Part 2 of ASD’s “Modernize Your Smoke Shop” Series
Read Part 1: Tips to Boost Smoke Shop Sales
Think back to your first go-to smoke shop. From the initial step inside, your senses are inundated with lights, sounds, and — almost assuredly — clutter. The key to making more sales in your smoke shop mean clearing out the clutter.
Smoke shops have historically been some of the worst offenders (sorry guys!) when it comes to retail clutter. The “less is more” approach is often lost on shops that prefer displaying shiny new gadgets in addition to all of their older models — at the same time. By carrying less product, you’ll increase your smoke shop sales. And we’ll tell you why and how!
Why Less Is More
Clutter at a retail level is primarily the result of improper inventory management. It is commonly known that 20% of inventory generates roughly 80% of sales, and that a store that supports a glut of dead inventory year-over-year is seriously impeding its cash flow potential. Conduct inventory checks on a regular timetable to sell dead inventory, even at deep or “giveaway” discounts. Laura Cattano, an independent organizer based in NYC, has a few pertinent suggestions when it comes to making the best use of your retail space and making customers feel welcome (and, thus, willing to buy more products) in addition.
Depending on your location, your smoke shop may have more in common with a showroom than a typical retail outlet. Explains Cattano, “If you go to a store and see a shirt, you want to see five of them so you can grab the one that you like. But if it’s a showroom, you’re showing the product. You should really have a very clear vision of what that product is, what your company is trying to say, and allow people to come in to see what you have very clearly. If there’s too much stuff out, then you can’t see anything. It’s like crowd noise.”
Make it worth the wait
There’s a new vaporizer model on the market every day, it seems. When it comes to managing your point-of-sale station, it may be that customer queries are brought up more often than not prior to the purchase of a new-and-improved device. In lieu of a traditional queue, you may choose to have a waiting area where customers can cool their heels while waiting on a service representative to answer their burning questions prior to checking out. When it comes to customers, comfort is key in this competitive market. Cattano suggests taking the following questions into consideration:
“You have to think of the experience of the person coming in. Do they feel welcome? If they’re going to be waiting, is there a comfortable spot to wait while you’re dealing with someone else? If you’re dealing with point-of-sale at the end, do you have a proper, comfortable place for them to sit down? If there is a place to sit, is it in the corner, making them feel rushed and…not special?”
Decorate for the decade at hand
Today’s competition is not your ’70s smoke shop. Lightweight, aerodynamic vaping devices beckon sleek and stylish modernist surroundings to complement. Choose an interior design that’s more Ikea than “Smoke on the Water.” As in the case with stock organization, when it comes to design, keep it simple. Modernize your smoke shop – your sales will thank you for it.
To learn more about how to improve your shop and fill it with the right products, register here for Smoke + Vape at ASD, the largest wholesale smoking accessories show in the U.S. It’s free! August 2-5, 2015 in Las Vegas.