An unsung hero in the electrical category, lightbulbs are a necessity in any household. When merchandised well with a good selection of products, this category can be a lucrative part of your electrical department.
At Alper’s True Value Hardware in Port Washington, New York, lightbulbs are a strong seller in the electrical department, accounting for 26% of sales in that category and occupying 27 linear feet in the 5,000-square-foot store. Co-owner Adam Novick says the lightbulb selection fits well into what his DIY customers want. Read on for best practices from Novick to light your way in this category.
Educate Your Customers
Choosing lightbulbs can be confusing for customers with all the options available and jargon associated with them.
“Lumens, watts, volts, Kelvin, CRI; it’s enough to give most people flashbacks to high school physics,” Novick says.
Educating customers on the different types of bulbs and which ones fit their needs establishes your employees as experts, builds trust and helps close the sale.
Merchandise to Show Function
Novick says the store’s lightbulbs are prominently displayed near where customers enter the store. The store displays demo bulbs, which are helpful for showing differences in temperature and brands. The displays also provide educational information, so if an employee is not available, the customer can still find what they need.
Cater to Customer Needs
Even though LED lightbulbs have gained a large part of the market share recently, some customers are reluctant to change or update.
“It’s easy to cut bait on a declining SKU,” Novick says. “But it is important to manage these declining SKUs and maybe limit options, while still providing the products customers want.”
Train Employees to Ask the Right Questions
At his store, Novick says a large portion of training on lightbulbs is teaching his employees how to use the display bulbs to educate customers on what they need.
“We teach everyone how to read the labels,” Nov says. “We also train employees to ask the right questions to decide what wattage and voltage they need.”
Sell Specialty Bulbs
Along with traditional lightbulbs, carrying specialty bulbs can bring in additional customers and add to the bottom line.
“There are so many ‘specialty’ options that are viable SKUs and fewer workhorse ones,” Novick says. “Because of this, we have a secondary, lightbulb-only vendor that we order from once a week, typically with three to five special orders included.”
47% of U.S. households used LEDs for most or all of their indoor lighting in 2020.
Source: Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)
Enlightened on Bulbs
Download the NHPA Lightbulb Buying Guide to educate your employees and customers on selling lightbulbs here.