Hardware Retailing

MAY 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | May 2017 174 Customers' Shopping Preferences HR: What can retailers take away from the recent Merchandising for Profit Study that you helped NRHA compile? JR: The study confirms, once again, that there are things that happen in the store that can only happen in the store. For example, promotional merchandising. When you merchandise, you can do more sales and make more profit. It's hands-down solid confirmation once again that people tend to forget why you need to discipline your stores around detailed merchandising. Our market research on store image shows that retailers are spending time, energy and money on things that aren't as important as they think they are. The reason they think they're important is carryover. "We always did this. We live by this." When they're doing that, they're ignoring what's extremely important. They should be polishing their price image and becoming a place where people think they can get a deal. Customers think independent stores are naturally more expensive. Retailers don't spend enough time trying to offset that perception. Promotional merchandising can help reshape their price image. HR: What are some key reasons for why the in-store experience is important? JR: The store is the environment in which retailers can showcase all the things they're good at and differentiate from their competitors. They really can have an impact in the store. Independent home improvement stores tend to have a loyal customer base that shops weekly, monthly or every day. Retailers should ask, Sources: Walker Sands 2016, Ecommerce Trends: 128 Stats Revealing How Modern Consumers Shop, 2016 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Percentage of Customers That Decided Not to Buy an Item Due to Shipping Costs Prefer to Shop Online Prefer to Shop in Store More than half of consumers prefer to shop online, but the rest like walking into stores to make purchases. Don't let your business make shopping online appealing. Promote the benefits you offer that e-commerce businesses can't, and stay well stocked so customers can walk out of your store with the products they want. Does Your Store Do Better? 66 % 51 % 49 %

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