If you’re looking to buff up your impulse sales, adding novelty items to your existing inventory might be just what the doctor ordered. While gift and novelty items can definitely add an element of fun to your inventory selection, the impact that adding these categories can have on your sales numbers is anything but frivolous. In fact, Statista projects that gift, novelty and souvenir sales will hit a high point in 2019, reaching $17.681 billion in retail sales. So, why wait to stock up on these high margin impulse items?
If you haven’t yet implemented novelty items to your retail store, here are a few more reasons why it’s time to add them to the mix…along with some tips on choosing the right products for your audience!
Year-Round Money Makers
Novelty items aren’t just something to consider around the holidays. According to 2017 data from Forbes, holiday gift spending accounted for 56 percent of the total annual retail expenditure last year; however, gift spending for other occasions made up the remaining 44 percent. In other words, nearly half of opportunities for gift sales don’t happen around the holidays and, as we all know, novelty items make great impulse gifts.
Of course, purchasing the right products for your audience is a huge part of successfully selling novelty items. While a beachwear retailer with a storefront on Santa Monica Pier might make great margins selling a white t-shirt with a screen-printed image of a dad bod in a speedo, for instance, that same t-shirt may not elicit the same impulse buy from customers on Rodeo Drive.
Choosing the Right Category
Picking the right product for your customer demographic is key to boosting sales with novelty items. Aim to acquire novelty products with major shelf appeal – i.e. the type of stuff that will stop customers in their tracks. This will differ slightly depending on what type of inventory you sell and where your store is located. However, there are a few over-arching novelty trends that we will touch on now.
Millennials as a demographic are hog-wild wild about new age spirituality – gems, crystals, stones and incense tend to go over very well with younger customers. Shapewear is an easy segue for boutiques and ecommerce, while phone accessories are a universally in-demand novelty addition for your cash wrap area. Humorous gifts go like hotcakes for the right niche audience (refer to dad bod example above) and customized merchandise is great for museum gift shops and college stores.
Novelty Displays that Sell for You
Reality check? The average customer spends $5,400 big ones on impulse buys each year. As a result, learning about selling novelty items can be immensely helpful in boosting your overall sales. Now, everybody and their mother in the retail world has some type of impulse item to sell, so displaying your products in an innovative and flattering way can be the differentiating factor in making your products move.
Getting customers to have a tactile experience with your inventory increases your probability of making sales, but you have to engage customers visually right off the bat to get them to take the time to play with your novelty products. Think about displaying your products with bright or eye-catching colors and shapes to catch your customers’ eye as they’re glancing around your store. If you’re selling items that your customers can try on, facilitate this interaction by hanging mirrors near your impulse selling areas, as well as providing flattering lighting so your customers actually like how they look in your stuff.
If you want to benefit from gift sales year-round – instead of just over the holidays – consider adding novelty items to your existing inventory. There is such a wide variety of novelty accessories on the market these days that there’s something to amuse and delight every type of customer. Just know that whether your target customer is interested in cell phone accessories or a champagne bong, you can find the right novelty product for any and every consumer demographic on the show floor at ASD.
Take advantage of ASD Market Week’s 90+ free retail strategy sessions this July 29-August 1, 2018 in Las Vegas.
By Jasmine Glasheen, RetailMinded.com