by Tom Boyer for the Lasting Impressions blog series

As discussed in the other posts in this Lasting Impressions series, there are multiple opportunities to impact your customers’ perceptions before, during, and after they visit your store.

When they are in your pharmacy, you want to provide a pleasant environment and an extraordinary shopping experience that provides a positive feeling and encourages loyalty and return visits. The key to this is a well-merchandised front-end.

What does “well-merchandised” mean? One aspect of a well-merchandised front-end is one that has its departments organized in a logical flow of how consumers would expect to find items. That means putting thought into which departments should be next to one another or in close proximity. When items are purchased in one department, what other departments are also likely to be shopped? Since this isn’t every pharmacists’ area of expertise, hopefully our TEMPS® Category Manager program is available to you through your wholesaler. TEMPS provides a complete set of tools to help you merchandise and sign your store, and more.IMG_0041

It can be of real benefit to your store to utilize merchandising materials since your front-end provides higher margins than your prescription business. Planograms are an important piece of making your front-of-store easy to shop, and ours are based on thorough data analysis to determine what products will best meet your customers’ needs. A good resource on why it’s important to follow a strategic planogram is covered in this two-part post: Implement planograms — part one and Implement planograms — part two.

While planograms will give you the specific items you should place on your shelves and in what order, you should also exercise your own expertise and explore locally-focused items. For instance, you could carry products that are made in the area, or apparel and gift items that are in support of local sports teams. Stocking these types of items shows your community loyalty and interest in backing fellow small businesses.

Another aspect of being well-merchandised is having adequate levels of stock. Having one of an item is not attractive to shoppers, and paying attention to your sales reports will guide you to the amount of pieces you should keep on the shelves. This deserves its own blog post. (Check back.)

TEMPS includes pricing guidelines, a new item report, category strategies, item listings, and promotional signs. If you don’t have access to TEMPS through your wholesaler, call us to learn more about it.

My next post will speak to how important signage is in your store. Don’t underestimate what a piece of colorful paper with important product benefits listed posted near the item it is promoting can do for your sales.

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