With so many pools and spas being installed, the need for pool vacuums and cleaners has increased as consumers seek to keep their new investment clean. As a result, retailers need to help these new owners find the cleaner that is best suited for their pool, spa or swim spa.
Positioning pool and spa cleaners
One popular category on the market is automated pool cleaners. The most successful retailers focus on selling battery-operated and robotic cleaners as a technological tool, providing the latest automation and the best and easiest solution for maintenance. Retailers that place emphasis on the new features offered by today’s cleaners will set themselves apart from their competitors and help them to avoid competing on price alone.
As specialty retailers must set their customers up with everything they need for success, battery-operated hand-held pool and spa vacuums as well as robotic cleaners are key products to help ensure this happens. Therefore, retailers need to start conversations with their clients about pool maintenance quickly and explain how these high-tech vacuum cleaners can increase the enjoyment of pool and spa ownership.
Many consumers are looking for technological solutions throughout their home, and the latest pool and spa cleaners provide another piece to build a completely automated home.
Retailers find that promoting battery-operated, hand-held vacuums or the latest robotic cleaner as “the best money can buy” is appealing to those customers, especially those who only want top-rated products. In fact, many customers will buy the “best” cleaner just because it is referred to as such.
Building customer loyalty
To be successful, retailers know they need to make sure the customer finds their pool or spa easy to maintain, without any stress or hassles. Therefore, when it comes to pool and spa cleaners—especially automated cleaners—the technology built into these products is designed to make things easier for the homeowner—not just ease of use, but also pool maintenance. In fact, some pool builders include a robotic cleaner or battery-operated vacuum in the price of every pool or spa sale for this reason.
Retailers should start a conversation with their customers about pool cleaning and provide real-life personal experiences to help validate the benefits of a technologically advanced pool or spa cleaner. Some compare these cleaners to having a dishwasher in their kitchen. A customer could wash the dishes manually, but why would they want to when they have a dishwasher?
Similarly, retailers should tell their customers they should keep a robotic cleaner in their pool or a battery-operated cleaner nearby to make it much easier to keep it tidy before getting into the water.
Customer loyalty is one of the main reasons so many retailers promote these products. In fact, even service technicians are having success selling them to their customers just so they can use them to keep their pool and spa clean between service calls.
Displaying the technology
In-store displays are the best way to show these cleaners in action. Retailers that have a display pool or spa in their store should have a robotic cleaner continuously moving throughout the pool and a hand-held, battery-operated cleaner leaning against the display to make it easy to demonstrate how they operate. This not only allows customers to see how well they work and how easy they are to use but also provides the opportunity for the customer to try it themselves.
Even if there is no room for a full pool display, a large, clear fish tank with rocks and sand at the bottom will provide the necessary hands-on-display experience to make it easy to sell cleaners. For some retailers, this can make all the difference because it allows customers to not only touch and feel the product but also see how easy it is for them to lift and use the cleaner.
Once the consumer is holding the pool or spa cleaner, it provides the perfect chance for sales staff to educate them about filtration and circulation, which opens an opportunity to discuss general pool and spa cleaning and the benefits of having a cleaner. In some cases, a robotic cleaner might help remedy a water quality problem more so than if the client were to use an aggressive chemical treatment.
Many pool and spa retailers also sell many of these products simply because the homeowner has seen their service technicians using them when cleaning their pool steps. This area almost always collects the most debris and, as a result, a hand-held, battery-powered cleaner is the perfect tool that allows homeowners to easily perform some spot cleaning in their pool between weekly maintenance visits.
Guy Erlich is the founder and president of Water Tech Corp., a manufacturer of pool and hot tub cleaners.