Bee aware

Bee aware

An understanding of the customer’s emotional response is key to successfully selling bird care and wildlife products, says Nigel Clarke, Sales Manager of BeeMat™.

Bird care and wildlife related products continue to enjoy a rise in popularity.  The press and the media have made a great deal of the plight of various native species, most notably pollinating insects such as honeybees, and their pivotal role in our ecosystem.  On-going coverage in magazines and on television continues to fuel a growing interest in all things great and small.

In order for us to successfully tap into this trend we must fully understand the emotional response that a customer has when shopping for these kinds of products in store.

Selling benefits, not bird seed

In the case of bird care, customers are looking to create attractive gardens that also provide a plentiful ecosystem for the animals they love.  They live for the thrill they get when they see butterflies, frogs or a rare bird feeding at the bird table in their garden.  They are looking for all kinds of products, from bird tables, feeders and boxes, as well as trees and wild flowers that attract rarer birds throughout the changing seasons.  Focusing on the reason the customer is buying the products is the natural first step that will lead to achieving greater sales.

Show you care as much as your customer does

Products such as hedgehog homes and bird boxes that look like houses, tap into the public’s sentimentality – something we can leverage using creative point of sale displays for example.  Positioning animal sculptures, statues and figures near bird care products are a great way of doing just that.  A tidy, well-stocked shelf of bird seed won’t sell on its own – we need to make the connection between product and benefit as obvious as we can.

In-store events, talks and educational workshops are also brilliant ways to show customers that you share their concerns for pet and wildlife issues, inspiring customer loyalty and increasing sales of related products.

Impulse buys

This is one emotional response that is key to increasing average transaction values.  Ideally we want the customer to spend without thinking too much!  We need to do the thinking for them, which is exactly why displays that feature video screens are so popular. They are well known to boost impulse buying behaviour, and most good suppliers should be able to help you with installing a special merchandiser and screen for this purpose.  Our own video merchandiser also combines value for money, too – with stock of 108 products, priced at just £449.28 – offering good profit margins for retailers thanks to the RRP of £9.99 per product.

Add-on sales

A creative mind and flexibility with department boundaries can enhance the impact of add-on sales. For example, cross merchandising bee hotels with local farm shop honey, bird boxes with trees or fence posts, wildflower seed near the bird care section.

Our customers are becoming more and more interested in the role of wildlife in the ecosystem of their own gardens.  If we show them that we share their enthusiasm for these issues, that we understand their specific needs, then we’ll find that selling more bird care and wildlife products comes naturally.

Nigel Clarke is Sales Manager of BeeMat.  Their latest product, BirdMat™, is a bio-degradable mat, pre-seeded with a blend of native annual and perennial wildflowers.  The mat suppresses weeds and is designed to provide a high quality, ready food source of insects and seeds, as well as materials for nesting once the plants are fully grown.

Ben Crowther
Ben Crowther
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