All retail owners may have experienced the frustration of handling window shoppers. Some of them may show interest with your products at the window, only for them to keep walking. Then, there are also some who go in, browse through your products, only to find nothing they need and leave. Then there are those who, if you sell clothes or shoes, will spend minutes trying on different products only to leave with nothing but a messy display.
It’s a tricky thing, getting customers into your shop, but it’s even trickier getting them to buy something unless they’ve already planned to before entering your store. Every good retailer knows that following around a customer doesn’t work, so you need to try better tactics to catch their attention.
What I and other retailers found, however, was that there was a more subtle way to convince customers to buy. Putting on an attractive storefront was one thing, but having a creative product display could draw potential customers, make sales, and even promote slow-moving products. After considering certain elements and the nature of your store, you might want to use some of these retail display ideas for your business.
Elements to Consider
The first thing you have to remember, though, is that while creative product display ideas can be effective, not all ideas can work on all businesses. There are certain factors you have to consider such as the balance of the room, the size of your products, the color, lighting, and more.
If you’re selling cookware, for example, you wouldn’t want to display large equipment such as stand mixers and microwave ovens the same way you display knives and chopping boards. You’ll want to consider the size and practical use of space in your store. Alternatively, if you’re selling clothes, you’ll want good lighting that makes your clothes look good on display down to the lighting in your dressing room.
These example displays have successfully worked because they found the right balance and a design that best suits their business.
Make It Interactive
Before the rise of Apple and Samsung, I can’t remember a time when mobile phones, computers, and other gadgets were interactive. When I buy my gadgets, I still browse through shops that keep their products in tightly guarded glass cabinets. Compared to an Apple Store, I find this method inconvenient. I have to base my choice on a gadget that’s turned off and the features listed next to it (and if you’re like me, you don’t know what’s so special about half the technical specifications). When I do pick out something I like, I have to ask a salesperson to get out an available product. If I don’t like the way it operates or I find I physical feature I don’t like but didn’t see earlier, they’ll have to re-wrap it in its original condition, store it away, and bring out another model I ask for. In short, it’s pretty inconvenient for everyone involved.
But when you step into an Apple branch, you can interact with the model and already get a feel of what it’s like to operate the product without the hassle of waiting for a salesperson to bring out a product. It’s convenient for everyone because if you don’t like the iPhone 6, you can put it down and then take two steps to the side to try out the iPhone X.
It’s an effective display method that will not only save you time and convenience, it can also convince people to buy. A study from the Harvard Business Review showed that consumers could be convinced to buy products based on their sense of touch. Touching creates a sense of psychological ownership, so the more a person interacts with your product, the more they feel the need to buy it. If a person steps into your store with the intention to buy an expensive product, allow them to touch it: they may be more likely to want to buy it.
Direct Your Customers
If you’ve been to an IKEA store, you might have seen the strategic way it directs its customers through the store. It’s a smart move because you direct the traffic around your store, so you know where most people are likely to pass by.
It’s a good strategy, one that you might have actually seen applied to supermarkets. You might have noticed that apart from the vertical aisles offering various categories of food, there are a few horizontal, unnumbered aisles separating these lanes. Not everyone needs something from the lane for baking goods, but people will pass the horizontal aisles if they want to skip passing through aisles they don’t need to enter.
This is a high-traffic area zone, and those random products and special deals aren’t there for any reason: they’re slow-selling products or products with a short shelf life before their expiry date arrives, so supermarkets put them in the way of high traffic as an attempt to make a sale.
Nature is on Your Side
Nature, recyclables, or an outdoor-themed display can help make your customers feel comfortable, relaxed, and natural. If your retail store’s front is fortunate enough to have a large space, installing a walkway canopy is an excellent method for outdoor display. This space could serve as a sales avenue where you guide customers past particular products you want to highlight.
Macy’s understands this, which is why customers anticipate its annual Flower Show, which attracts around half a million people in its various stores. And while your business doesn’t have to reach Macy’s levels of florals, consider using it as a focal point or decoration, especially if your business has a simple design that could use a touch of color. That way, you’re not taking away focus from your real products.
Regularly change your displays
To keep your displays from getting stale, move them at least once a month. You want to maintain an element of surprise for your customers. Moving your products to a different location in the store can also help slow-moving products sell faster, particularly if the aim is to highlight them. A few weeks after the arrival of new merchandise, move it towards the back to give room for new inventory.
However, if your business is like a supermarket or a warehouse, I wouldn’t recommend it. Your customers develop a habit of remembering where some products are located, and it could be confusing when you keep re-arranging the shelves.
Have a price tag on every product
Unless you’re the type of person who can spend without worrying about the price tag, you most likely do not enjoy having to ask how much a product costs. While there’s nothing wrong with asking, sometimes it gives the impression that we’re a bit tightfisted or low on cash. Not everyone feels comfortable doing it, especially your customers, and the last thing you want is for them to walk out the store because they assume your products do not have price tags because it’s expensive.
Save your clients this inconvenience by putting price tags on your stock. During sales, make sure you put a sign visible from outside to attract more potential customers. If only certain items are on sale, make sure to properly label the displays that are on sale so that customers can be sure which ones aren’t.
How you display your products in your store may affect more than just your store’s visual appeal; it could also affect the way customers’ behavior and their spending habits in your store. Don’t just line up your products for selling; get creative and find ways to make your products blend in with the design and structure of your store. Most of these display tips are easy and inexpensive, but they will have a great impact on your sales.