Hardware Retailing

SEP 2016

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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September 2016 | HARDWARE RETAILING 87 the devices on their own. Giving a customer a personal referral about a product he has used in his own home carries a lot of weight, he says. Especially as this technology is still new, consumers still feel a bit skeptical about smart home technology. They might have questions such as, "What is the life span of the product?" or "If technology is advancing so quickly, won't this item soon be irrelevant?" Those are the types of questions you will need to answer. Firsthand experience and an enthusiastic recommendation will go a long way toward alleviating shoppers' concerns. You can also use social media to tell customers about products you've installed in your own home and how they are working. Focus on a Single Ecosystem Similar to stocking the complete line from a popular brand elsewhere in the store, it's best to sell smart products from the same ecosystem, or same family of products. While all products don't need to be from the same manufacturer, it's helpful if they are compatible with the same operating system. "We do sell a few standalone products," says Williams, "but we try to keep our selection of smart home items small, so everything you buy here connects to the same system. It's also important that employees understand not only how the individual product works, but also how that product interconnects with other products in the system. Be prepared to answer questions like, "Will this item work with my iPhone?" Finally, rather than merchandising products in their respective departments throughout the store (such as putting the locks with builders' hardware and the smoke detectors in heating and cooling), it's better to group smart home products together in a single display. This will help customers understand how that ecosystem functions and create more of a statement to shoppers that you are indeed a destination for these products. Communicate Benefits vs. Price Price may be one of the biggest objections shoppers have to purchasing One of the most-sold smart home devices at Fresno Ag Hardware is a doorbell, and a manufacturer video helps explain the different ways it can be used. CLEAR WOOD SEALER & NATURAL TONER BASE Restores and accents the natural grain, texture and color of wood with one coat. Ideal for all types of woods including pressure treated lumber and log cabins. SEMI-TRANSPARENT EXTERIOR DECK & SIDING STAIN Imparts subtle color and soft sheen without masking the wood grain. Protects against the damaging effects of rain, salt air and ultraviolet rays. SOLID EXTERIOR DECK & SIDING STAIN Delivers gorgeous opaque color. Use on wood, composite, vinyl, aluminum and masonry surfaces. Visit us at www.ugl.com or call 1-800-845-5227 to see how we can partner with you to create a successful UGL dealer program.

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