No doubt about it, lights are cool
Adding a light to any product definitely makes it more intriguing; however, simply putting the product on the shelf or lighting it up in the showroom does not sell it. There are seven things a retailer must do in order to sell these products and reap the benefits of increased profits. Satisfied customers will refer their friends and family, which will result in a new customer base that will shop at the store. Here is how to get started:
- It all starts with advertising. Where most retailers begin to fail is not advertising the new product correctly. Simply showing a picture of the product and a price does not cut it. Instead, the advertisement should not only show the consumer a picture of the product, but also contain a link to the store’s website—either by QR code or direct URL—to see where they can find before/after photos as well as learn how they can turn their pool from ordinary into extraordinary. Further, including a line such as “Pricing as low as $xxx with no installation required” also works.
- Wow customers with a display by turning the most visible wall in the store into ‘The Cool Spot.’ The wall space does not have to be any bigger than 1.2 to 2.4 m (4 to 8 ft) long. Use this area to light it up; take every illuminated product the store carries and display them working. Include all of the manufacturer’s sales display materials in this area as well. Price the product, or if it needs to be installed, advertise an ‘As low as’ installation price. In this same section, use a TV or computer monitor to show various before and after installation photos, videos of the product(s) being used, in addition to how the consumer can install them (if needed). This display alone will sell these products.
- Try it before they buy it. Offer to loan a floating LED light to the consumer for the evening. This is a great way for the consumer to see what a basic $100 investment will get them. When the
consumer comes back to return the light, more often than not, many will purchase the product along with several more. If not, it opens the door to selling them a product upgrade. Either way, once they start with accent lighting for their pool, over the years they will supplement their lighting features by adding permanent illuminated fixtures and landscape lighting to the mix. ‘Try me’ promotions pretty much have a 100 per cent success rate. Once the consumer turns the light on at night in their pool, they are almost always likely to buy it.
- Set up a display pool and install the lights with independent switches to enable different lights and features to be turned on and off. By having an in-store ‘demo’ pool it shows the consumer what they can get now and what they can add on in the future. For those retailers without a display pool, one option is to install an array of illuminated features and accessories on a loyal customer’s pool at a discounted price and shoot a video showing the before and after results. In taking this one step further, retailers can make a deal with the customer that if they allow their name to be included on a referrals list, they will earn a commission on each one they help to sell.
- Send a post card mailer out to every customer showing them the array of products available and how they can easily be retrofitted or added onto their pool.
- Spread the word. Everyone the retailer employs (e.g. sales staff and service/construction personnel) needs to talk about the illuminated products. They should not only tell people about how cool illumination products are, but also explain how they are energy efficient, low-maintenance, as well as how easy they are to add to a swimming pool.
- Make a commission program for sales staff on these products. Set it up so it is graduated; therefore, the more they sell the more they make. Then, sit back and watch the sales happen.
With little effort and focus, illuminated products can help pool/spa retailers increase their sales while making their customer’s pool/spa experience better. Giving the customer an experience they cannot get online is a competitive advantage to the business. In addition, these tips can be easily applied to other products and services that are offered.
Ted Lawrence is a global retail specialist with Pool Corp., a wholesale distributor of swimming pool supplies, equipment, and related leisure products in Cleveland, Ohio. He has served the swimming pool industry for more than 20 years and is an authority on retail, sales, and management. Lawrence is also a regular seminar presenter at various national and international industry events, and participates on several professional retail boards and councils. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.