Analyzing Your Product Mix- Keys to Successful Selling

I have never heard from any one office that they are happy with their product mix. I have heard, “I’m bored, how can I sell more, The boards all look alike, there is nothing new”, nothing is selling- patients are going on the Internet” and more reasons as to why your product is not moving.

If you say this about your Inventory and patients are walking out without making a purchase- it might be time for you to analyze your product mix, or maybe you are dealing with over 20 reps and you want to solidify your inventory.

A good product mix office insures the successful sell through of all products.  Too many times, buyers do not have a handle on what is actually selling.  The other challenge is buyers prejudging their patients.  The minute you think, ‘my patient will not spend that kind of money,’ they only want what is on their insurance plan, is the minute you are prejudging the patient.

There are many ways to analyze your product mix- in a perfect world, you would have everything available on the computer. You would know who buys by age, gender, price point, vendor, size and color. For now, we will be looking solely at Price Point.

To successfully sell through:
• The product must tell a story
• It must have enough representation on the boards
• It must fit within the office commitment to product

The product mix should be based upon:
• Demographics and market trends
• Marketing plans
• Mission Statement
• Percentages of what is selling

Establishing a good product mix
• Buy what is selling
• Track products by style, material, gender, color
• Follow trends closely
• Reorder products that are selling through

How to Analyze the Product Mix by Retail Price Points:.

You may already have this on your computer- but if you don’t, try doing this by hand. You will be surprised at the results. When I do an inventory audit I use a simple spread sheet that looks something like this:

Retail Cost

0-$150

$151-$200

$201-$250

$250-$300

$301-$350

$351-$400

$401+

Women Plastic

Women Metal

Mens Plastic

Mens Metal

Unisex Plastic

Unisex Metal

Children

Sunglass

Half Eyes

If you want to break it down even further- just add more categories.

How to Use the Worksheet:
1.    Do a physical inventory by retail price point.
2.    Place “tick” marks by category.
3.    Date the worksheet.
4.    This should be done at least once/year.

Example- for simplicity – already added up.

Retail Cost

0-$150

$151-$200

$201-$250

$250-$300

$301-$350

$351-$400

$401+

Total

Women Plastic

50

50

25

2

5

0

0

132

Women Metal

100

20

50

36

5

3

4

218

Mens Plastic

3

20

75

5

10

1

0

114

Mens Metal

20

10

30

4

7

2

1

74

Unisex Plastic

75

25

10

9

6

0

0

110

Unisex Metal

50

30

45

0

0

0

1

125

Children

10

10

Sunglass

10

0

0

0

0

0

0

10

Half Eyes

10

0

0

0

0

0

0

10

Total

328

155

235

56

33

6

5

803

Total number of Frames= 803

Which mean you should be selling 3,212 frames per year or 268 frames per month to maximize profitability.

Without too much pre-judging- this is what I would say about your inventory:

  • Your average frame transaction is probably around $125.00- very heavy inventory in the under $150- that means you will sell the most in that category.
  • Very light in the top end- in fact they may be lost on the board- and very rarely sell.
  • Sunglasses- too little- wasting space actually- you are either in the sunglass business or youre’ not.
  • Children- If you’re demographics support families with children- you should carry more.

Knowing the above will provide information on:
1.    What product in each category you have on the board.
2.    Factual information on retail price points.
3.    Assist you in discovering holes in your product mix.
4.    Provide information on what product lines to carry to increase average frame sales

As an example of how to use- Lets say you want to increase your average transaction. By looking at your retail price points- do you have the product to support increasing your average transaction. You might have to sell off under $150 inventory and put in higher price inventory.

What do you do with this information?

1.) Decide your goals

2.) Make a plan-

3.) Evaluate what you have, don’t need and what you do need.

4.) Adjust your retail price points to reflect your goals and market

The last thought- inventory adjustments take time. It may take up to a year to get everything in place. Once you start analyzing, it gets easier and easier. Be patient, stick to your goals and plan.

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