Selecting amazing, high quality and fast-selling products is just the first piece of the puzzle when it comes to operating a successful smoke shop. The most incredible smoking devices can easily fall flat if they aren’t properly displayed for customers to browse and explore your different options.
Intelligently designing the layout of your store and building eye-catching displays is key to merchandising your store and creating positive customer experiences. In this article, we’ll discuss some general best merchandising practices that can relate to a variety of different product categories, with a focus on the Stache Rio Rig-in-One dab rig.
Focus on Product Use Instead of Product Category
While it makes sense for your general merchandise to be divided up into different product categories, like having all rolling papers on the same shelf or rolling trays on the same wall, there is a better strategy for the products you really want to draw attention to. For this example, we’ll be using the Rio dab rig.
Instead of displaying several other dab rig models right nearby, create a display centered around the product’s use. The Rio is a mechanical dab rig that requires no coils or chargers but has a lot of different opportunities for customization. Take at least one Rio out of the packaging and put it right on the shelf. Since there are 7 tie dye silicone base color options, displaying one of each color you carry will make the maximum impact and be the most visually appealing.
When multiple rigs are out on display, they create the perfect stands for the different upsell accessories. Instead of just putting the extra part boxes out on the shelf, break them out of their packaging and assemble them on the rig in the way they’re intended to be used. While the Rio comes in an all-inclusive kit with all the necessary dabbing accessories, Stache offers upgraded options as well.
Bake Upselling Opportunities Right In
If you only have one Rio color, we recommend displaying this with all the accessories that are included in the original kit. With more colors, comes the added upselling opportunities! Each Rio will have a unique look, and imply that customers can personalize their piece to create a device that perfectly fits their personality and their dabbing needs.
Pro Tip: Make sure every single accessory you include in your display has a price listed either directly on the product or right nearby. Simple and effective, no one likes to be surprised at checkout.
Different Glass Options
Stache Micro Rigs are made of colored glass, either smooth or frosted, and are meant to replace the original clear glass chamber. Play around with different color pairings of the base and glass. Do any of the color options match a local sports team or university’s colors? Promote it as a fan favorite and run a deal before a big game or during back-to-campus time!
Display a Variety of Relevant Accessories Nearby
The Rio does include a metal dab tool, but anyone who's ever handled concentrates knows how tricky they can be to work with. Some are extra sticky, while others are super hard. To make getting the concentrate from the jar to the banger much easier, Ooze created the Hot Knife electric dab tool! The ceramic tip heats up, letting the wax drip off right into the banger with no effort. Keep a Hot Knife display nearby to make the dab process more seamless.
The original Rio kit includes a quartz core banger and a glass directional carb cap. Stache also offers a flat bottom and a round bottom banger, which are no-brainers to attach to your other display Rios. Stache’s bangers are high quality and are a higher price point, so we recommend setting out a few other attachment options at different price points. The Ooze Thermal Banger display is a great bargain option.
Play Up Product Versatility
While the Rio is marketed as a dab rig, it can also function as a bong! That’s right, the 14mm downstem is versatile and can also work with a flower bowl. Offer some bowl options like the Ooze Glass Bowl display or the Ooze Armor Bowl. Be sure to mention to your customers that if they use a bowl, they should use a lighter like they would with any other water pipe, and not use the built-in torch.
Speaking of the torch component, it needs fuel. For safety reasons, the Rio’s torch does not come filled with butane. It would be quite the unpleasant experience to get home with a brand new Rio, fill it up with water and get ready to fire it up for the first time, only for nothing to happen. Display a case or at least a few cans of butane nearby so customers know to grab one. You can even run a BOGO (buy one, get one) deal where a can of butane is either free or discounted with the purchase of a Rio.
Location, Location, Location
Ideally, you’ve chosen a location for your store in a busy part of town with plenty of both foot and car traffic. Prime real estate is a big factor in overall success, and this same theory relates to the inside of your store, too. Don’t hide your best displays towards the back of the store, or in a dimly lit area. Put these prized possessions front and center, so they receive the maximum amount of exposure. You can’t sell a product your customers never see.
When building a display that sits in an aisle, position it towards the middle of the lane. The natural flow of foot traffic tends to lead customers down an aisle, where they will most likely stop right near the center to take it all in. Products placed right in the direct line of sight will ultimately perform better long-term, so set the Rio up for success by keeping it away from the ends of the aisles.
Pro Tip: Don’t overfill your most important display areas. Leave enough empty shelf space that the eye is naturally drawn right to the specific product or shelf.
Studies have found that customers subconsciously ignore about a third to half of all products on a shelf. When there are so many items to look at, the brain will only register a fraction to prevent becoming overwhelmed. Put important products like the Rio on shelves or tables that are eye-level to prevent being overlooked. Make it easy for your customers to find the products you want them to buy.
Your Team is Your Most Important Sales Asset
The most successful smoke shops are those known for having an knowledgeable staff that can answer any possible questions a customer may have about a product or its use. Especially for products that look complex like the Rio, it’s vital that your employees can give insight on what exactly this piece does and how to use it properly.
A hands-on demonstration can be a major factor in a customer’s decision to buy a device like the Rio. Send them on their way with the confidence that they can set the device up and enjoy it exactly as it’s intended. Don’t rely on manufacturer instructions in the package to explain every little detail. When your staff has personally used a piece, they can share tips and tricks to get the most out of each session.
Purchasing quality, innovative products for your store is only the first step to running a successful business. Create your merchandising strategy and maximize the potential of each display you set up. Keep these tips in mind when deciding what to build and where on the floor to place it, and your customers will gravitate towards the incredible products you have for them to choose from.