Outdoor Comfort

Outdoor living accessories can make great add-on purchases for spa buyers

Almost every time I open my local newspaper or a lifestyle magazine, there is an article or two about patio or backyard living options. This is a major trend, and I imagine you’ve been either riding it or wondering if you should get on board.

No matter how many square feet you have, there are some great options to stock in your inventory for add-on sales. Many of these items come in boxes that can be stored either on your selling floor or in your warehouse/stock area. People can find nearly everything online, but they must trust their instincts that they bought the right thing. Many have learned you can’t get something that’s cheap, well-made and lasts a long time. Two out of three is the norm. 

Patio heaters

Patio heaters are becoming a big part of outdoor living and entertaining. Of course, your customers can buy them at a big box store, chain store or online, but you can offer a small selection of what you determine to be the best of the brands. Your sales staff should be trained to know why the products you carry are preferable to those found online or at a nearby store — just as they know why your spa units are exceptional. 

Keep in mind that a patio heater can be a challenge for someone older or less able to lift, move and assemble, so you can offer assistance for a small fee. To some people, that convenience is worth the extra cost. 

Displaying patio heaters: If you have a lot of space, carry two to three models that you believe in. Show each heater fully assembled and functional in an area of your store that also carries other outdoor living products. If you’ve created a large outdoor living product display, include one heater next to the table and chairs area. In a smaller space, put three boxes either against the wall or free-standing. 

Air coolers

Another outdoor comfort item that is easy to stock and display because of its small size is an evaporative air cooler. I recently purchased one that can cool up to 250 square feet of outdoor space. 

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Displaying air coolers: The box it comes in should stock nicely against a wall, or a grouping of several would work in a wide aisle or corner of a store. Unpack one unit to show your customers what they’re buying. This unit can sit on a box to give it height and draw attention to its features.

Insect repellant

What can transform an outdoor living experience from fun to frantic? Mosquitos, yellow jackets, wasps and other flying charmers. Consider a small section of your wall or gondola display — or better yet, an endcap to showcase good quality bug sprays, citronella candles, decoy wasp nests and yellowjacket traps.  

For an insect repellant end cap display: If you know someone artistic, have them make a sign to attach to and rise above the top shelf of the endcap. The classic image of a circle with bugs inside and a slash through it will work nicely.

Outdoor lights

Outdoor lights are often easier to buy as an add-on purchase for customers shopping in person.

Displaying outdoor lights: The trick to selling these is to set up strings of lights in a display area such as a gazebo, or hang them over other merchandise displays. People are attracted to light — a little like bugs. If they see the lights, they will look at what’s below. These will sell well if the lights are boxed and stacked with a clear sign that gives key information (weatherproof, LED, warm color, etc.). 

Outdoor living is made more comfortable with patio heaters, air/water coolers, insect repellant and good lighting. These categories are excellent additions to your spas and any outdoor merchandise you carry.