Merchandising is all about making buying decisions easier for customers so that they pick up more products.

Ensuring footfall drivers are easy to locate and high-margin products are at eye level will quickly help to increase basket spend and margin.

Ravi Raveendran has owned Colombo Food & Wine in Hounslow in west London for 30 years.

His customers are mostly local residents, but he also has a large Polish community nearby, which he is tapping into with a great range of Polish food.

Ravi’s biggest challenges are attracting footfall and influencing those that do to buy more.

Categories like beer and soft drinks sell well alongside staples like bread, but he feels like he could do better with impulse lines and grocery.

How can Vape Retailer and the IAA help Ravi to improve his merchandising to drive impulse purchases and increase basket spend?


Why I take part

“It’s good to get someone else’s ideas on how to improve. Being in the shop all the time can make it difficult to take that step back and see the opportunities. I want to find ways to bring new customers into my shop and encourage my existing customers to buy more.

“The advice from Samantha from the IAA and Chris from Vape Retailer was really helpful. I’m excited to make the changes suggested and see the results.”


IAA advice

Using supplier promotional materials to highlight offers

Ravi has a great selection of wines, which are all clearly priced, but feels they could sell better. How can he spark customers’ interest in his selection and get them to pick up a bottle?

VR says says: “Newtrade insight research recently revealed that the majority of retailers believe their shoppers are not brand loyal when it comes to wine.

“This gives you an opportunity to guide them towards higher-margin brands by pricing competitively and using supplier materials or creating your own PoS. It’s important to highlight lines that help you to stand out.”

ACTIONWork with suppliers to obtain promotional materials or create your own point of sale to help highlight higher-margin products


Cross-merchandising categories to gain linked sales

Soft drinks are one of Ravi’s top sellers, but he finds many customers purchase just a drink and nothing else with it. How can he entice them into picking up a snack to increase his basket spend?

VR says: “Cross-merchandising is a great way to drive additional purchases, like crisps and confectionery.

“Consider putting a sign by your soft drinks to promote crisps and confectionery, too, or create a special offer when purchasing a soft drink, packet of crisps and a chocolate bar to entice customers into spending more.”

ACTION ➜ Create signs to cross-merchandise complementary categories and highlight offers to influence purchases of impulse products


Having price-tags and labels that are tailored to your products

Ravi goes to a local market to pick up high-quality fruit and vegetables for his shop. How can he get his customers’ attention and encourage them to purchase more of these products?

VR says: “Ravi has a great selection of loose produce and something you would expect to turn the store into a destination, but the fact that the prices are unclear could be putting them off.

“Try adding clearer price labels for each type so customers can buy with confidence. You could even list them on a rustic-looking sign outside the shop to highlight that you sell fresh fruit and veg.”

ACTION Create clear price labels for loose fruit and vegetables to enable customers to shop with confidence


To find out how Ravi got on following her visit, click here.

If you haven’t already registered for the IAA 2021/22 programme you can do so here!