I am sitting at home, looking through the Sunday morning fliers at all the sales and special offers that retailers are offering as part of their special weekend offerings…especially now that the 4th of July (or Canada Day, for my Canadian friends) is approaching. Everyone is having a special incentive to purchase products…whether it is a sale or a special incentive with purchase. The use of incentives to drive business is what is called Merchandising!
As we spend most of our days at work continually analyzing our business dynamics, it has becoming increasingly clear that we, as an organization, rely too heavily on discounting the price of the products to move them rather than creating a special incentive to purchase. In doing that, you may move some products initially, but in the long run, you degrade the price value of your product. This is NOT a healthy way of selling products for long-term success. Have you ever noticed that Department stores NEVER, and I mean NEVER put their cosmetics on sale? They use other forms of marketing so they don’t discount the value of the brand…Gift with Purchase or Purchase with Purchase are the most common ways of marketing to cosmetic consumers. Buy one, get one for a discount or free is also a way that cosmetic companies market to their consumers. If you haven’t gone into a department store in a while, you should consider making that a fun homework assignment. Venture out to your local department store and walk through the cosmetics department to get some great ideas about how to create special promotions to help move your inventory.
Our job, as a Marketing team, is not to market to you as a BUYER, our job is to market to you as a SELLER…you are the storefront, and the SPA is your sales event in which you sell your products. Our job is to provide you with the incentive items and the training to put together incentives to offer your clients in order to help move your business. The only time that my team will market directly to your clients, who are the Buyers, is through Client Connection and the Client E-Newsletter…but unless you sign them up, we have no way of marketing to them for your benefit…this is why our Client Marketing tools can take so much of the pressure off of your shoulders as the SELLER. Be sure to take advantage of our client e-newsletter and Client Connection mailings…you will be amazed at what it can do for your business.
So, the purpose of this blog is what I hope to be a “crash course” in Merchandising that will offer some insight into various ways that you can incent the sale of your products without continually discounting the price to your clients. Remember, once you start your clients on a discounting habit, it is a harder habit than heroin to break.
Remember, when we market to you, the Consultant, it is a great opportunity for you to stock up on the items that are on sale so you can turn around and sell to your clients. These are the best times to stock your inventory with the items that you need to keep your business moving. Buying at a discount allows you to maximize your profits when you sell them at full retail price…OR it allows you to stock up and create a limited time “Sales Event” for your clients. When we have a sale on older items and mark them down to very low prices (like we did for the Memorial Day Sale) or when we put items on Beauty Bargains, it is not to appeal to YOU as a buyer, it is for you to purchase so you can use them as Gift with Purchase items to incent the sales. We sell items to you in those occasions so you can add value to your product sets. These are the best opportunities to load up on really great product at a really great price. Let me give you an example. If I were a Consultant during the Memorial Day Weekend Sale, I would have purchased dozens of the City Garden Color Palettes from last Spring. They are SO adorable and a HUGE value at the price that they were marked down to during Memorial Day. I would have bought up some of the clear skincare set bags and put together an incentive for my clients during the month of June…”Receive a FREE color palette consisting of 3 luxurious eyeshadows and 2 lip colors and cosmetic bag with every purchase of skin care during the month of June…a $30 value”. Here is another example, “Receive a FREE makeup brush set with every purchase of BC Color shadow, blush and lip color during the month of July” These types of ordering opportunities not only creates urgency with your clients, but it allows you to sell an entire set of products with a very small investment. Use products that we offer such as cosmetic bags, skin care bags, makeup brushes, literature pieces from forms on file, etc. to add to your sets to create more value to your clients.
Here are some very typical ways to Merchandise your business to achieve maximum sales:
- Gift w/ purchase
- Everyone loves the old GWP…gift with purchase. This is something that is done very frequently at department stores. I like to use the GWP concept to help incent the purchase of a full price item. For instance, “For every skin care set purchased at full price, receive a FREE GWP worth $X”. Or “For every purchase of $X, receive a FREE GWP valued at $X”. This is a great way to move any older inventory that you may have on your shelves. Use the older items as a gift with purchase when someone buys one of your better selling items at full price.
- BOGO-buy one get one
- Who doesn’t love a BOGO sale? There are some really great products on the Sale list. Mineral Foundation is a great example of an item that has a loyal consumer base. These types of consumable products, in addition to lip colors, Lip Colors, Shadows, Blush have great appeal. These are the types of products where you can do a BOGO offer most effectively. Another way to do this would be a “Buy a product and get one of equal or less value for FREE”. Either way, women love a deal almost as much as they love our products.
- Client Appreciation Sale
- This is great for those who have an established client base. You can create an order form of products that you have on sale and send to your clients…or better yet, have a “Preferred Client Open House”. Send out invitations and have a Summer Savings Event. This is the type of event that you should reserve as an annual event. Take advantage of the low prices that we offer and pass them along to your preferred clients the following month. For instance, Regeneration was on sale in the month of June. That would have been a great opportunity to stock up on these items and have a Summer Repair Sale to your clients during the month of July.
These are just a few ideas of ways that you can maximize your sales and your profits through Merchandising. For other great tips, check out other retail channels that sell cosmetics and look for fun ways to incent your sales. You don’t have to wait for us to give you the items to use in your offers. I was in the dollar store the other day and saw an adorable set of acrylic margarita glasses for a dollar. That would be an amazing gift with purchase for the purchase of set of BC’s Margarita products during the month of July. In fact, I bought a dozen of them to use as party gifts for various summer parties that I will be attending! Think like a retailer. Think about the things that encourage you to buy as a customer and pass them along to your clients in your retail offerings. Merchandising is FUN and a great way to move inventory. Remember, you are in business to sell products and make money…not to give away your profits. Spending a few dollars to create unique, fun and appealing merchandising offers is MUCH less expensive than selling at a discount plus you can maintain your brand price integrity in the process. Have fun with it!
I would love to hear some of your ideas of ways that you merchandise your products to sell to clients. Please post your ideas in the “comments” section below to pass along some best practices that your fellow Consultants can use to strengthen their business this summer.
I hope you all have a great week. I will not post a blog on Friday, but will be back next Monday to share all the great news about July’s new products and great sales opportunities.
Have a very happy and very safe Holiday weekend!!