Visual merchandising is an important part of running a bricks and mortar store, not just for special occasions such as Mother’s Day or Christmas, but all year round. Indeed, you want customers to walk into your store at any time and a good [window] display will entice them to enter and have a look around to see what else is available in store.
Chris Crouch, owner of Melbourne based store Happy Valley, shares his top three visual merchandising tips.
Your window is the soul of your store
A good window tells the story of your shop. It's a great opportunity to promote your shop to the outside world especially at Christmas time. A good window will entice new customers in, and highlight to existing customers what new and exciting things are instore and give them a reason to revisit.
It's no accident large department and chain stores make a big song and dance about their window displays. The investment these companies put into window displays highlight how the window is the soul of your shop. Small businesses don't necessarily have the budget to spend a lot of money on displays. Your window should give customers a clear strong message about what your shop stands for. A great window could be the reason you entice a new customer into your shop.
Try something new
Christmas is the busiest time of year so it’s tempting just to stock constant sellers, as you know they sell month in, month out. I think it’s also a good time of year to try new products and new product ranges. Existing customers like new products, so having a fresh display of new product appeals to existing customers. And with higher foot traffic a new product range could find an audience it may not in quieter months. Christmas is not just good for business but hopefully it should set up the future year ahead, with customers enjoying their experience and products so they want to come back.
Make it social
Like it or hate it, customers often shop with their phones out. So take advantage of that fact to create a memorable window display or product merchandising that customers would want to take a photo of and share on social media. And of course if it’s good it’s something you can put on your social media feed. And if you stock local makers in your store, ask them to help merchandise their products instore. Their unique take can often make a display ‘pop’.