With the December holidays just around the corner, the minds of many ardent shoppers are already on what to buy for whom. Of course, shopping in the 21st century is easy, thanks to the internet, so many gift-givers have chosen to do their shopping from the comfort of their favorite chair in their climate-controlled living room. After all, there are no crowds with which to contend and orders and returns are quite easy.
Quick and Easy Suggestions for Successful Holiday Merchandising
This internet competition is why traditional brick-and-mortar stores need to do more than ever to attract and hold on to customers. In an age when it’s so simple to just skip traditional shopping all together, shops must amp up their game…and that starts with creating the best shopping experience possible. Often, that means working with a clever designer who knows just what it takes to keep the shoppers coming back again and again.
Here are a few ideas a good shopfitter will keep in mind when providing advice to store owners worried about maximising their profits during the holiday season.
1. Create ambience – Especially around Christmas time, shoppers like to get “in the mood” when they’re searching for that favorite gift. Ambience can be created in a number of ways. Lighting, background music, and even seasonal aromas can help with this task.
2. Provide space – Because crowds tend to be larger than usual during Christmas shopping season, be sure there is enough space in your store for customers to move around comfortably. It might mean rearranging a shelf or two or moving a counter to a different part of the store. It’s best to keep this space issue in the forefront of your mind from day one. Even during off-seasons, no one likes to be knocking over displays or bumping into one another.
3. Avoid overstocking – Even though you want to sell as many items as possible all year long but especially this time of year, overstocking leads to clutter, which leads to unattractive displays. Think carefully about how much you put out on the sales floor at any given time and then keep an eye on the inventory so that it doesn’t get depleted.
4. Make displays interactive – Depending on what kind of retail establishment you own, it may be possible to make some of your displays interactive. When customers can “feel” experiences or items, they are more likely to buy. You might also consider adding video or other such media to some of your displays as well. Try to appeal to as many senses as possible.
5. Step out of the box – Customers are attracted by unusual items. So think about employing the use of things that will catch the eye, including large displays where appropriate. Christmas is the time of year to do something a bit different!
6. Update your signage – This is also the time of year to replace posters, banners, photographs, and other signs that both attract attention and provide direction. Add some seasonal signage wherever possible. Again, it helps customers get in the mood to buy.
7. Provide places to sit – Some shop owners shy away from putting benches or chairs in their stores because they think it will attract loiterers. Remember, however, shoppers often come in pairs (a husband and wife, a mum and her child), and after a long day, one might want to sit while the other is shopping. If you don’t provide a place to rest, they may just go somewhere else. A small sitting nook can be attractive and practical and your shoppers will appreciate it. Ask your shop fitter to incorporate a sitting area into your design plans.