|Category Key - Soundtracks: a strong niche market|
|Written by by Mark A. Stevens|
|Monday, 28 June 2010 04:18 PM America/New_York|
For a Christian bookstore, soundtracks are like milk and bread to a grocery store—they are staples that no Christian retailer should be without. What began as a small specialty—type product has evolved in the past three decades into a powerful ministry tool in churches and numerous other venues.
Having been in the Christian soundtrack business for more than 30 years and having talked to thousands of singers who use tracks on a regular basis, I am convinced that what these people are looking for from a retailer is breadth of title selection and availability.
This is important because, as one of the most exclusive products in Christian retail, soundtracks are typically not sold in any other retail outlet. This exclusivity allows stores to build strong niche markets.
In fact, because of deep discounts offered by suppliers, tracks have become one of the highest profit centers for Christian retail stores. Additionally, traffic from soundtrack customers often results in add-on sales of other merchandise.
Combine inventory with technology
Soundtrack buyers often wait until the last minute to purchase tracks. Unfortunately, if a retailer does not have sufficient inventory, these customers will not look to that store as a soundtrack source, and loyal repeat customers are lost.
With the addition of in-store burn machines, retail stores are able to offer a larger selection of tracks. While this technology is certainly great, retailers must never forget the importance of having physical inventory. The top soundtrack stores in the United States have learned to create a balance between physical product and technology applications.
Selection is key
Because of widely diverse music tastes in today's society, it is important to have well-rounded selections from various music genres, even though certain regions lean more toward one style or another.
Remember, the most successful retailer is one who creates selection, selection, selection.
Position for maximum impact
Place new releases front and center in your soundtrack department. Use any and all promotional materials from suppliers in order to showcase these new titles, ensuring that they capture your customers' attention.
Mark A. Stevens is CEO and president of Christian World Inc.