by Becka Johnson Kibby
You’ve searched the show floor. You’ve purchased the perfect product. You’ve put together a merchandising plan. You’re excited about it!
Investing in new product is exciting! But only if it sells. With proper planning, you can ensure it sells. When you purchase new product, there is a lot of planning that must take place prior to receiving it in your store. When it arrives, don’t just put it in your case and hope it sells…have a plan!
Launch it to your staff first
Schedule a training time – a breakfast training or after store hours training works really well. This sets it up as special and captures the team’s attention to focus on the details of your new collection. Your goal is to create excitement and entice the staff to sell it! If possible, ask the vendor to be there for the training, so they can do part or all of the training for your team – no one knows the line better than the vendor! Train on the background of the collection, the history, the designer’s philosophy and inspiration, etc… Mention any exclusivity that you have or know who else carries it in your area.
Train on all the product knowledge that is needed for this new line:
- Metal purity and alloys
- Additional metals available?
- Clarity, color, cut of diamonds/gemstones
- Finger size range available
- Craftsmanship of the pieces
- Special Order / Custom lead times
Coach on how to tell a story:
- How to tell the customer about the collection
- How to show this collection is different
- How to get the customer excited
Show all the associated materials:
- Online catalog
- Displays – and how to set it up
Share the marketing plan:
- Vendor co-op program?
- Email campaign
- Social media, Website
- Store signage
- Don’t let this part slip.
- It is important for your team to talk about the new product with each other before doing this in front of a client.
Unveil the collection:
- Let everyone touch, feel and try-on the pieces!
- Save this for the end, as you start losing your team’s collection once you take the product out to see in person!
Vendors can assist in the launch
Ask your vendor for any assistance they can offer for a proper launch of the new line. They may be able to help with some of the following:
- Contests (sell the 1st piece, sell the most, etc…)
- Jewelry giveaways
- Earn points to buy jewelry
- Invitations for your event
Your vendor wants you to be successful with their product, so ask if/how they can help. Teamwork = Success!
Offer Incentives when you first launch a new product. This helps form habits by getting your team to remember to show it and learn how to talk about it. Your incentives can be retailer driven, vendor driven or a combination of both.
Launch it your clients
Next, launch it to your clients. Throw a party. Ask the vendor to attend. Invite VIP customers to your store to unveil the new line. Call customers that you know would enjoy the new collection. This way, they feel special, as they get to see if before other customers know about it.
When the party is happening, engage the clients – help get them excited. Create wish lists. Give away swag bags. Really make it a benefit for them to attend.
Give the clients an experience they will remember! This is key, as it will get them to come back more often. Make sure they are left with a feeling of “Wow…can’t wait to come back and shop here again”! Amazing experiences stick with us and help remind us to go back again…and again.