ll be more likely to expand their purchase. If, on the other hand, consumers can’t find what they want without a lot of effort, they’re likely to walk away without a second glance – even without bothering to ask a sales rep for help.
With the large, diverse selection of books at this store, and their great prices, I could have taken home two or three paperbacks, but they didn’t make the sales process easy for me. Even organizing the books a little would have helped – and by tossing in some cross-department promotions (“Hooked on Harry Potter? Check out our children’s DVDs and toys!”) with a few accessories at the checkout (“Don’t forget your bookmark!”), the store could have encouraged more sales and gotten greater publicity for their other offerings. As it is, though, by not taking product placement into account, they missed out on a great marketing opportunity.
To create a productive consumer experience, consider some key points:
- Does your product placement make sense for your customers’ needs? It may take extra time and manpower to organize products in the most appealing way for shoppers, but it takes shoppers no time to get frustrated and walk out without purchasing a thing.
- Can customers find what they need easily and conveniently – without assistance? If you’re busy during the holiday season, remember: your customers are, too. The more quickly and easily they can pick out what they want, the more likely they’ll be to buy, and the more receptive they’ll be to suggestions for other purchases.
- How motivated are customers to explore other products you offer? Once customers locate what they need, are they aware of special promotions, gift packages, or other incentives to make additional purchases?
The right holiday product placement can make the difference between a successful sale and a disengaged shopper. Make sure your presentation not only attracts customers, but also encourages them to explore more of what you have to offer.