Yoga is loved by millions for many reasons. Aside from being a fun, stress-relieving hobby, yoga has many health benefits which are both physical and psychological. In America alone, the yoga industry generates over $9.1 billion in revenue. Sports Club Advisors predict that this will reach $11.5 billion by 2020. In 2015, retailers understandably cashed in on yoga merchandise and accessories, accounting for a cool $1.3 billion in revenue, just in America.
There is money to be made from yoga accessories. The market is strong and there are plenty of accessories to choose from. But are you making the most of your yoga equipment shop displays? There are several, simple things you can do to help increase your yoga accessory sales. Here are our top five tips.
Use Your Colours
Yoga equipment comes in many wonderful colours and patterns that seek to inspire and evoke emotion. Use these to your advantage in your store. While it may be tempting to stack your accessories in the order they come out of the box, make your accessories more exciting by taking advantage of your colour palette. Colour blocking is used by many merchandisers to make products more inviting to their customers.
The principle is simple and works on leading a customer’s eye around your products in a logical, pleasing way. There are several methods of colour blocking that you could use. You could use a gradient, with your darkest yoga blocks on the bottom shelf and your brightest at the top, or use complimentary colours alternately by utilising your garment rails. For example, placing your blue vests on the left-hand side of your rail, followed by a collection of orange, followed by a collection of blue, and so on.
You could even consider weaving some exercise bands together in complimentary colours and hanging them high above your exercise band section with some good signage. This will be both attention-grabbing and an attractive way to help to guide your customers around your store. By thinking about the colours that you are combining and the order in which you use them, you can encourage customers to browse more of your shop.
Create A Visual Feast
Your window display entices customers into your shop. It is your three to five seconds to attract the attention of passers by and invite them inside. Yoga accessories can be difficult to display, but with a bit of imagination, you can make some exciting window displays quickly and easily.
Don’t forget: you don’t have to stick strictly to the product’s purpose. Many of your customers are avid yogis; they will quickly recognise blocks and mats for what they are. By displaying them in a different way than is expected, you can hold their attention for a few more valuable seconds. This is an excellent way to encourage them inside.
Consider using some interesting, relevant window display props. You could use items such as foam clouds suspended over a yoga mat that you have made to look like a flying carpet. You could also sit a mannequin in one of your yoga swings and surround it with yoga blocks stacked in rainbow colour order. Whatever it is, keep it simple and use colour wisely. Do not overcrowd your display; instead, capture your customers’ imagination.
Take Advantage of The Senses
Increasing sales takes more than just visually stimulating displays. There are many other factors, and one that is easy to influence and works to great effect is ensuring you capture as many senses as you can. There are two senses that are particularly easy to capture for yoga accessory retailers.
Firstly, many yoga retailers stock incense. Consider burning a few sticks during your peak selling times (perhaps behind the till and out of harm’s way). The smells of the incense will encourage your customers to not only buy your incense, but also to fully immerse themselves in the experience and atmosphere that you are creating in your store.
Secondly, yoga CDs are an excellent way to further engage your customers. Consider playing some of your music range, or even playing some recorded routines. By playing routines, you will have your customers itching to start a session. By capturing this enthusiasm, you increase your chances of selling yoga accessories that they will be excited to start using. Besides, you will benefit from the CD mentioning various items of equipment every few minutes. What better way to get your customers thinking about what they need?
Demonstration days are an excellent way to attract customers. If you are not an instructor yourself, consider teaming up with a local yoga instructor. Offer two or three free half-hour yoga taster sessions throughout the day and promote these in store, on social media, and on your website. If you can, knock together a press release to send to local papers and magazines.
These kinds of days are symbiotic. The yoga instructor benefits from being able to pass around their business cards and invite people to join their classes. You benefit from encouraging new people into yoga who will need new equipment. You also have a local instructor who will tell their students to come to you.
You can even encourage the people that turn up to try out items that they haven’t used before. For example, make one of your sessions specifically for those who already practice yoga. Introduce them to things they may not have had the luxury of enjoying, such as a yoga swing. They’ll fall in love pretty quickly.
Try Something Different
Instead of presenting all of your yoga mats wrapped in plastic, how about presenting them in a more premium way? Through a more considered presentation, you can encourage your customers to slow down and consider the quality and benefits of each mat type. This will allow you a little more time to explain to customers why the more expensive mats have more to offer.
Instead of presenting bundles of mats, try using a rack to hang them, such as those used by carpet shops. On each mat, have details such as the pattern name, brand and a few benefits, such as “extra thick to make you more comfortable, even on hard floors”.
If your space does not allow for this, consider making swatch books. These swatch books could be displayed alongside the actual mats. They should include a small image of the mat unrolled and should detail the benefits of each mat. This will be a novelty for many yoga customers and will also help them feel confident with their mat decision.
These are just a handful of ways you could shake things up when selling yoga equipment and accessories. Whatever you do, try to avoid having all of your products in boxes and packaging. Customers love to be able to see and feel what they are buying. This is a physical retailer’s key benefit over online retailers. Ensure that you are using it to your full advantage.
Ali Newton is the Marketing Executive for The Display Centre, where the team of creative experts provide shop fittings and display equipment, including bespoke items. Ali combines her fine art and fashion qualifications with her market research experience and psychology degree to help retailers drive their sales.