The Showroom Must Go On

Creating aesthetic spaces and showcasing products is a proven successful method of selling which should be adopted where possible!

As the season kick-starts the Long Rake Spar marketing department has been inundated with POS and Aggregate Display Stand requests for our Natural Selection brand. We have found that improving their outside landscaping displays has become more popular with builders’ merchants year on year. 

A common misconception is that with increasing use of technology there is little need to put effort into POS displays, however visiting a builder’s merchant is a welcome break from scrolling through phones. It is a chance to see products in the flesh, as size, materials and the quality of a product do not always render well on screen, no matter how amazing the camera is.

Physical displays and in situ images showcasing products are a highly powerful selling tool which should not be underestimated. As we know due to the pandemic, we have seen a collapse in high-street retail. What has been made clear moving forward is that stores will need to focus more on interactive consumer experiences. Those who succeed will be those that give customers memorable instore experiences while maintaining relevance. This is not limited to high-street retail; this is based on consumer psychology which should be considered in every industry.

Forward Builders’ Supplies are a shining example of builder’s merchants who have impressively utilised their yard space to enhance customer experience and boost sales.

We visited their yard and spoke with Becki Bell, Sales & Marketing Executive and George Farrell, Trainee Landscape Manager who are major advocates for the marketing displays.

We conducted a mini-interview:

‘Having one of the biggest display areas in the North West really helps customers choose materials before making a decision on their purchase. We have homeowners come in who are ‘DIY-ers’ and support landscapers knowing they can send their customers to us for expert advice.'
Becki Bell
Forward Builders

Q. How long have you been trading?

A. We have been trading Since 1987 (34 years) from the same yard but have expanded the yard over the years. We wanted to be able to display as many products as possible in order to boost sales.

Q. Have you always stocked Decorative Aggregates?

A. No, we started out solely concentrating on the civils industry. We wanted to diversify the business and decorative aggregates has been a major part of that which has continued to be successful.

Q. Have you noticed an increase in sales since installing our POS?

A. Yes, it is a lot more customer friendly. We feel comfortable knowing customers can walk around the display area knowing there is information including depth recommendations and sizing for them on the POS. Some of the information is not something we would know of the top of our heads, so it helps having this set up in the yard already.

Q. Do you get good feedback from customers?

A. Yes it remains positive for our yard, we noticed that having displays increases the volume of onsite purchases.

Sample Natural Selection products with a mini bulk bag
Mini Sample bulk bags are an easy, no mess way to sample products

Q. What other methods do you find effective to engage customers and spread awareness?

A. We have a very experienced team on site who are always willing to go above and beyond for all customers. We have an e-commerce website which has been extremely busy, especially since the pandemic as more customers were relying on online shopping and delivering to them directly. However, we have seen these customers returning to our branch for in store experiences. We also have monthly emails and use social media to highlight special offers to customers.

Q. What is your top selling aggregate products?

A. The Blue Slate Chippings and the Golden Gravel are our top sellers. We do deliver aggregates nationally and offer free local delivery.

Q. Has the sale of any products surprised you?

A. The Black Ice Chippings and Ice Blue Chippings which are contemporary modern options. We sell a lot more of these products than expected.

If you are a customer of ours and would like some help upgrading your yard space, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with one of our sales representatives who can talk you through what we offer merchants.

Customer: Forward Builders’ Supplies

In Situ displays from Natural Selection
Tight on space? An in-situ image displaying the product can help to inspire a customer.