Merchandising: Choose Better Products With a Merchandising Strategy
While a great merchandiser has developed predictive instincts to guide her through planning her next great catalog, a smart merchandiser will supplement those instincts with a well-thought-out strategy, writes Katie Muldoon, author of “The Catalog Strategist’s Toolkit” (Racom Communications).
Muldoon identifies some elements critical to any merchandiser’s strategy:
* Have a game plan. “This means a written strategy based on known sales for the year before,” Muldoon writes. In combination with your circulation plan, this game plan will help you decide which product categories and price ranges should be increased, decreased or re-tested.
* Get the right analysis. Many catalogers still don’t conduct enough analysis within their organizations, the author notes. A proper merchandise analysis will let you know what products customers like, what products they return and what products they complain about, as well as the price points appropriate for these customers.
* Develop written criteria for new products. Document the characteristics of all products in your last catalog. “Then, determine the attributes your best sellers have by assigning values to each criterion and creating a final selection critical checklist,” Muldoon recommends.
* Think about add-ons. “Using your best sellers as a guide, think about what products would work with [these items],” she writes. Look for products that complement what you have. But watch your merchandise mix, she cautions, as too many similar products will split sales rather than add to them.
For a copy of “The Catalog Strategist’s Toolkit” ($59.95), visit http://www.racombooks.com.