5 Steps to Better Retail Merchandising

Posted on: October 23rd, 2014 by Rob Baumhover


HME Retailers,

These days our industry is going through a bit of a renaissance. Gone are the days when your HME space was considered simply a ‘showroom.’ Instead, the concept of the retail sales floor has taken hold. Customers don’t just come in to view their billable product options anymore, they come to test and try out a variety of products to find what will best fit their needs and lifestyle. With this in mind, here are 5 merchandising techniques that will help to move your business toward a more retail-friendly mindset.

     1. Take advantage of the decompression zone.

The decompression zone in any retail space is the area just inside the entrance. When entering a store, customers will often pause briefly to survey the store – making it vital to use this space to create a good first impression. By placing seasonal and/or impulse products in this zone, you will send the message that you are paying attention to the specific needs of your customers at the right times. In turn you will see increases in cash retail sales and an increase in customer satisfaction.


     2. Use traffic drivers to your advantage.

What product categories are driving the most traffic into your store? For some it’s lift chairs, while for others it’s CPAP. Regardless of the category, positioning these product categories in the middle or toward the back of your store will draw customers further into your retail space. The intention is to bring your customers past the complimentary, seasonal and impulse products along the way. This gives them an opportunity to see all the products you offer and allows you to better satisfying their needs. It also helps to increase add-on sales as well as your overall average transaction amount.

     3. Create complimentary product adjacencies.

This means that products or categories that are often bought together are displayed near each other. For example, merchandise footwear and compression next to, or adjacent to one another. Now expand this concept by considering cash retail merchandise options. Add cash-based complimentary sleep and/or air purification products adjacent to traditional reimbursable CPAP offerings. This can be very effective in many product categories. Remember: have fun and be creative!


     4. Good. Better. Best.

With a number of available vendors and product options to choose from, we often end up with a sea of products cluttering our sales floor because we want to offer our customers every single product they may ever need. Consider the good, better, best merchandising concept to clean up the sales floor and help make your customer interactions more concise. While you may actually have more offerings than you show on your sales floor, this concept will provide a more manageable array of options and enhance your ability to be more consultative in your sales approach.

     5. Change it up. Refresh.

Regularly refreshing your retail sales floor with relevant new merchandise, or simply making slight adjustments in merchandise placement, are a key elements in effective retail merchandising. This exercise creates something new and exciting to engage your new and repeat customers. Take advantage of seasonal healthcare related changes throughout the year – for example, offer allergy and respiratory related products in spring and fall. These cash retail products help to expand your merchandise offerings to your customers and boost your bottom line.