Confusion plagues faucet presentation

A good faucet at the right price, given the appropriate promotion, might not experience satisfactory sales if its presentation leaves much to be desired. Retailers should facilitate shopping for shoppers who oftentimes are confused and intimidated by the large selection of faucets. Informative merchandising in home centers should be promoted to hasten the consumer selection process. Retailers should also prepare their faucet displays by brand which is easier for the consumer. Product lines should also be streamlined to avoid double presentations.
Vendors reveal what retailers need to do to sharpen displays and generate turns in this new monthly feature

You can have the right product, the right price, the right promotion. But if the display isn’t right, you’ll lose sales. With most purchase decisions made in the aisle, it’s essential to maximize presentation. This article launches a new monthly series on merchandising, complete with vendor perspectives and quality display ideas. When vendors assess faucet displays at building supply retailers, they invariably see the same thing consumers see: a mind-numbing array of product.

“When the typical consumer walks into retail, particularly a home center, he sees a big offering, and it’s overwhelming,” says Jim McElroy, director-faucet & sink marketing at Moen. A lot of home centers do a good job of displaying product, he says. “But you do need more information at point of sale and better signage.” The key to improving faucet sales is to help shoppers shop, vendors say. Otherwise, the market becomes largely one of replacing same-brand with same-brand. “If customers have a low-end product, often they aren’t led to an upgrade buy,” says Susan Broyles, group marketing manager for Price-Pfister.

Consumers become frustrated when faucets are shown without information that describes features, says Jane Miner, market manager for Design House. “Without much customer assistance available–as witnessed in most home centers–informative merchandising is key to assist the consumer selection process, thereby increasing turns.” Retailers should be prepared to answer customers’ primary questions: Will it fit in my sink, and what’s the difference between products. Answer those questions with a sales associate in the aisle, good P-O-P signage and good installation instructions, says Broyles, adding that “if customers understand those components, retailers will see an increase in sales.”

Charlie Whipple, VP-marketing for Sterling, says, “We’re all singing the same song: Educate, educate, educate. A lot of money’s being left on the table by not getting trade-up dollars.” Retailers also should follow some display guidelines, say vendors.

“Many retailers break up and mix by price point or by segment–good, better, best,” says McElroy. “But because packaging is so different, you get clutter and confusion.” Vendors suggest that retailers divide their displays by brand. “It’s the best way to minimize the clutter,” says Dana Severs, VP-sales, Peerless. “Branding is important for faucet shoppers because of replacement purchasing or brand recognition.”

Severs also suggests that retailers consider cutting the number of sku’s they offer and facings they present. Most retailers have twice as many faucets as they need, says Whipple. “I hate to say it, but they carry an awful lot of product, and product adds to confusion. How many finishes and handle designs do you carry? What are consumers buying? They should keep the fast turners and get rid of the rest.”

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