Invitation to shop

It only takes a few moments.

You are busy, have errands to run, and need to be home in time for the kids, but suddenly you find your priorities have rearranged because of something that caught your eye. Once caught, your eye eagerly travels a wider distance taking in the colors, the accessories, the feeling, that something that makes you want to explore further. You wonder if this shop is as exciting inside as the product in the window. You think about it for a brief moment, and decide your other needs can wait. You enter the store.

There is a strong possibility that all of us have had the experience outlined above, either consciously or subconsciously. We are running errands and have a plan when our attention is captured by something not on our to do list.

Store managers, business owners and visual merchandisers play an enormous role in ‘issuing that invitation’ to shop. Storefronts, display windows, signage, etc. all play a powerful role in not only grabbing attention and persuading, but also identify and describe (when done well) what lies beyond. This is key in luring the random shopper inside.

Too often, windows and storefronts are not thought out, and in tough economic times, can be let go in favor of staffing the sales floor. This reasoning is unfortunate. ‘Silent selling’ via strong display is especially critical to smaller retailers who do not have strong market recognition, and who might be next door to someone else who does. Some retailers believe that loyal customers already KNOW what lies inside, so what’s the point, but if this is their business philosophy they are missing two key elements:

  • attracting new customers and the opportunity to tell them who they are
  • positioning new merchandise and maintaining an exciting, fresh store to encourage regular shopping and exploration by their current customers.

Here are a few things to consider when designing and setting up your windows or key in-store displays:

  • First and foremost: Have fun!!
  • Check that your lighting is positioned to work during the day and evening hours.
  • Choose a palate and colors that enhance each other.
  • Stay focused. It’s okay to stick with one style or color. Try not to fall into the trap of ‘showing them everything we have.’ Think theme and invitation, not ‘hey look at all the things we sell.’
  • Tell a story when using body forms. Who are these people? Where are they going? What is their relationship to one another?
  • Remember who you are and know who you are trying to reach.
  • Insure product featured on display can be easily located, and be sure your inventory can support the added attention.

Display is one of the most exhilarating tools you can use for driving sales. The time spent on a well-thought out display can move product silently and is an optimal complement to multi-tasking sales staff. Measuring the success of a display is not difficult: watch your inventory post display.

Creating money-earning displays takes experience, but if you consider the above, you will be well on your way.

Want to learn more about silent selling and its potential to drive sales? Contact Merchandising Matters, specializing in helping small to mid-sized retailers drive sales.

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