Ten tips to creating a merchandised experience

October 27, 2008
Written by
xmaspicWith Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to switch up your displays. Proper merchandising is key to promoting your seasonal offerings, and also your year-round stock. Read on for tips on how to create stunning displays in your shop this holiday season and the coming year.

Revisit your inventory – Dig deep into your inventory to see what products you can pull out for displays. Remember trends come and go, so you might be able to give new life to an old item. But if it’s past it’s prime or damaged, then toss it. Try to implement a policy so that your giftware never celebrates a “birthday” or sits in your shop for more than a year.

Begin with a plan – Map out selling areas in your shop. Don’t just stick products where they happen to fit or wherever there is space. Examine how other retail outlets set up their businesses and pinpoint where your most favourable display areas are.

Look at last year’s stats – What was your best-selling item or line last year? Look at what made it such a hot item. This information will help you decide what you’ll feature prominently in your store at specific points during the year.

Photographic memory – When you buy a new product at a trade show or from a showroom, take a picture to capture how the product was displayed. Pull in similar elements to generate that look and experience for your customer to get them as excited as you first were when you saw it.

Strategic set-up – Sometimes it’s okay to make your customers work for what they want. If there’s a certain product customers always come to your shop for, don’t place it in a high traffic sales area. As they search for the product, customers will discover impulse buys and new items they never knew you had.

Let your displays do the talking – Customers love to hear the story behind a product. Organize your displays so they can share the tale when you’re stuck tending to another shopper. Add a simple handout they can take home and share with other potential customers.

Trend-watch – Look at magazines, browse popular clothing stores or visit home decor and paint stores to pinpoint the colour trends of the moment. Follow the trendy palettes and arrange your products to match up with these hues to complement your customer’s home decor.

Professional signage – Proper signage has been shown to increase the sales of an item by over 40 per cent. Keep your signs clear and professional and when it comes to display signs don’t overdo it. You want to direct your customers to store highlights, not bombard them with messages.

Think outside of the vase – Look around your backyard or at home for interesting and quirky items to incorporate into displays. Be original and shoppers will take notice. As an added bonus, this could also be a selling point for customers looking for an affordable way to recreate your display in their home.

Customized service – For customers willing to pay more, offer a home decor service. Take that display and set it up right in the shopper’s home. It’s a great way to sell off product and it’s also the perfect advertisement for your shop.

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