Now, although butcher’s knife skills and efficiency are highly valued skills in butchery, it’s often been said that value-adding practices and merchandising are some of the toughest challenges that they also have to contend with. After all, the best meat in the world is no good at all if you can’t sell it!
That’s where merchandising comes in - otherwise known as the art of influencing sales without direct customer contact. Normally, this encompasses packaging, imagery and colourful branding, and they're all visual principles are actually just as important in butcher’s shops. As with many other shops, customers buy first and foremost by appearance, so presentation is vital. Here, we’ve summed up some great bits of advice about presenting and selling your meat, helping you to maximise your sales (and success!).
When it comes to presenting cuts of meat to the public, looks are indeed absolutely everything. The simple truth is that if it doesn’t look good, it won’t sell. As a professional butcher you’ll have taken every care to ensure that you’ve got a good product, from sourcing it appropriately to preparing it with high quality butchers equipment. Presenting it beautifully is a big part of the way you communicate your care for your customers, and your pride and confidence in your meat.
While most butchers are keenly aware of the the basics of presentation - including ensuring everything is neat, ordered and clearly labelled - some overlook the more creative aspects of the discipline, such as colour. Obviously you can’t colour meat as such, but you can garnish your cuts and display cabinets with colourful fruit and vegetables like peppers, carrots or apples to give your display an extra bit of pizazz. (Now, a word of warning here - don’t be tempted to use plastic products, as these don’t have nearly the same effect. Most customers can easily tell the difference, and it can actually have the opposite effect of making your display look cheaper - and not in a good way!)
We’ll also say that it’s best not to leave any of your display cabinets empty. Although it’s always fantastic that you’re rapidly or reliably clearing your stock, an empty cabinet can seem more like an oversight or a shortcoming than a sign of success. Try and fill up cabinets again almost as soon as they empty.
Positioning and placement
With very few exceptions, the vast majority of people read from left to right, and they tend to scan display cabinets in the same way (especially those nearest the door). This is something to bear in mind when you’re laying out your cabinets, especially if you’ve got stock you want to take front and centre in your customers’ minds (so to speak). On a similar note, promotional items or stock you’d like to clear first can often go nearest the door or checkout, maximising the amount of attention they get and increasing successful sales.
It’s also a good idea to think about impulse purchases, which no customer is completely immune to. You’ll want to think about what’s most often bought on impulse, and why. Also, consider products are often naturally paired with each other, and therefore the most likely to tempt customers if they initially only intended to buy one or the other.
A final piece of advice from us; when looking at your display cabinets, don’t forget that longer units tend to draw the most attention to whatever’s displayed in the centre of them. With shorter units, on the other hand, people tend to look at the areas on the left first. Worth bearing in mind when laying out your counters!
So that’s presenting - and as for preparation, we’ve got a fantastic range of butchers equipment right here on our site, so you can get everything you need to prepare that perfect cut of meat. You can browse butchers knives and butchers machinery here online, or give us a call on 01254 427761 if you need any help or advice.