Sunday, January 27, 2013

Merchandising and Proper Displays

So I'm struck by how empty the walls are of most new Chinese only shops.

There is a severe lack of creativity or merchandising skills in South Florida at some of the new stores opening up.

Just saw a new one on Miami Beach, stopped by introduced myself and thanked them for their business. I noticed the wall was completely empty. Not even a single poster, a sign, I made the suggestion to go outside to the street mall and buy a poster.

Most Chinese brands don't have proper POP or poster materials to begin with so I always tell store owners look at history for inspiration. Even if you don't sell Vespa or Lambretta you can go to the Lincoln Road swap meet and buy a $10 vespa sign, a $8 Honda Helix ad from the 1980s and hang it up.

If the owner would spend $100 on frames and some vintage ads he could make the shop look a lot nicer. This is something no Chinese OEM will invest in when they come to the states. The Japanese brands have been in the market for decades. US based managers have invested in store decorations, building the brand, there is a level of expectations that need to be met and if the Chinese companies don't have that you need to improvise.

Yes, they sell on price, but you as a business owner need to give the customer what they want even if your supplier can't. You know fully well not to expect support from the OEM, you're buying a good based on price not brand image. If someone wanted something based on image they wouldn't be buying the $699 scooter.

Having a small budget can make all the difference in the world. It could lead to more sales. As in my case when I walk into a brand new scooter shop, I try to find something new. Not empty walls.

Sometimes that vintage scooter in the window can make all the difference in selling even new Asian made scooters. Its simple marketing 101.

My advice, spend the extra $200 and make the shop a destination, put something cool on display. Empty shelves and empty walls don't sell scooters.

I know thanks to overnight shipping we live in a mentality where we think you can sell all the items from a catalog, but the only thing seperating the store from going to a webshop is the experience. If you have no customer experience the webshop is the best option.

Just some advice from someone the industry called "The Scooter Maven." For more shop ideas watch some of the MRP scooter videos on YouTube.

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