Within the space of carefully curated style/design driven categories, having the right level of uniqueness in your assortment is important for drawing consumer attention. Merchants strive to acquire exclusivity and some prioritize their Uniqueness Quotient (UQ) over assortment breadth. It’s quite like the award winning and positively critiqued fine dining restaurant which builds a long patron wait list on the basis of a limited but highly creative and differentiated menu.
Staying with the bar furniture category that I’ve covered in previous posts, I thought I’d share some examples…
Even with just a handful of bar cabinets in its assortment, Restoration Hardware stands out with an eclectic mix of unique items (a 100% UQ vs. considered retailers) that includes a 1920s era light bulb-testing machine ingeniously repurposed as a bar cabinet (see image on right).
So did this design only contribute to the UQ or did it actually draw consumer interest? Well, here are the Top 5 products based on some consumer demand signals for this category…
Clearly, Restoration Hardware’s light bulb-testing machine bar cabinet created quite a stir among consumers and it has the highest Social Signals counts (includes Facebook Likes/Shares/Comments, G+, Pinterest Pins etc.) in the category. (In fact, the social signals for this one product are nearly equal to the sum of social signals across all the remaining 125 bar cabinets).
While consumer chatter may not equal conversion, positive consumer attention can drive traffic and conversion besides helping reinforce the perception of uniqueness.
Some retailers like One Kings Lane look at listing some fairly unique ‘one of a kind’ items in a ' flash-sale' model – like this antique cabinet (see image on the left).
While it does boost uniqueness, this assortment model doesn’t offer continuity or consistency which may put off some consumers.
So… do you have a uniqueness strategy, goal? And if so, are you measuring your UQ?
Do you have any other examples to share? #UgamUQ
Or do you need any help with improving your Assortment? Get a free executive preview.
Savino Lobo is an AVP at Ugam and is part of its retail analytics solutions team and oversees the assortment intelligence solution. He is passionate about leveraging democratic data to help retailers make better assortment decisions. Savino has over 12 years of experience developing research and analytics solutions. Outside of work, Savino enjoys traveling and trying cuisines from around the world besides spending time with his twin 3 year old boys.