Your customers won't buy what they can't see. Be sure your entire market area is well lit with bright non-glaring light (fluorescent, incandescent, or natural sunlight work best). Brighten dark hidden corners or deep shelves with spotlights or inexpensive clip-on lights. Backlighting certain products including translucent jellies, honey, juices, sparkling juices, herb vinegars, or any item that light can shine through can double your sales! Inexpensive strip lights placed behind a frosted ceiling panel to diffuse the light create a beautiful display. You can also try displaying light in front of a frosted window—beautiful! For subtle lighting in dim cubbies such as crates, try using Christmas lights or, if you can find them, tube lights (white works best). Be sure to rotate any wares that are exposed to sunlight because even natural food colors can fade.
Wooden crates make a sturdy, moveable display that will last for years. Each bushel crate holds 24 pint jars (2 cases of preserves). For the safest results back up to a wall or bolt it directly to the wall. These also work well arranged as a pyramid for a free-standing floor display "island.” A perfect display piece in any country market whether it’s painted, stained, or left natural.
Group your products where they will be seen and attract your customers' attention with eye-catching signage. McCutcheon's offers a variety of color signs at a minimal cost. Ask distributors for "point-of-sale" materials. Again, only use what is in keeping with your decor.
Multi-purchase pricing tempts your customers to buy that extra jar. Customers are more likely to make larger purchases when you have offers such as "Salad Dressings 3 for $10" or "Honey Sticks 5 for $1.” Be sure the multi-purchase price is a bargain over the single price. Always post the single price as well so your customer can make an educated choice. Keep it simple and display plenty of the items offered. Even if you’re not offering a special price, give them a 4 jar carrier box to gather the items with, and they will invariably buy 4 jars instead of the 2 they came for. If you notice a customer on a real spree give them a 12 jar jelly box, and they will find a way to fill as many compartments as possible.
Prepacked custom labeled gift boxes and shrink-wrapped baskets are perfect for the holidays or special occasions. They take little effort and shoppers love finding a ready-to-give present. Offer a wide price range of gifts for your varied shoppers from small sampling packs or large family-style baskets. Remember your time costs money, so don't underprice yourself—make it worth your while. Ask distributors and sales reps if any of their products are available in sampler packs or gift assortments. McCutcheon’s offers several packaging options for gift packs and baskets. For a variety of supplies call Gift Basket Supply Co at 1-800-basket1 or TBL Packaging at 1-888-206-9030.
Coupons can bring in many new customers by offering discounts on popular items. In order to ensure you make a profit, require a reasonable minimum purchase, such as $10 or $20 (must be stated on your coupon). Always state an expiration date and any other "rules" such as "Not valid with any other coupons or offers. Limit one coupon per customer, please." Keep your offer simple and enticing!