Every retailer fundamentally has 5 pillars to how they position themselves which in turn generates their traffic – Location, customers, product mix, service and price. In order to influence the buyer of a retailer, the seller must understand what the store will or will not be interested in investing in with its inventory dollars in order to serve the traffic the store creates.
Of the five elements each has a unique opportunity for the seller to address depending on the product they are offering.
Location is a good topic to bring up if the store is located in a geographically advantaged position. Selling books or magazines in an airport, selling sandwiches near a park, selling greeting cards in a hospital come to mind. The seller can’t change the location of the business, but, they can frame their product as appropriate given the location that exists.
Customers is a wonderful topic to discuss. If a store caters to young people, which can be determined from overall product mix, color schemes, background music and a host of other cues, talking about how that audience is the target segment for your products is very smart. Not all stores sell to all comers by virtue of how friendly they make their space to a particular audience. Be aware and take note so you can identify that in your conversation.
Product mix is a large way retailers create or turn away segments of the community. A convenience store is not a grocery store. Small or limited sizes or narrow selections within a product range can make shopping easier for those that are so inclined, but, will turn away customers seeking a particular brand or who want the better value of larger sizing. Be sure to discuss why your product belongs in the existing product mix.
Service is a mixed bag. From assisted to unassisted stores, be sure you understand what the view from your buyer’s perspective is on her store’s enthusiasm for Customer/Staff interaction. Play up your product’s fit into exactly that notion by calling out the pros of the package or the ease of understanding for both staff and customers.
Price is a large determinant of the store traffic, but, is not a stand alone element. Low prices generally mean lower margins per transaction and therefore require higher traffic. The higher the traffic, the more throughput at the checkout becomes more important than service in the aisles. Keeping shelves stocked takes on a high priority. If your product targets at or away from these environments, talk about it and talk about why.
Continually evaluate the buyer’s interaction and response to your statements. If your conversation is largely you talking, that’s a bad sign. A conversation is both parties talking. A presentation is one person talking. Always remember that a buyer has other issues to consider besides what you see to be a great fit. Your product may actually NOT fit today, and may fit next month or next quarter.