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  • How Displays Can Increase Sales: The Strawberry Shortcake Factor

    Imagine someone offered you some fresh, ripe strawberries to eat. They look pretty tempting. Would you have some? You might say yes. You might say no.

    What if you were offered shortcake and whipped cream with the strawberries?
    Now the temptation factor goes up. It’s not just strawberries, but strawberry shortcake. And you have more choices. You have more ways you can say yes.

    You can say yes to the strawberry shortcake topped with whipped cream.
    You can say yes to the strawberries and whipped cream.
    You can say yes to cake and strawberries.
    You can say yes to cake and whipped cream.
    You can say yes to strawberries.

    Most people will say yes to one of those options.

    What does strawberry shortcake have to do with displays?
    When you put a product on display, customers will choose yes, or no. When you add the strawberry shortcake factor, you increase the opportunities to say yes.

    In display lingo, this is often referred to as cross merchandising. Cross merchandising is taking related products from different categories, or departments, and displaying them together. This technique increases sales by showing customers what products work well together. Instead of buying just one item, shoppers often buy more than one.

    You can use this technique in your store. Add the strawberry shortcake factor to your display by adding products that compliment each other.

    A pet store has a new line of dog shampoo to promote. The display idea starts with the shampoo. Add the shortcake factor by imagining a situation where a customer would use the shampoo. What are all the supplies someone might use to give a dog a bath?

    • dog shampoo
    • towel
    • hair dryer
    • brush
    • other grooming accessories

    Now you have a group of products that create a strong theme for a display. Shoppers immediately associate the display with bath time. They might even imagine themselves giving their dog a bath.

    Some will realize they need shampoo, and buy it. Other customers might already have shampoo. But they might want to have a special dog hair dryer. Or a new brush. Or both.

    The display offers these shoppers more ways to say yes.

    The secret of the strawberry shortcake factor
    The shortcake factor is not the same as a jumble of unrelated merchandise. The secret of the shortcake factor is to display items that share a connection.

    When shoppers see the display, they should be able to imagine how the products go together. When they see cake, strawberries and whipped cream, they can imagine strawberry shortcake. When pet owners see dog shampoo, a towel and brush, they can imagine bath time.

    When shoppers imagine the products together, and imagine themselves using them, they are more likely to buy.

    So, what are you going to put in your next display?

    Use the strawberry shortcake factor

    Give your customers more ways to say ‘yes’ to what you have to offer.

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    2 Responses to “How Displays Can Increase Sales: The Strawberry Shortcake Factor”

    1. Anonymous says:

      Great post. I agree, we always have to think about ways to provoke the customer see himself with the product already purchased and how it adds value to his life. Great metaphores and examples Melanie, I just love reading your blog! All the best, your Barcelona fan :)

    2. Melanie says:

      Thanks for the comments! I always appreciate your input. I like how you put that 'see himself with the product already purchased.' That's a great way of saying it.