Visual merchandising, clear layout, strong display and highly-knowledgable service are indispensable tools to have in your snack-selling arsenal:
CHANGE YOUR DISPLAYS REGULARLY
If you are going to keep up with the ever-changing trends of the snacking sector, it is wise to showcase new items as much as possible. Not only does rotating your snack display demonstrate that you’re a retailer with your finger on the pulse, but it will refresh your customers’ shopping experience every time they pay you a visit. Holiday and seasonal promotions take precedence when it comes to visual merchandising and display, but during the intervening periods ensure you don’t let the quality of your displays slide – it is important that you’re being as creative as possible with stock arrangement.
Make sure you’re singing the praises of the latest health and free-from foods and giving them a noticeable presence – it can help you to capitalise on a growing demographic of eager health food fans. With the abundance of options in this category, spanning nut butter pouches, mixed fruit and nut packs, protein bars, bean chips and dried coconut curls to name just a few, it’s worth grouping them into their own healthy snacking section if you have the floor space.
DON’T NEGLECT ADD-ON SALES
Although you may want to group categories together, the added benefit of snacks is that they are generally small in size and can neatly accompany other food items to maximise selling opportunities. For instance, mini granola bars can sit quite comfortably next to cereals, and dried fruits and nuts can be positioned conveniently next to your fresh produce. It does no harm to experiment with cross-merchandising, as long as items don’t appear too tenuously linked.
TRACK THE IMPACT
Monitoring the performance of your snack section can pay dividends when it comes to display and shop layout. A novel and theatrical display might look the part, however feedback could provide you with data showing that your customers think otherwise. Make sure you give the section enough time to flourish before you revise your data and scrap it – checking performance levels on a fortnightly basis could be a good rule of thumb.
Never overlook how effective the personal touch can be. Well-worded and informative signs can go a long way in clinching those sales, especially if your shop is understaffed. For example, Waterstones’ visual merchandising model of getting staff members to provide a quick blurb about a particular product and why they enjoy it expresses personality and will provide your customer with added assurance when buying a snack they might not typically reach for.
POWER OF IMPULSE
It might be a category cliché, but snacks are an impulse buy for many. Try placing some items near the till where queues might form – chances are that a customer will browse the section in front of them while they’re waiting and be keen to add an exciting-looking snack to their shopping basket.
Giving customers the chance to taste the products you sell is a fail-safe way to create a sale, while also presenting your staff with the opportunity to educate shoppers. The snack food category is one that consistently gives rise to highly-innovative products, from Wilding’s Habanero Chilli and Lemon-flavoured Duck Crackling to Jimini’s Paprikacoated Grasshoppers, so offering free samples of avant garde snacks can go a long way in altering the perceptions of any hesitant shoppers.