The Pool Store & Visual Merchandising
The retail landscape is evolving, and pool supply stores are no exception.
In an age where online shopping is just a click away, brick-and-mortar stores need to offer more than just products—they need to offer an experience.
Visual merchandising plays a pivotal role in creating that experience, turning casual browsers into loyal customers.
Here’s how to master the art of visual merchandising for your pool supply store:
1. Understand Your Customer:
Before you start rearranging products, take a moment to understand your target audience. Are they new pool owners looking for starter kits?
Or perhaps seasoned pool enthusiasts in search of the latest equipment? Tailor your displays to cater to their needs and interests.
2. Seasonal Displays:
Rotate your displays according to the season.
Showcase pool heaters and covers in the fall and winter, while highlighting pool toys, loungers, and BBQ essentials in the spring and summer.
3. Interactive Zones:
Engage customers with hands-on displays. Consider setting up a mini pool where they can test out cleaning equipment or toys.
This not only showcases the product’s functionality but also provides a memorable shopping experience.
4. Educational Corners:
Pool maintenance can be daunting for many. Dedicate a section of your store to educational materials.
Use infographics, video tutorials, and live demonstrations to explain complex topics like water balancing or pool sanitation.
5. Thematic Grouping:
Group related products together.
For instance, a “Pool Party” section could feature floats, waterproof speakers, and pool games, while a “Maintenance” section could have cleaning tools, chemicals, and filters.
6. Lighting Matters:
Good lighting can make or break your display. Use spotlights to highlight new arrivals or top sellers, and ensure all products are well-lit and easy to see.
7. Window Displays:
Your window display is your store’s first impression. Change it regularly and ensure it’s always eye-catching, reflecting the latest trends or promotions.
8. Sensory Engagement:
Engage more than just the visual sense. Play sounds of splashing water or children playing to evoke poolside memories.
Consider using scent diffusers with fresh or tropical fragrances to enhance the shopping ambiance.
9. Vertical Space Utilization:
Don’t just focus on floor displays. Use wall shelves, hanging displays, and tall racks to make the most of your store’s vertical space.
10. Clear Signage:
Ensure that every section of your store is clearly marked.
Use signs to highlight promotions, guide customers through different sections, and provide information on products.
11. Regular Updates:
Keep your store fresh by regularly updating displays. This not only keeps the store looking new but also encourages repeat visits.
12. Host Workshops:
Consider hosting monthly workshops on pool maintenance, safety, or even poolside party ideas.
This not only educates customers but also positions your store as an authority in the industry.
Visual merchandising is more than just arranging products—it’s about creating an environment where customers can envision the products in their own lives.
By implementing these strategies, pool supply retailers can enhance the shopping experience, boost sales, and build lasting relationships with their customers.
Recent Developments in Pool Supply Store Visual Merchandising
The world of retail is ever-evolving, and staying updated with the latest trends is crucial for success.
Here are some recent developments in pool supply store visual merchandising:
1. Modernization and Fresh Looks:
Many pool and spa retail stores have recognized the need to move away from outdated shelving, plain walls, and tall racking.
Modern, inviting environments are the need of the hour.
For instance, one of our locations in La Mesa, Calif., underwent a significant transformation, introducing color and a new layout as part of a three-day remodel after nearly two decades with the same look.
2. The Importance of Store Layout:
Keeping the store up-to-date and easy to navigate is essential, especially with the introduction of new products over the years.
A fresh coat of paint and some rearranging can rejuvenate a store, making it more appealing to customers.
3. Emphasizing the Fun Aspect:
Retailers are now focusing on showcasing the enjoyable aspects of pool ownership rather than just the maintenance side.
For instance, instead of placing chemicals at the entrance, which signifies work, stores are now emphasizing fun products like toys, creating a more inviting atmosphere.
4. The Power of Color:
Color plays a significant role in influencing customer behavior.
For instance, blue can have a calming effect, while green symbolizes prosperity and can engage the intellectual side of a customer’s brain, prompting rational decisions.
Retailers are now more conscious of the colors they choose for different sections of their store, ensuring they evoke the right emotions.
5. Strategic Product Placement:
The entrance of a store is one of the highest dollar-per-square-foot selling areas.
Retailers are now placing high-margin, interesting products at the entrance, ensuring customers see them both when they enter and exit the store.
6. Flooring Trends:
Current trends in flooring for pool supply stores include faux wood plank linoleum, which is both attractive and durable.
Neutral shades like gray or tan are preferred as they don’t easily show dirt.
7. Catering to Different Customer Types:
Retailers are now designing their stores keeping in mind two types of customers: the loyal ones and the new ones.
While the loyal customer might be visiting for regular maintenance items, the new customer is likely exploring the world of pool ownership.
Designing the store to cater to both these customer types ensures a broader appeal.
8. The Role of Lighting:
Lighting is not just about visibility; it’s also about setting the mood. Warm incandescent lighting, for instance, can give a product a higher perceived value.
Retailers are now investing in specialized lighting for high-end products, making them stand out and appear more enticing.
Incorporating these recent developments into your pool supply store’s visual merchandising strategy can make a significant difference in attracting customers and boosting sales.