Saturday 6 January 2018

The Latest Trend In Retailing Puts Many Traders In The Box Seat

Retailing is transforming its emphasis from product to experience. That doesn’t mean that products are no longer saleable, it’s just that they become part of an experience rather than the only thing. And a key ingredient of that experience is easier for market traders to implement than normal bricks’n’mortar retailers.

Telling a story has always been part of good salesmanship but the retail revolution has put story telling in the spotlight. It is the story you show your customers that sells things rather than just the things themselves.

Of course one story can become boring so successful retailers are changing their story and using clever merchandising to show their products in the best light and to generate sales.

Timberland’s Tree Lab concept is a great example. Tree Lab changes its display every 6-8 week’s. It only shows Timberland products but their range is broad enough to tell a new story every time.

Perhaps the extreme example is a store called Story, which tells a different story every 4-8 week’s and showcases products that fit that story. The story determines the products they sell, not the other way around. Rachel Schechtman, the founder of Story, describes her store as being like a magazine with a different offer every edition.

Now that may not be so easy for market traders who are licensed to sell particular products but if you are ever looking for an excuse to add new products to your stall this may be it. After all, who can criticise a trader for following the latest trends in retailing?

But let’s get to the point of this article. Changing your story requires great flexibility in merchandising and when you set-up and pack-up your stall every day, the conditions are perfect. Changing displays and telling a new story does require planning and forethought but market stalls are built around flexibility, and that makes the process easier than for most retailers. This is one advantage we should be taking advantage of.

And finally, there is another place where changing the story is easy, and that is online. Your website can change its emphasis with a few keystrokes and along with physical stall displays creates an exciting offer for your customers every time they visit.

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