Using science to increase profitability in your store.scientific blog-01If there is one thing we know it’s that humans love to complete a picture. There is an entire branch of science called “active interpretation” dedicated to the concept that the human mind craves a complete picture. In fact, humans crave this completeness so much that they will mentally fill in the gaps in a picture to complete it—even when only part of the image is present.

scientific blog-02The idea of active interpretation goes beyond just brain teaser images (like the illusion of the triangle shown here) and extends to day to day living. Namely that humans crave a complete picture. They want a reason why bites are missing from the circles. They want to see an image in the ink blots. And most importantly, they want to complete their collections of items so they go together in harmony.

As a Garden Center or Gift Shop, you can use this fundamental urge for completeness to help your shoppers find all the elements they need to complete their spaces. But how to get started?

First, take a look at the items you have planned for spring. If you’re a Garden Center, we bet you’ve got items that fit into the following categories: planters, wall décor, fountains, decorative accessories and larger items (benches, storage devices, etc.). Start by categorizing all items into these buckets. We suggest using a pinboard to visually categorize pictures of the items (or pull them from the manufacturer catalog).

Next, sort the pictures into collections. If you’ve shopped about bought from a manufacturer’s existing collections this should be a simple task as they are usually designed to coordinate.

Now that you’ve created collections of items for your shoppers think about how you can place them to show off collection so that your customers will want to complete them in their home.

  • Consider organizing by collection instead of by item. That is, don’t put all the fountains in one area and the planters in another. Instead mix the categories together and display by collection.
  • Display for the lifestyle. Going a step beyond organizing by collection consider creating lifestyle displays that showcase at least one item from each category in the collection to visually represent a complete set.
  • If you have smaller items you may want to pull them into the store near the checkout so that shoppers can impulsively grab them on the way out.

However you choose to organize your shop, we hope that the idea of active interpretation will excite you to think about collections as a way to drive more sales and profit this year. And, as you explore collections, you can trust Melrose to have well vetted, on-trend collections of products suited to your needs.