Harnessing the Power of Consumer Impulse Purchases

Those small, inexpensive products lining your way to checkout—retailers place these here for a reason. Understanding consumer psychology is a powerful tool in retaining customers and driving revenue for your store, and designing your point of purchase (POP) displays with this knowledge in mind is essential to in-store efforts. According to a study from A.T. Kearney, “40 percent of consumers spend more money than they had planned in stores, while only 25 percent reported online impulse shopping”—a telling statistic of how store fixtures influence buying decisions. Learn how to harness the power of customer impulse purchases with Vulcan Industries’ Director of Creative Strategies, Chuck Lee, and see your store’s profits steadily begin to rise.

Seeing is Buying

Donald R. Lichtenstein, a professor of marketing at the University of Colorado, says that getting your product in front of customers is “the first and most important step in impulse buying.” Even if an item isn’t on their list, it might be at the back of their minds. Bring those unconscious needs into consciousness with point of sale displays, and seal the deal on additional sales.

Positioning for Impact

Place impulse items near products customers intended to buy when they entered your store. For instance, in clothing stores, ties should be located near dress shirts and belts near suits. The more you can group these complimentary items together, the better. Groceries and big box stores often use small aisle displays (also called “interrupters”) and clip strips to call attention to impulse items. A cardboard aisle display with honey might be located near bread, or clip strips holding small toys will be positioned within reach of children. Another positioning strategy that works is cross-merchandising products in grocery or snack display fixtures. Displaying water, snacks, and sunscreen together during the summer months encourages consumers to purchase items they might need but left off their shopping list.

As you probably expected, the prime location for impulse purchases is near checkout. For example, a home improvement store may sell soft drinks, batteries, breath mints, and magazines—products not usually associated with the store’s offerings. The goal is to keep customers from purchasing these items from other stores and to offer them a more convenient shopping experience. Especially during the holiday season, store visitors spend a significant amount of time waiting in queue. Along this line, position several POP displays with additional items customers want or need. You’ll likely find that sales rise simply as the result of these well-placed store fixtures.

Strategically Placed Signage

Influence purchasing decisions with signage that highlights sales and BOGO (buy one, get one) deals. Create urgency with limited-time promotions that trigger a shopper’s instinct to buy more. Keep sales messages succinct and easy to read, accenting one offer per space to avoid overwhelming, and therefore, dissuading customers from purchase. Locate these signs near bestselling products and other areas customers tend to visit in your store. With these signs in place, customers will instinctively begin gravitating toward your impulse products.

Find the perfect merchandising display for your unique retail, marketing, and design needs with custom and in-stock fixtures from Vulcan Industries. Contact us or request information to get started today!

Vulcan Industries Named One of Nation’s “Top 50 P.O.P. Companies”

Creative Magazine, a publication dedicated to sales promotion and the design of point-of-purchase displays, recently recognized Vulcan Industries in its annual selection of the nation’s “Top 50 P.O.P. Companies.” Companies are chosen based on revenue and sales volume from the previous year, plus number of employees, industry affiliation, and brand recognition. The April/May issue also features Vulcan Industries’ latest display solution for Makita U.S.A. Inc., a manufacturer of professional and consumer power tools. This innovative point-of-purchase display gives retailers the ability to interchange power tools of different sku’s without altering the fixture. Visit the Creative Magazine site to read more.

Cost-Effective Ways to Transform Your Product Displays

Want to drastically change the look of product displays without breaking your marketing budget? There are numerous ways companies can reconfigure store fixtures to promote products to a given audience or to simply refresh the appearance of their retail space. For creative store display ideas that increase sales and lower promotional costs, Chuck Lee, Director of Creative Strategies for Vulcan Industries, offers four cost-effective ways to transform product displays.

  1. Custom Clothing Display Racks

For businesses that sell clothing and accessories, modifiable custom clothing display racks can be adjusted to showcase seasonal apparel in multiple ways. A four-sided merchandising display may feature different, interchangeable graphics that announce sales and seasonal promotions. Hanging bars or rods secured to the end caps of store fixtures can highlight best-selling merchandise or give customers outfit ideas that drive further sales.

  1. In-Stock Gondola Displays

If simple, quick, and standard is what you need, gondola displays are the way to go. With a pegboard display, a variety of auxiliary options are available, including shelves, hooks, sign holders, wire baskets, and dividers. Easily increase the height of gondolas and get more promotional space with an extender kit that fits into the top of your display. Or within seconds, readjust pegboard hooks and shelving to emphasize new products and promotions. In one-inch increments, these gondola accessories shift up and down to create additional or less space between each section.

  1. DIY Printed Pieces and Corrugated Add-Ons

Get creative with your gondola displays using DIY printed pieces and corrugated add-ons. Cover up the back of a pegboard display with a custom printed graphic that promotes your latest campaign, then add shelving and hooks to hang or display the featured product. On the endcap attach a corrugated image that draws attention to or encourages customer interaction with your display. For instance, a company might append a cardboard cutout of their mascot or a sought-after product to engage children and parents during back-to-school season.

  1. Attachable Tablet for a Quick, Custom Kiosk

Want to test the impact of adding a kiosk to your store before committing to the purchase? Attach a tablet to a custom store fixture to achieve the same effect. But remember to locate your retail display near a power source to keep your DIY kiosk fully charged. Don’t know exactly how to make this work? Vulcan Industries creates custom turnkey merchandising displays with hardware that’s compatible with a touch screen computer or tablet. Simply generate the desired content (videos, tutorials, etc.), and we’ll do the rest.

Find an affordable product display that meets your merchandising needs at Vulcan Industries. Contact us or request information to get started on your in-stock or custom store fixture today!

Why Innovative Merchandising Matters to Your Product Launch

Picture yourself inside a big box store. Consider your natural inclinations. Likely, you will gravitate toward familiar products, grabbing items that complete your checklist.This pattern of behavior complicates the traditional product launch, whether you’re a burgeoning business or well-established brand. So how will you break this cycle and convince consumers to purchase your new product? Chuck Lee, Director of Creative Strategy for Vulcan Industries, outlines innovative merchandising solutions for effectively introducing your company’s latest offering to the marketplace.

Integrate Marketing Efforts with Merchandising

The point-of-sale display is the last of a several step process, beginning with advertising and marketing. So before your product hits stores, center your company’s efforts on creating excitement and demand for the item. Your promotional messaging should remain consistent and translate to your in-store display. When customers enter a store, they should easily recognize the product based on their engagement with pre-launch advertising. Marrying marketing and advertising with a compelling in-store experience guarantees your product doesn’t get lost amid a sea of other merchandise.

3 Effective Product Launch Fixtures

  1. Demonstration. Imagine seeing a video game console for the very first time. A few questions might enter your mind: “How does it work? Why do I need it?” Gaming companies quickly understood that shoppers needed to interact with the product, rather than read about it, in order to convert. Vulcan Industries’ can create custom electronic display fixtures that will help take the mystery out of new, big-ticket items, allowing customers to test products for themselves.
  2. Short-Term Offer. Want to quickly spread the word about your new product? Entice customers with giveaways and special offers. This strategy works well in groceries, discount retailers, and convenience stores, with snack and beverage Offer a limited-time discount, sample-size handouts, or a free accessory with purchase to get strong sales numbers and word-of-mouth marketing right off the bat.
  3. Educational. Smart consumers conduct research, compiling their own side-by-side analysis of brands and merchandise. Especially with new, unfamiliar products, the question that needs answering is “why?” Why purchase this product over the competitors’? So let point-of-sale displays make your sales pitch for you. Use a static graphic or monitor with recorded content to educate customers. Is your offering more earth-friendly? Easier to use? More effective? Making an informed decision is important to most customers, so give them the facts they need to do so.

Need a standout store fixture or POP display for your product launch? Contact us or request information to get started on your custom merchandising display today!

Case Study – Donut Display

By challenging an incumbent supplier, Vulcan Industries capitalized on the competition and saved its client more than 2 million annually.

The Challenge:

Vulcan Industries recommended that a donut retailer, which was currently buying its displays from a single supplier, establish a backup vendor/supplier. With an annual usage of 2-3K display units over several years, the donut retailer required a secondary manufacturer in case something went wrong with the existing one.

The Solution:

To ensure the units would install flawlessly side by side, the second supplier manufactured them exactly the same as the original supplier. This guaranteed that the donut display cases, typically arranged by twos or threes in a line, would look uniform. Creating a duplicate design eliminated any worries of fit and function. Bidding the item with other suppliers allowed Vulcan to secure a competitive price.

The Result:

With the addition of a second supplier, Vulcan Industries has saved the client more than $2M annually for the past four years.

Case Study – Supplier Consolidation

Vulcan Industries’ consolidation program reduces seven suppliers to one for successful cost reduction.

The Challenge:

Because of the fragmented and unwieldy nature of its suppliers, this drug store had little opportunity to leverage volume for procurement cost reductions. Prior to consolidation, the business volume was too small for any supplier to offer incentives. The drug store wanted to decrease acquisition costs and reduce the supply base.

The Solution:

Vulcan Industries presented a program that would handle the drug store’s inventory management and logistics, providing more savings than its previous third-party logistics provider. By shipping direct from Vulcan instead of the third party, a consolidator of products from various suppliers, the drug store limited freight costs and warehouse costs.

Once the 100-plus SKUs were consolidated into one supplier (down from seven), procurement offshore became an option. Frequent orders from China of varying items reduced total overseas freight costs.

Vulcan developed a weekly usage report that triggered reorder requirements based on product lead-times. Based on overall annual volume, Vulcan was able to offer a rebate percentage program triggered at higher selling volume ($1M, $2M, 3$M, etc.).

The Result:

With a reduction of suppliers from seven to one, the drug store was able to better manage its inventory. The elimination of incurred third-party shipping and logistics costs resulted in a 24% reduction in inventory dollars, and a procurement cost savings of 4%.

Case Study – Tool Display

Sales surged 20% the week after Vulcan Industries installed a custom tool display.

The Challenge:

A home improvement store needed hand tool merchandising fixtures that would deliver organization, increase weight capacity and holding power, and produce sales that exceed expectations. The original stick-built wall limited the capacity for product in the bays. Without the proper support to hold heavy hand tools, the structural integrity of the pegboard was compromised.

The Solution:

Vulcan Industries designed a new modular wall system with the flexibility to better organize the product and the strength to support weighty tools without the risk of failure. The wall incorporated the use of shelving at varying depths and heights, high-capacity peghooks, and custom fixtures. These features enabled the rack to efficiently display the product, increasing the capacity of the bay.

The Result:

This new merchandising system provided a 30% increase of product displayed in a bay. Due to the greater holding capacity, the wall system increased tool sales 20% the first week after installation. Since the initial installation, Vulcan Industries has produced and installed more than 100,000 of these custom wall systems for home improvement stores.

Case Study – Bath and Shower Fixture

Vulcan Industries implemented a fixture SKU rationalization that resulted in a cost savings of 54%.

The Challenge:

A Vulcan Industries client needed to consolidate a number of custom bath and shower fixtures SKU’s. The low-volume custom fixtures were extremely expensive to manufacture and difficult for the field installers to assemble.

The Solution:

Vulcan Industries created and produced one fixture to replace six existing fixtures. By eliminating six SKU’s the client was able to decrease customization of fixtures while still accommodating multiple branding options. Instead of custom fitting a design for each display, Vulcan designed a flexible unit that expands and contracts to three settings (36”, 48”, and 60” lengths) to fit multiple products. This fixture was capable of merchandising all specified bath/shower products. The unit was designed to ship complete, which eliminated field installation and damaged displays.

The Result:

The resulting total cost reduction of 54% includes installation, labor, and inventory carrying costs.

Case Study – Convenience Store Display

Vulcan Industries aids the successful rollout of a new brand with innovative display options.

The Challenge:

As a first-time entry into the convenience category, a new brand of health drink required merchandising fixtures to penetrate a new distribution channel. In order to guarantee placement in the top 100 convenience store chains, a range of fixture options was needed. Manufacturing the right merchandising fixtures was crucial to drive successful placements in more than 58,000 locations.

The Solution:

Vulcan Industries initiated and produced a portfolio of 16 fixture designs. These 16 concepts were reviewed and narrowed to five. Each display was designed with function and utility in mind.

The folding wire rack, a four-shelf design with a small footprint, accommodates a variety of placement locations and channels. With sturdy wire construction, the under-shelf roller rack fits beneath cooler shelves or on a gondola. The freestanding display features flat metal shelves that allow for singles to be merchandised. The single-bottle gravity feed loads from the top to ensure proper product rotation. Placing product up front in the cooler door, the suction cup door merchandiser has a changeable graphic strip that offers flexibility in store signage.

The Result:

Vulcan Industries achieved a successful rollout. 38% of the convenience store targets were sold and 49,000 fixtures were produced, resulting in 25,200 product placements. Over a two-year period, the health drink company tracked $27.3MM of incremental revenue and $7.2MM in profit.


Case Study – Flooring Fixture

Vulcan Industries effectively combined foreign and domestic production to save a customer 17% on flooring fixture expenditures.

The Challenge:

In order to add new product categories without expanding the showroom footprint, a flooring retailer required a creative approach to merchandising its stores. The flooring business wanted to accomplish this goal at a minimum cost. The resolution had to provide a solution to the logistics of storage and transportation.

The Solution:

Vulcan Industries introduced 36 fixtures that enabled the flooring retailer to merchandise all existing and new product categories in the preferred size showroom. The flexible modular fixtures maximized merchandising capacity, allowing more products in the same linear footage. The fixtures also allowed for future changes to planograms with little effort or expense.

With 10 years of experience working with partner factories in China, Vulcan provides exceptional domestic and offshore production. Vulcan produced a portion of the needed fixtures domestically to make them available on a shorter lead time, then produced the balance of the fixtures overseas to take advantage of the cost savings.

Vulcan Industries leveraged its product management and warehouse capabilities to store and ship fixtures for the flooring retailer. Vulcan ships all needed store fixtures on one truck, thus expediting the store setup process and cutting costs.

The Result:

Vulcan Industries met the flooring retailer’s aggressive rollout schedules with a blended production approach, and saved them an average of 17% on in-store capital expense. As a result, the company awarded Vulcan with all of their fixture business for 2012 through 2014. Today, Vulcan is the flooring retailer’s single source for store fixture and point-of-purchase displays.