Blog for Building Materials Companies

Auditing Big Box Retailers for Building Materials

  |  Posted in Big Box

Auditing Big Box Retailers for Building Materials

I visit Home Depot and Lowes stores several times a year to see what changes they’re making.

My goal is to find those differences that building materials companies may not see that could help

1. Home Depot is Still Beating Lowes

The first thing I noticed was how hard it was to find a parking space at Home Depot and how easy it was to find one at Lowes. Other people across the country also use the parking lot as a way to measure store activity and they report similar results. If Lowes stays behind, it might only be a matter of time before Amazon buys them up.

Lowes stores have a more consumer-friendly design. Their associates were also available to approach me and ask if I needed help with anything.

Home Depot, on the other hand, has a no-nonsense layout that clearly signals that they sell building materials. Because their store was busier, I had to look for someone to answer my questions. They were easy to find but were always busy doing something.

2. How Do You Sell Pros If You Compete With Them?

Big Box Pro Sales

Both Lowes and Home Depot say they want more business from pros. When they are both competing with the pro for a project, I don’t see how pros will want to do more business with them.

If you have suggestions about how your product can bring them more pro business, I’m sure they would welcome your thoughts.

3. Packaging Sells

Big Box Shelf

If your product is in an area like this, your package is your salesman, it needs to grab the customers attention. It then needs to clearly communicate what it is and what it does.

Larger building material brands are much better at designing their packages. That matters when you’re selling through a big box retailer. Placing your message on your packaging is the most important step you can take to grow your sales through these stores.

Big Box Packaging

Look how busy the Zinsser label is. It’s full of unnecssary information that confuses the customer and makes then work harder than they wiould like. The Thompsons Water Seal package makes the buying decision much easier.

Products by larger companies tend to have a clean, professional looking design that inspires confidence and trust. You can also tell they worked hard to make sure the copy quickly and easily communicates what the product is and why it’s the one the customer needs for their project.

Smaller companies frequently have outdated packaging with too many messages. It’s easy for customers to overlook them in such a crowded environment. Most of the additional copy makes it harder for the customer to choose your product, not easier.

If you’re a smaller company that sells through big box stores, take some time to reconsider your packaging. Making it simple, eye-catching and featuring a clear and precise message will help you grow your sales.

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About The Author

I am the leading sales growth consultant in the building materials industry, I identify the blind spots that enable building materials companies to grow their sales and retain more customers.  As I am not an ad agency, my recommendations are focused on your sales growth and not my future income.

My mission is to help building materials companies be the preferred supplier of their customers and to turn those customers into their best salespeople. Contact me to discuss your situation.