What Walmart's Checkout Line & Your Dental Practice Share

Any time you go through a checkout lane in WalMart, you’ve no doubt noticed the hundreds of items that are surrounding you as you wait to check out. Most will be small ticket items, a buck or two here and there.

They certainly don’t compare to the big ticket items found in other places of the store, but they are big money makers. Even though WalMart might sell a $599 snow blower in one department and a $1000 flat screen in another, based on square footage, the checkout line is the most profitable real estate in the store. The last time I checked, WalMart merchandise was selling at a rate of $5.00 per square foot on regular shelves and $28 per square foot at the checkout isle.

Why? Because That’s Where Everyone Is

A snow blower might be bypassed, and in reality they don’t sell that many compared to the number of gum packs in checkout isles. Everyone has to go through a relatively small space to get out, and while you are standing there, you are a captive audience. WalMart also knows the last minute decision in a checkout line is immediate and swift.

“Mom, can I have a pack of gum?”

How many times have you heard that and the parent, probably you included, has succumbed to the ease and immediacy of throwing a pack of gum on the conveyor belt?

Being where people are at and allowing them to satisfy their need for “immediacy” is important!

If someone is searching for a dentist, especially in today’s world of quick internet searches, instant gratification, and the prevalent use of smart phones, YOU HAVE TO BE SEEN IN THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVERTISING REAL ESTATE OR YOU WON’T GET THE BUSINESS!

Today that means you have to be seen on the web. Your website displays information about your dental practice. You can emphasize your specialties and let your prospective patients spend some time getting to know you via your website and videos… but not if you aren’t there AND NOT IF YOU CAN’T BE SEEN.

At the same time remember we’ve already discussed well established facts and trends.

  • Well over 95% of people looking for a dentist, or any local service for that matter, will search online and on their mobile phones.
  • 86% of them will immediately pick up the phone and call, symbolizing the power of the “checkout isle” phenomenon.

It’s a simple concept but an important one: Provide the information when and where people are looking for it and be the best at it… or drop down to the $5 a square foot rent district.

People act quicker today than they ever have before. Technology has spawned a global “checkout isle” mentality. Turning that into a lucrative, patient attracting medium means you have to be there and be seen.

We can help… Talk to us about how you can capture the “checkout line” mentality and make it work for you and your dental practice. You will get the lion’s share of qualified patients who are searching.

The next time you go through the checkout line in your favorite store, think about the marketing angle and remember this blog.



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Posted under Local Search, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing on December 5th, 2011 |

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About the author
Colin Receveur is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and dental web marketing expert who has pioneered the way dentists market themselves online for the past decade. Since incorporating in 2001, Colin has established a rock solid track record with his dentist clients and turned SmartBox into a stalwart of proven results for hundreds of dental practices.