Summer and Fall are peak seasons for paint sales. Now is the time to think about ways you can make the department more profitable by increasing the average transaction size. Start with expanding your paint line to include better quality paints and sundries such as tape, rollers, paint trays, drop cloths, and brushes. Selling more paint and add-ons requires employing paint professionals who are pro-active about explaining the benefits of the products to customers. Helping shoppers select the right paint and accessories to get the job done to their satisfaction will make your store the go-to place for advice about future projects.
Offer DIY Customers Information and Advice
Buying paint is an emotional purchase. Many people shop at the neighborhood hardware store because they need advice and are familiar with the people who work there. When shoppers come in, please don’t assume they know which paint to buy. Start by asking questions about the areas of the home they plan to paint. You can then discuss different brands and finishes. These are things people may forget to consider since they are more concerned with color selection. Price and value may also be top of mind for the shopper. Be prepared to offer a range of product options.
In many homes, women decide what paint to buy for the project. They tend to take their time and mull things over before making a final decision. The paint staff should be helpful but give shoppers enough space to get ideas and inspiration for their projects.
Building Relationships with Pro Customers
Independent retailers often sell high-quality paint brands not available in big box stores. This advantage can leverage to attract and retain pro customers who rely on quality and performance, rather than price. Contractors tend to be loyal to specific paint brands, and want high-quality brushes and rollers to perform tasks efficiently and effectively. While independents may not be able to compete with big boxes on price, they can differentiate themselves with exceptional service and product selection. A few suggestions for maintaining relationships include offering:
- Customer Appreciation Day
- Complimentary Coffee and doughnuts
- Job-site delivery
- In-store demos
Learn New Technologies and Product Information
One of the best ways to learn about new color trends and product innovations in the paint industry is by attending conferences and trade shows. Paint manufacturers and industry experts often conduct on-site training and present seminars on specific topics related to buying and selling paint. If the paint staff is unable to attend trade shows, there are many options online that will keep them up to date. Many wholesalers and vendors offer online training year-round to accommodate paint teams who want to stay current.
Test Results for Popular Paints
Earlier this year, the Good Housekeeping Institute spent two weeks testing the most popular interior paints to determine which ones work best in different rooms. Here are a few of their expert recommendations and the reasons why they chose these specific brands.
Best Overall: Regal Select by Benjamin Moore—A good overall value
- Nice thick paint goes on easily
- Impressive coverage that lasts
- Extremely durable, cleans easily
- High marks for all areas of the home
Runner-up: Signature by Valspar—Solid alternative to the top pick
- Scored well in stain removal tests
- Good coverage and finish quality
- Low VOC paint plus primer looked good overall
- Room for improvement with even coverage
Best Value: Ben by Benjamin Moore—Good value for the quality
- Affordable paint with primer
- Contains no VOC
- Eggshell, flat, semi-gloss
Best for Kitchens and Bathrooms: Interior Premium by Glidden—smart pick for high moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
- Dries fast, unlikely to fade
- Cleans easily, resists stains
Best for Bedrooms: Natura by Benjamin Moore—not much wrong with this paint
- Zero VOC
- Fade and stain resistant
- Great coverage
- Testers found it messy to apply
Best for Laundry Rooms: Paint and Primer in One by Behr—Everything you expect from a premiumpaint
- Stain and UV resistant
- Low VOC, resists mold and mildew
- Suitable for laundry rooms, bathrooms, and other spaces that may be deep
Best for Beginners: Accolade by Pratt and Lambert—Great choice for kitchens and bathrooms
- Great coverage
- Easy to apply
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Great choice for kitchens and bathrooms
- Slightly subpar in wear and tear for high-traffic areas like narrow hallways, stairwell walls, or garage