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High end accessories can be a tough sale for brick-and-mortar retailers. Often their higher price tag steers customers away in favor of more affordably priced options. But this doesn’t have to be the case. With some thoughtful merchandising and customer education, Peter Ovsonka, President and CEO of Zalo says that retailers can attract more attention to their better products.
Photography: BeauMonde Originals @beaumondeoriginals
Zalo is a collection of ornate, high-end adult products. Items feature details like gold plating, jewelry-grade manual enamel processing and real Swarovski crystal touches. They come in decorative jewelry-style boxes in a range of eye-candy colors that, when merchandised correctly, jump off the shelf.
Additionally, Zalo recently released a designer line of BDSM accessories that include a ball gag, riding crop and leather handcuffs. The entire collection is made from Italian leather and features copper metal findings and an elegant rose motif. This handcrafted collection looks and feels like fine art rather than the weapon-like aesthetic that generally designates this category of products.
So, how can you showcase high-end items in their best light and increase your sales in this category? We asked Zalo’s Ovsonka to share his best insight on creating visually appealing displays that truly highlight the quality and craftsmanship of these products. Read on for the best advice from our conversation.
Display High-End Accessories Separately
Photography: BeauMonde Originals @beaumondeoriginals
Zalo’s luxury accessories in a class of their own, and Ovsonka says that’s exactly where they belong in stores. “My advice would be to separate our leather products from the others,” he says. “Our products are made in a high-end factory and are time consuming to make. It’s like art…to produce products like that. If you put it on the wall next to regular leather people will not see the quality.”
Ovsonka suggests pulling your Zalo products down from the traditional slat wall displays and creating a vignette on a small table or display case. Many stores lump all of their bondage accessories on one wall and items are arranged by category. That makes it harder for customers to absorb an individual brand message and makes it easier for them to quickly scan the price tags and grab the cheapest option.
At Déjà Vu Love Boutique in Las Vegas, Zalo’s items are displayed in a glass case. Items are propped up on stands and positioned next to their eye-catching packaging. Ovsonka says he worked with another store that was struggling to sell the line by creating a similar display. He put the items in a display case, opened the boxes so customers could see them items and scattered some rose petals throughout to convey the look of luxury. “Sales when up 300 percent,” he says. “It’s makes the whole store look good.”
Use Clear Signage
Signage can help slow down customers who are dashing through your store and help them notice, and be tempted by, the new products you highlight. In your signs, go beyond the bland product description and offer an explanation of the items that is more colorful. Use imagery and write copy that will help bring the product to life for customers and explain special features that set it apart.
For example, include details on the quality of the leather and the high-end factory that Zalo’s BDSM accessories were made in so customers will know right away how special these items are. Retailers can also incorporate images into their displays. Ovsonka says he will work individually with customers to create custom marketing pieces for their store that include the brand’s photography. Anything from large banners to small tabletop signs can be designed to fit a store’s needs.
Incorporating technology is another way to enhance your displays. Small screens with videos or a slideshow of imagery will instantly catch the eye of a customer passing by.
While stores should arm their staff with important product details, and train them to educate customers about the distinguishing factors, signage still plays a huge role in the sales process. Effective signs help to stop customers in their tracks—people will slow down to read them, and in effect, walk away with new products they didn’t come in for.
Cross Merchandise Your Displays
Showing customers how they can style some of Zalo’s high-end BDSM accessories will help them better envision the items in their life. Ovsonka suggests adding a mannequin to your displays and dressing it with a few accessories. The Leather Thorn Collar & Chain Leash is a beautifully decorative neck piece that looks more like a fashion statement than a dom and sub scenario. Adding the collar, cuffs and a whip to any mannequins styled in matching lingerie will help customers imagine the items in action.
While brick-and-mortar retailers continue to battle with Internet sales, Ovsonka feels that beautifully merchandised Zalo products can help close the gap. “Our products are designed for brick-and-mortar and in store purchase because of the details we put in our products and package,” he says. “We want customer to see and feel it.” By investing a little more time and thought into your accessory displays customers will easily be able to see and feel the difference.
Learn more about the Zalo Luxury BDSM Accessory Collection