Here’s how to sell perfume in pharmacy.
Imagine you’re buying a bottle of wine to share with a friend. You have an idea of what she likes – dry whites – and a price point in mind, and so when you arrive at the bottle shop or the supermarket, you expect making a selection to be a fairly painless process.
But when you get there, the shelves are instantly confusing.
You can’t actually select a bottle yourself, because all but the cheapest are in a locked cabinet. The staff aren’t on hand to open the cabinets or to give you advice. Some bottles are displayed under very bright, hot lights that you worry might spoil the vintage – and is that dust you can see on a lot of the bottles?
You couldn’t be blamed for going elsewhere in search of a retailer that puts a little more effort into selling its wine.
This is why some pharmacies have difficulty gaining traction in the fragrance departmen: despite being in the beauty business, they treat their fragrance section just like this fictional wine seller treated its wine.
“When looking at how fragrances are displayed or ranged, it’s a good idea to consider how bottle shops stock and display alcohol. There is very clear sorting by type, making it easier for customers to go straight to what they know they like.
“Fragrance retailers, however, run the risk of jumbling fragrances together, making it overwhelming and confusing for customers.”
Because there’s often a price focus in pharmacies’ fragrance section, a “bargain bin” look predominates
“Displays tend to be overwhelming and testers hard to find. If fragrances are behind glass a customer may be inclined to walk away rather than ask for help.
“Often fragrances are not sorted into any order so we always recommend retailers sort by brand – but display testers by fragrance family.”
What’s your type?
What are these different types? They’re the fragrance families: a group of 14 major categories into which fragrances fall, classified by the way they smell. Most of us tend to instinctively prefer one or more fragrance types, whether it’s the zesty, vibrant citrus family, the flowery, often powdery and abstract soft floral family, or the rich sensuality of the oriental family.
We’re attracted to a perfume for several reasons – the packaging, the celebrity endorsement, the marketing – but most of all, because of that attraction to certain fragrance families.
“Essentially, a repeat customer will be able to identify the fragrance family they prefer, and look for other fragrances in that family,” .
“These preferences are determined by their scent-memory associations (subliminally in most cases) so it’s a great idea to spend a bit of time with a customer helping them discover them.
“Brand, packaging and popularity definitely play a part in initial choices, but a great way to build customer relationships for repeat business is to empower and educate customers on their own unique preferences.”
Pharmacy assistants can be of great help to customers seeking the right fragrance – it just takes a little expertise.
“Retail assistants play a huge role in helping customers make a purchase they like, so it’s important they have a great understanding of the different fragrance types,”.
“Once they know the types of fragrance customers like, they can help find other fragrances of the same type, or help customers choose personalised gifts for loved ones.”