(Last Updated On: April 15, 2020)

How to make money with these 6 Types of Retail Products 

image showing 6 types of retail products


If you’re like the average business owner or entrepreneur, you’re scared shitless about the Carona virus.


You don’ know if you will catch it…you don’t know if you will survive if you do. And if you do, how will you sell your retail products after…


I’m not sure I’m referring to you, but many small retailers believe that customer service is their real competitive advantage.


But however great your customer service is, if you’re not selling the relevant retail products, you will not make the kind of money you dreamed of. This is especially so, after a crisis or some similar setback.


When this happens, does this mean you should rush out and start buying any and every product that you think will sell in your store?


Or do you buy only those which your competitor is selling and hope you get a similar or even better response?


You should do neither.


Chances are, you don’t have the money to buy every product you think will sell. And following your competitors’ lead is not a good marketing idea.


What if there was a better way?


Like a meaningful strategy for buying and displaying your retail products?


Well, there are actually 6 key retail products types, that if you use them to buy, display and sell your merchandise, you will be guaranteed to make money.


The exciting thing is, if you knew these retail product groups, you will find that you already have products that can fit into each group.


That’s why I can’t wait to share them with you, so here they are:


1. Destination products

Have you ever driven way across town to buy an item which you wanted. And you were mad at yourself all the way? But you did it because you could not get it from anywhere else?


You were after a destination product.


Destination products are those retail products which people come to your store specifically to buy. You know the ones I mean…your signature products.


The good thing about destination products is that they don’t have to be some product that you created just for your store.


They can be products which are better than those of your competitors. Or some that your competitors simple neglect to carry. And they can also be limited or retro versions of regular item. However they show up, they’re your one-of-a-kind products.


Perhaps you have some in your store and you didn’t even know. So right now, look around your store and see if you have any of these items. If you do, repackage and start marketing them differently so that you begin making money from their uniqueness. 


If you don’t have any, you want to research which retail products can serve this purpose for you. Destination products can really increase your cash flow.


2.  Image Enhancers

Recently, I wandered into a small hardware store and was pleasantly surprised!


This store had several high-end retail products which made me think: “ Wow! I like this store! I have to tell my friends about this!”


These types of retail products are called image enhancers.


Image enhancers are products which are a cut above the rest of your regular inventory… you know…a little high-end. They are intended to wow your customers and get them talking about your store.  


However, using image enhancers have two inherent problems but if you can get around them, you can make them work for you.


First, these products don’t generate a lot of sales by themselves, so you should limit how many you carry. Making these retail products only about 10% of your overall inventory mix is a good approach to retail product planning.


In addition, please ensure that they are reasonably priced because if they are priced beyond your customers’ reach, they will mention that too.


Second, you need to have sufficient products from the other categories to sell to those customers which your image enhancers attract. Just like in any other area, if you are going to market to bring people to your business, you need to have inventory to sell to them. 


3.  Transaction Builders

A transaction builder is a retail product which drives the add-on sale. Here is an example of how it works.


I come to the household section of my favorite retail store to purchase a simple green sheet for my bed.


With the assistance of the helpful Sales Associate, I realise I now need pillowcases, a duvet and a set of 3 throw cushions, to really make your bedroom look sexy.


To encourage me to buy, the store owner gives me an attractive discount on the price of the sheet, my original item. I’m so happy, so naturally I make the purchase.


But the accessories have higher mark-ups that I am not even aware of. So what I apparently gained on the sheet, I lost on the accessories. You see, they’re transaction builders. Therefore, the more of these retail products you can sell, the more money you can make. 


What I love about transaction builders is that with a little imagination, you can create them throughout your store, especially if you know how to price retail products.


However, for them to really work, you have to ensure that your Sales Associates understand the strategy and they are properly trained in selling techniques.


4.  Traffic Builders

My girlfriend had this habit of driving all the way to a West Coast shop to buy clothing items that she could have bought from several other shops along the way. What foolishness was that?


Then I discovered that she was not the only one doing this.


I also discovered why they were taking this drive.


The shop they were going to, allow them to mix the sizes of tops and bottoms of swimsuits at certain times during the year. The thing was, you never knew when this time would be. 


The real benefit of getting a 2-piece swimsuit that actually fits and the mystery of not knowing when, kept a constant flow of traffic through that little store. In addition, when people showed up, even if they did not get what they wanted, there was always a collection of other tempting items.


What I have described above, is the essence of a traffic builder.


In a nutshell, it’s really retail products or services or a combination of both, which encourage customers to come to your store, again and again.


A traffic builder might also be strong visual merchandising such as an in-store interactive display or a clever eye-catching display located just outside your store. 


This type of retail product, supported by visual merchandising techniques, create a buying energy that ends up as money in your bank account.


5.  Profit Generators

So you go to a trade show and you meet a distributors who sells you all his existing surf pants for $5 each. How cool is that? You normally buy them at $13 each. If you could sell them at the regular price back in your store (or slightly below) you will make a huge profit.


You have just acquired a profit generators. 


You should note that high profit margins does not automatically means high prices. For example, smart business owners  usually rely on buying closeouts  to serve as profit generators and it’s alright to do so.


Another great source of profit generators are those retail products which also serve as transaction builders.


When you have a good mix of these two types of products in your merchandise and marketing mix, as we say in my country “yuh gone clear!”


6.  Turf Protectors

Are you carrying an item in your retail products list that you would rather not sell? (Answer me honestly now!)


But you also know that if you don’t carry that item, far fewer people would shop with you. These are your turf protectors and their main purpose is to protect your customer base.


Here’s the thing that some retailers dislike about having turf protectors on their product list. Apart from being undesirable in themselves, they can sometimes  attract some undesirable customers as well.


A good example of this would be selling cigarettes because the people who buy your plant fertiliser are smokers and they expect you to. Why? Because all the other plant fertiliser businesses are selling them.


Retailers typically don’t enjoy carrying this type of merchandise because it does not make them money. But they make the business decision to, in order to make money with the other products they sell.


Your next “retail products” steps…

So there you have them…..6 Types of Retail Products That Will Really Make You Money!


Now what does that mean for you?


First, you don’t have to throw mud at the wall and see what sticks, when it comes to developing a strategy for selecting which retail products to sell.


You have now also increased your retail product knowledge and that places you so ahead of the competition. 


Then, in a crisis or a setback, you have a system you can fall back on to help you get up and running quickly.


But the big question is “How will you make these 6 product types work for you?”


First you can begin by looking at your existing products and see how many fit into these categories.


Next, think about the kinds of products you can include in your inventory mix under these product types.


Then, get together with your team (if you have one) and come up with ways you can buy, package and display these products.


Finally, enjoy your increased cash flow, revenue and profit.


That’s why you got into retail…wasn’t it? 

6 Types of Retail Products That Will Really Make You Money

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