Using Hotspots – what are hotspots how do you use them?

Using Hotspots – what are hotspots how do you use them?

Hotspots are those parts of the store that see the most traffic and are the most visible

Example convenience store interior

Hotspots should be relatively easy for you to identify in your store, by looking at the way people typically walk around and which fixtures are directly in front of them.  In supermarkets, brands pay big money to get their products on aisle ends, because they know they sell more there.  You may notice that there are particular fixtures or areas of your store where products sell a lot better, you may use these areas to shift stock through that is the end of line or soon to be out of date product.  We want you to think differently about these spaces and use them to generate extra profit.

Identifying hotspots

Identifying hotspots isn’t rocket science.  Ask yourself where do most people go and look?  We are looking for 3-4 hotspots so we can trial different treatments on each.  In some cases, this may be three shelves on an aisle end or a very small area 12” (30cm) on the middle shelf of a unit.  Their size and location will very much be dictated by your store and the way that people travel through it.

 Customer FlowWhat can we do with hotspots?

Ultimately sell more products, however there are two discrete approaches we can adopt.  

  1. Take the product to the customer.  Think confectionary lining the queue at the supermarket counter.
  2. Take customers to the product.  Use hotspots to draw customers around the store.  See how the newspaper customer could visit all of the store if enticed through strategically placed hotspot displays. 

Using hotspots to drive traffic instoreWhat to do with a hotspot?

Hotspots are a relatively easy aspect of retailing to improve, as most customers are programmed to expect feature products and offers, from regular visits to supermarkets and national High Street brands.  We have 3 simple steps:   

  1. Make it stand out:  Make your hotspot area a contrasting colour or shade to those around it.  

    Contrasting colour could be a simple paint job with a small sample sized pot of paint.  A bold colour should stand out.  Red is often associated with bargains and special offers.  Use paper, vinyl or a material as a back drop.  You may use a container, box or vessel to house your products i.e. a basket, hamper or crate.      

  2. Highlight a product:  Double or triple face the product (in comparison to how the products are faced on either side).  For example, if products on either side are double faced (two to each product) this display will have four products – so that it stands out.
  3. Tell the customer what to do:  Include some point of sale or a description, whether it is a shelf edge strip, poster holder or oversized information card attached to the product.  Give the customer a clear ‘call to action’.  2 for 1, when they’re gone they’re gone, 50% free.

Next Steps…

Now we need to think about what to put on you promotional space.  Click the link to learn about Choosing the right promotion to put in your hotspots.

Learn about visual merchandising.

Learn about window displays.



Written by

Corin Birchall is a Retail Sales & Marketing Consultant and founder of “Kerching Retail - helping to make your till ring”. His consultancy works throughout the UK and Europe. Corin is an active writer, coach and public speaker, helping to develop and grow a wide range of businesses & business leaders from Leisure and Retail sectors

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