If you operate a retail store that caters to tourists, you know firsthand that these customers are not your traditional consumer. Their shopping preferences vary from needing something last minute to wanting something ‘just because’. Keeping this in mind, it helps to create a store environment that understands the sentiment of tourist customers and thus, can better support them in their shopping goals.

Leverage Merchandising to Help Increase Store Sales

Merchandising provides retailers the opportunity to deliver enjoyable experiences that also fill the needs of customers wants and desires. For tourist based retailers, this is incredibly important since often, they may never have a chance to connect with these same customers again. For many consumers, their one visit to your store may be their only visit to your store – so capturing their attention and their dollars is important. Fortunately, merchandising can help. Among the ways to leverage this to your advantage include the following:

  1. Provide name-drop items such as sweatshirts, keychains and postcards in easy to see displays with signage clearly identifying their price points. These items optimize tourist based retail sales since they become souvenirs to your customers and increase the opportunity for quick and consistent turn-over of inventory. Explore name-drop inventory at IGES to help strengthen your store sales.
  2. Use signage strategically throughout your store to highlight why certain items are an immediate, must-have purchase. When used in combination with displays and merchandising strategies, signage can remind customers why they may need – or should want – to buy certain items. Allow your signage to be both informative and entertaining, helping to create a stronger customer experience.
  3. Incorporate merchandising that caters to the tourist sentiment of your tourist location. Whether you are a museum store, zoo retailer, beach boutique or airport shop, consider how your merchandising can ease and entertain the customer experience. If your customers are known to move at a more leisure pace versus rushed, create a shopping environment that welcomes lingering moments, for example. The idea is to consider who your primary audience is then through merchandising create a store space that caters to this target audience.


Personalize Your Product & Prices

Offering personalization to your inventory sets you apart from other area retailers – thus, giving your customers a reason to want to make more immediate purchases. This allows you to be competitive in your retail efforts but also helps to create a unique, one-of-a-kind vibe for your store. Incorporate your own store local into some of your inventory, as well, and always consider the price points you offer. Are there price points for all customers that may visit your store? And if not, are you okay with not capturing the dollars of all potential customers? Combining personalized inventory with strategic pricing strategies is a great way to strengthen sales opportunities – and as a result, gain more success for your store.


Finally, remember the realities of why customers shop in tourist based stores. Very simply, they either want to or they need to. Provide an assortment of inventory that offers what your customers want – such as memorable items that will remind them of their vacation or tourist experience – as well as provide items that customers may need, such as shampoo, beverages and other toiletries. Collectively, these efforts will help your store thrive as a tourist based retailer even if you the customers who visit your store may never do so again.

By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle

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