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At its core the most essential part of any retail business, especially a music store, is having a product in stock that a customer can and wants to buy. Often new music store owners struggle to decide which products they will carry in their store and how the products will work together to help them run a successful business. This article will explore some of the product strategies and tactics that successful music stores use to make sure they have the right products available for their customers.

Product Mix

In retail business, the products and product lines offered in a retail store are referred to as the product mix. It is the total number of products that a firm sells to their customers. 

Depending on the focus of your store, you may offer numerous types of products for diversified markets, depending on the size and objectives of your market. Some businesses will focus solely and sell only one type of product that they specialize in. These are often referred to as specialty stores.

Either of the approaches are viable product strategies. Your results will vary based on many factors including location, market, trends, etc. Therefore, businesses should carefully consider their product mix. 

Product Catalogs

Anything you can do to ease the ordering of products will help your store better serve your customers. The Music Shop 360 catalog system contains millions of products from hundreds of manufacturers. While it is not a comprehensive listing of every product you might sell, it does contain many popular products from major music manufacturers. Product catalogs are constantly updated and Music Shop 360 is building relationships with more and more manufacturers to broaden our product listings.

Choosing Your Products

Many new business owners are optimistic and ambitious. And that’s good. You must be when starting a new business. However this can lead to over estimating the amount of products you may choose to carry. But remember you can always add more products as they become necessary to your product mix and depending on your vendor choices you may be able to make special orders.

One of the keys to business success is focus and concentration. Each business owner needs to  continually refine their core business. Your core business should account for 80 percent of your profits. Concentrate on becoming an expert in your core business and protect your core business from competition by continually improving your expertise in that area.

You need to defend your core business. Whenever sales decline, successful retail business owners retreat to their most profitable products and services. They focus on the products that yield the highest profits per unit of sale. They evaluate their sales to determine which products they will not stock again today if they had to do it over and which products they would keep. As one of their product strategies, they’ll also make a plan for the products they will monitor and decide if they will continue to carry in store.

Fine Tuning Your Stores Focus

Beyond choosing your product mix, music store owners need to choose the type of music store they will be. Music stores have become very specialized. While there are many general music stores, some successful owners have focused their product selection.

Types of Music Stores

Guitar Stores

Most guitar stores sell six-string models, bass guitars, left handed guitars and guitar packages for beginners. But some guitar stores specialize even more. Electric guitar stores may include a budget-priced electric guitar, a small practice amplifier, a strap and picks. Other music stores may focus on acoustic guitars. Some stores also create a separate area in order to create a quieter area for customers to play the instruments and to enable conditions that protect the instruments.

Piano

Another common specialty store is the piano store. They may sell a range of upright pianos and grand pianos. In addition piano stores may sell a wide range of keyboards and accessories. Some piano stores offer rental of new pianos; as well, some piano stores sell used pianos.

Violin Family

Due to the very specialized nature of the string instrument business, another specialty shop is the violin shop. While the name may indicate that the shop may only sell violins, the shop often sells various violin family instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, and the bows, strings, rosin, chinrests, and other accessories used with these instruments. Violin shops are often operated by luthiers (violin makers) who make violin family instruments and bows for sale. Luthiers also do maintenance and repairs on instruments and bows.

Sheet Music

Sheet music stores sell printed music for instrumental solo pieces, songs, chamber music, and scores for major symphonies and choral works. They may also sell instrumental method books, studies, and graded musical exercises. Another important product for sheet music stores to carry is printed music songs for popular music genres such as rock, pop and musical theater including individual songs and collections of songs grouped by artist, musical, or genre. 

Pro Audio

Pro audio stores sell the equipment that supports musicians. They may also rent sound equipment and system components such as PA systems, microphones, and other audio gear. 

Repair Stores

While many stores do some repairs or have an extensive repair staff. Some stores focus solely on repairs.

Used Stores

Some music retailers choose to focus on buying and selling used equipment. Stores that primarily sell used equipment may also carry new merchandise, minimally guitar strings, patch cords and microphone cables.

Vendor Selection

Thanks to the technological solutions provided by Music Shop 360, it has never been easier to work with manufacturers. Product catalogs have become available online and many have created partnerships with software vendors to integrate with point-of-sale systems to make it easy to add new products, descriptions, images, and other details to your store’s selection.

Beyond the basic details of listing a product in your point-of-sale system there may be dozens of additional details and specifications. When adding these products from pre-loaded product catalogs, you’ll be able to quickly and accurately add these helpful details to your product listing.

High-quality software providers like Music Shop 360 will provide tools that help speed up the process and avoid mistakes.

Product Strategies Conclusion

There are many choices you’ll need to make regarding product strategies when setting up your store’s processes. Product Mix, product catalogs, choosing products, deciding on the type of music store, and vendor selection are just a few. However, there are experts to help you. One of the very best things you can do is seek out their help. They can help you achieve success faster.