Creating and maintaining a retail store in your self-storage facility is a great way to provide customers with the materials they need to successfully store and protect their prized possessions. It can also be a great revenue generator for your business. Implementing the right merchandising strategies can increase your retail sales by up to 25%! The guide below will help you keep this area well stocked and fresh so you can get maximum returns.
Set it up properly
Your retail center is one of the first things your customers see when they enter your self-storage office, and proper merchandising is all about presentation. It’s a direct reflection of the cleanliness, organization, and attention to detail of your facility, which is why it’s important to keep this area well-maintained. Profitability increases when your space is fresh and full of products with attractive, cohesive packaging.
The first step is to determine a reasonably large area for this use. Key factors to consider are the number of products to be exhibited, the size and number of fixtures required to showcase them, and the expected footfall. This area needs to have room for multiple customers to move around while shopping, but small enough that it feels cohesive.
Next, focus on product categorization. Proper organization of regular merchandise and impulse items helps boost sales. Items should “flow” in a way that makes sense to the customer. Think of it as telling a story through product placement. When a customer sees packing tape, bubble wrap, and boxes grouped together in a compelling way, they should immediately understand that they need all of these items and feel inspired to buy.
Evaluate and adjust
The decision to replace or expand your self-storage retail offering and layout depends on the type of services your facility offers, customer needs, and product sales. To determine if it’s time to expand or contract your inventory, do the following:
Listen to customer feedback. This is an invaluable gift that can help you make smart commodity decisions. Are there items that buyers keep asking for? Are there products that customers routinely ignore? These are good indications that you should add or remove an item.
Analyze your sales data to identify trends. These reports should tell you which items are your best sellers, which are selling consistently, and which have not been moved in a while. This information can help you decide which products to add, remove, or simply move to get more attention from shoppers.
Look for visual cues on your display. Does it look crowded or sparse? Which products are running out or are processed more frequently? If you’re constantly running out of an item or feel like you want more and more choices within a certain category, it may be time to expand your product offering. Conversely, if you can’t remember the last time you sold a particular item, it may be time to double-check where that product is located, who employees know about it, or how much you have in stock.
Keep it clean and stocked
Always keep your self-storage sales area fully stocked, as customers tend to shy away from empty displays. It’s important to establish a reorder cycle so you don’t run out of popular materials. You want to order when the product level is low, not from zero!
Creating a replenishment and cleaning plan is crucial. Customers will be quick to pass on items with damaged or soiled packaging, so keep the area clean. Remember that your merchandise is often one of the first things people see, so it’s important to take care of and care for that space.
You may even need to redesign the area from time to time. When you see retail sales flat, that’s a clear sign it’s time for a refresher. Customers will always need moving and packing supplies, but when they can’t find what they need due to clutter, disorganization, or lack of stock, they’ll go elsewhere, even if it’s less convenient.
make it clear
When it comes to creating a well-rounded, profitable retail hub in your self-storage facility, it’s important to use lots of clear and accurate communication. First, the signage is crucial. It guides customers quickly to the items they want and reduces confusion and complaints. Shoppers are much more likely to buy items with detailed product descriptions that are easy to read. Good signage also helps reduce the number of returns since someone is less likely to buy the wrong item.
Second, make sure all prices are easy to find and read. This is one of the most important pieces of the retail puzzle. Although a helpful member of staff will answer questions, even the most patient customer will become frustrated at having to repeatedly ask about the price. Most won’t even ask; They just go somewhere that is more organized and has the foresight to price items in a nice, professional way.
With proper setup, presentation, and maintenance, a retail sales space can be a very profitable venture for your self-storage business. I hope these tips and tricks put you on the right track to creating a space that generates revenue and meets the needs of your customers.
Lainey Becker is an account manager at US supply side, a provider of packaging, shipping, moving and storage products for specialty retailers. The company sells to more than 10,000 points of sale in Canada and the United States and specializes in the development of retail merchandising programs for the self-storage and package industries. To reach Lainey, call 800.284.7357.