Archive for July, 2010

Creating a Store of Ambiance

Starbucks has taken the no-frills coffee industry and turned it into a multibillion dollar frills business. How did they accomplish this? In my opinion a key component is the ambiance they have created.

I hate to admit it, but I am one of the Starbuck’s addicts that visits every day, not necessarily because I am a caffeine addict, needing a pick-me-up each and every morning, but I have learned a deeper rooted cause. Realizing the expense of my habit, I decided to buy the fixings from Starbucks to create my own signature beverage at home for me to enjoy without the expense and the travel time – I lasted all of two days. Why, if my drink tasted exactly the same, did I return to my old habits of visiting the store?

Upon delving into my troubled self, I discovered I enjoy Starbucks because of the ambiance. I feel a connection and a sense of belonging each time I walk into the store and order my very own customized drink that the barista has made just for me. I love the soft tone of the Indie-style music, the grinding sound of the espresso machine, the soft earth wall colors, dim lighting and even the uncomfortable chairs and smaller than average table! Starbucks has done a fantastic job of making coffee an experience and an opportunity to remove the customer from the daily grind (no pun intended). Wouldn’t you love to provide your customer with this same experience at your store?

The takeaway from Starbucks – how can you create this ambiance in your store?

  • Provide free dog treats for everyone. This is an inexpensive way to drive traffic to your store. Even if they do not purchase something today, you can be sure next time they are in need of the newest and greatest your store will be top of their mind.
  • Water Bowls placed in front of your store. Thirsty dogs will force the owners to stop and take a look around
  • Make customers feel appreciated, create a “dog testers” wall of fame featuring their pets!
  • Host dog meet and greets. People who own dogs are usually very social, offer opportunities such as dog walking groups, dog play groups and maybe even a dog fashion show.
  • Hire employees that are passionate, engaging and knowledgeable. Set aside time each month to train employees on your store products.

I hope this helps. Happy Selling!

New Dog Exercise Toy! Help your customers!

Over 50% of your Customers have dogs that are overweight!  Help solve their problems…

Our new Tail Teasers dog exercise toy will help solve your customers’ problems, while making you money!
You sell super-premium pet foods to help keep them healthy, why not sell them a dog exercise toy to help keep them fit too?

About the Toy…

This is an innovative, one piece design comprised of a flexible rod encased in a woven nylon cord. The joint is reinforced by a durable rubber collar. Therefore, super durable! Check it out!

Catering to the info hungry consumer –increase sales using the power of information

Whether in the cereal aisle at your local supermarket, or in the TV section at a big box electronic store, consumers, now more than ever, are information hungry. Even though discretionary budgets are back on the rise, consumers have kept to the recessionary adapted habits: garner as much information as possible about a group of products, and then make an informed decision based on criteria that is important to them (quality, value, price, etc.)

It’s important to point out why a certain product (which may have a higher ticket price) should be purchased over a less expensive alternative. Why not put this information within the consumers reach… or more accurately “eyesight?”

Small cards (even 3 X 5 index style) work great to fit a few key features and benefits about a product and still fit within your well crafted display. In a perfect world, you or an employee would be able to talk with every customer and convey this info in person, but as we all know, the day to day tasks and other customers inhibit us from doing so. Thus the displayed info must suffice.

Think liquor stores, below each bottle of wine is a small note card displaying the points the bottle of wine is rated. The same holds true with pet products, simply place a tag by the product and have the tag do the selling.

Get creative, have fun and increase sales!

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Image is Everything…

One of the best parts of my job is that I get work with all kinds of photography- every day.  Our graphics team and interns (comprised of some of the most talented people on the planet!) make our products literally jump off the shelves. Why do we spend so much time and attention to images? At Kyjen, we know first impressions, “look”, and great products will seal the deal.

Product photography is not an easy task! It’s about knowing the functions of what you are selling, and enhancing the key selling features in order to attract.  Although we are experts in this field, you don’t necessarily need a degree.  However, making good impressions, knowing EVERYTHING about your products, and a little creativity will make the difference!

Below are some images of our creative gurus in action!

Me setting up a group shot of our Real Animal Squeaker Mats
Me setting up a group shot of our Real Animal Squeaker Mats

Cody getting ready for a video shoot
Cody getting ready for a video shoot

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Decrease Clutter, Increase Sales!

If you have ever tried to buy a home or a used car, you’ll notice that you tend to be attracted toward the clean rooms or neutral color tones.  In the world of design, simplified lines and shapes with proximity are pleasing to the eye.  The Gestalt theory supports this phenomena by naturally organizing closely related objects; thus allowing the brain to visually digest information comfortably.

Enough schooling… How does all this pertain to your store? The same principle is true for any retail shopping experience.  If I see mixed sizes, unfolded pieces and unclear signage in an aisle with no visual organization, there is a high chance I probably won’t go home with anything.  The chaotic mess confuses and frustrates me as a shopper.  When I am able to freely move through aisles with a clear visual of products, packaging, and signage, I am more likely to stop, pick up, and purchase!  Keeping clutter free and a “less is more” approach to showcasing  your products will entice, thus creating a relaxing environment, and bringing dollars to the register.

Here at Kyjen, or as I like to call it “home” we make a point to de-clutter the office on a regular basis.  Not only does this make such an impression on visitors, but creates a serene, creative, and productive environment for us and most importantly… our furry friends!

Merchandising tip to help fill the shopping cart!

How can merchandising help you get the consumers to buy just one more item?  It’s no secret, you can find examples of this all over the grocery store! Seasonings/marinade are often located in the meat section, limes by the Corona etc… There are a lot of these product relationships you can capitalize on in your store as well!

You often see these secondary (add on) items next to “destination” items. The destination items are the “planned purchases” your consumers make.  These are the items that drive the consumer to your store.  Some examples of this in the pet industry are food, litter, pee pads and grooming products. Below are some examples of products you can place with such items…
-clip strip of toys by the food
-treats next to your treat dispensing toys
-stain removers next to pee pads
-hairball products next to the cat grooming tools

Think strategically!