If you can effectively help retailers merchandise in their stores, they will see more value in having a business relationship with you, and it will also help your brand's presence across marketing channels. In understanding how merchandising works you can make sure that any location that carries your wines does so in the most optimized manner.
At the retailer level, merchandising is enormous. Merchandising is promoting goods and products through smart marketing, free samples, shelf talkers, special offers, and other point-of-sale (buy one get one free, etc.)
Here are merchandising strategies to keep in mind when working with retailers.
1) Shelves Self Selling
The goal behind this type of merchandising is to draw a customer to the store, then to the aisle, then to the product through tantalizing offers and eye-catching displays.
A fantastic example of this is Total Wine and More's strategy (not to mention industry-relevant). They drop prices on national brands (Kendell Jackson, Gallo, etc.) to entice people to walk into the store. Then, they place their winery direct products (the most profitable) at eye level.
Eye-level shelf displays are very, very powerful - and there is a science to it. Look below. (this applies to all merchandising displays)
Make sure retailers have deals that draw customers to their stores, then have those deals at eye level to maximize impact.
Talk to your retailer partners about running promotions with your products. Let them know that you are open to creating promotional advertising for them - this is a HUGE incentive for them to do business with you.
Glossery of Merchandising Terms
2) Impulsive Buys
This strategy focuses on helping build the average transaction size by encouraging customers to purchase without planning. You want to encourage impulse buying from the customer.
Target is one of the kings of retail. When they had a rollout of wine in their stores, they made sure to have the following in extremely close proximity:
A t-shirt that says "red wine & blue."
Wine glasses that say "cheers."
A kitchen mat covered in wine names.
This "smile 'there's wine" canvas wall art.
Decals of wine bottles for your kitchen.
A framed poster of a dog in a top hat drinking wine.
A wall clock covered in—you guessed it—wine.
Is YOUR retailer doing the above and following the best practices? Or are they missing out on a profit making opportunity?
Promoting the success of your retailer and showcasing your knowledge on merchandising will pay massive dividends down the road, even if it won't help your bottom line immediately.
3) Excitement Generating
This is a promotional strategy that creates excitement around urgency and opportunity for the consumer. Seasonal items, limited-edition releases, latest arrivals, and rapidly growing segments are all examples of items that can be hyped and promoted to good effect.
Is your retailer partner showcasing your product in an exciting light? Are they putting it in a prominent display area saying "NEW ARRIVAL?"
Are YOU creating any exciting packages? For Christmas, you could have a "Christmas Day Bundle" that your winery put together for the retailer to sell - or some of these ideas:
Best Wines to Pair With Thanksgiving
New Year's Champagne Trio
Assorted Reds Gift Box
Assorted Whites Gift Box
Assorted Reds and Whites Gift Box
(Current Year) Best Vintages
Buy One, Give One Boxes
Or, do what Adobe Road Winery did with their Racing Series wine. The packaging and presentation are OOZING of merchandising best practices. (Branding and merchandising go well hand in hand! Remember that!)
There are dozens of things you can do to help your retailer merchandise YOUR particular wines. Get creative. Make it attractive, and work with your retailers to make sure that your product is always merchandised well.
When you're engaging with these retailers make sure you're speaking the right language - download our glossary of terms below to talk the talk!