Knowing how to sell has always been an art. Placing an attractive product in the supermarket shelf, a garment on the shelves of a store and even a pack of chewing gum next to the box of a gas station is not the result of chance, it has a commercial strategy behind it. overwhelming marketing and merchandising. It is pure science. Many times we believe that they are tricks for consumers to bite and increase their purchases. What is true. But there is also a vocation for making the purchase easier and more comfortable for the client. In this game to capture the attention of consumers has entered a new competitor: social networks. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook … and the internet in general is turning the windows, trends and sales techniques of a lifetime, especially in the textile and technology sector.
For now, the sale in hypermarkets, supermarkets, in the establishments of always has not been very affected by this phenomenon. «Only 1.3% of the population buys online in the big consumption. With which the sale in real store is still very important. It is a trusted channel for fresh, people want to see the expiration, status … », comments Angela Lopez, Director of Strategic Initiatives of the consultant Nielsen.
The art of putting the products on the lines of the large consumer establishments is known as "merchandising". "You have to be attractive and visible, but also functional," says López. And let no one be fooled, no matter how much we carry the shopping list on paper or on the phone pointed from home, thought and reviewed (only between 15 and 20% of consumers), «impulse purchase happens» says López. 65% of purchases are decided at the point of sale. «Each product is played in 5 seconds», he says, that is the time a person takes to decide on an article that he did not have planned.
And that's what brands, manufacturers, distributors, establishments know … That's why the placement of a linear is studied a lot and is represented in the planograms. "They are strategies at the point of sale that, rather than tricks that try to deceive us, have common sense and logic", explains López. For example, fishmongers, delicatessens or butchers who dispense fresh produce are usually installed at the bottom of the establishment, among other reasons, because they need a warehouse to store the goods. However, this also keeps its strategy: the consumer goes through all the corridors of the super. "And then you can buy on a whim or see a product that you have forgotten and remember that you have to buy it," says López.
The sales techniques
Traditionally the linear ones respond to four precepts: «That the product is, that there are no breakages of stock, in a reasonable range of flavors, colors, varieties … and that there is enough to respond to the demands of the consumer. That is, that it has been stocked and that it is visible and accessible. Promotions is also another lever for sale, "he explains. Javier Scherk, CEO of Winche Redes Comerciales, a company dedicated to the outsourcing of the sales force and the management of the point of sale.
Of course there are techniques to sell more. The coldest and hottest areas in a linear are located below the knees (uncomfortable for the adult, but ideal for placing children's products that children put in the basket, or for heavier products), at the top (also more inaccessible) and at the height of the hand and eyes. These last two spaces are the stars. Hence, placing the products with the most intention to sell.
«In the hyper the large and central corridors are high traffic areas that relieve, ideal places to install islands with easy-to-catch products and take to the car, "says Ángela López. At the end of the lines are known as the gondola headers, ideal for promotions according to seasonality: for example, nougat at Christmas and tanning in summer.
We study up to the number of varieties of a product that are placed face up. Everything is taken into account: on weekends the rotation in stores is very high; the type of purchase (of urgency, of replacement, for an event …) … «The purchase mission, the ultimate purpose of the consumer, also conditions the placement of the products in the establishment», says López.
Strategies, sales techniques … But in the end, as underlined Alberto Mayor, ESIC professor, «the placement of the merchandise is negotiated between the brands they want to sell more, they have their strategy, and the distributor wants to optimize their square meters, place in the best area those products that give more margin».
Internet comes into play
Nowadays we have to count on another competitor: internet, which although it does not affect so much consumption, it is doing so to the way of selling textiles and technological products. «The consumer is documented and informed on the internet. Know the benefits of the product before going to the store. That forces the points of sale to dramatize the moment of the purchase, to generate an environment with a more pleasant and seductive shopping experience, "says Scherk. They are two channels that complement each other. "Consumers," he says, "become so rich that we incorporate new forms and do not die of the previous ones."
And it no longer serves only light, color or a musical thread to generate a pleasant shopping experience. "The step that manufacturers and distributors must go through is an intelligent, visual and sensorial experience in the store. Explain the product very well, have a clear linear, concise, easy to read, easy to identify … No overacting, because now capture the eye is played on social networks, where the product has more chances to be seen and to be experienced in networks like Instagram and YouTube », defends the ESIC professor.