Getting started on your merchandising can be quite the challenge at first, but knowing when and where to distribute your goods is a practice that gets easier over time. Many big retail corporations plan out very specific diagrams for their store managers. But this becomes mundane and redundant.
Consider changing things up so that customers are drawn to various parts of your store. Having a custom display allows flexibility on how to present merchandise to the taste of the local shoppers and trends, but there is a better way to maximize your sales year round.
The simplest way to start is with seasonal displays and it is crucial to start them at least two months before the indicated holiday. This method lends more time for ‘word of mouth’ to spread from regular shoppers and their friends and family on the special goods your store has to offer. It’s November, folks, time to infuse Thanksgiving into your marketing.
Mind the Seasons Right
Having seasonal end caps are a great way to easily sell both holiday items and hard-to sell-items that barely leave the shelf. Start by making a list of the bottom twenty items as good tie-in ideas for your custom retail displays. These custom displays should be a highlight center for products, such as seasonal items, that are distributed to the highest traffic areas of your store. These areas are not necessarily where your regular top selling items are displayed. Most stores have these areas lodged at the front door but depending on your store layout, this is not the only high traffic area to be considered.
Use a highlighter on your floor plan and make note of any special interest spots. For instance, if your store has hand baskets distributed throughout, consider using a hand basket station to lure your customer to your custom retail displays. This type of lure can create more foot traffic to neglected aisles.
Incorporate the Goods… and Not so Good
Once you have your custom retail displays mapped out, it’s time to decide which products to be used and how they should be placed. Whether your display is a stand alone structure or an end cap to an aisle, it is important to draw attention to these special items with colors and banners. Balloons will do the trick but anything unusual should draw the needed attention across the floor.
Consider the shelving when placing key items. Your hard to sell items should be at eye level and then distributed evenly among the key items, which will force attention to the whole of the display and not just the goods. Use your bottom twenty list to match ideas that are related to your key items. If, for example, you are creating a Thanksgiving display this might be the time to push otherwise hard-to-sell products like napkin holders, uncommon tupperware or toothpicks.
So Fresh and So Clean
The more neat and organized the pattern of products, the more lingering time it will draw from the customer at your custom retail display, increasing the chance of a sell. A great way to tie in items is to use ‘dead space’. These spaces are usually corners that don’t have a flat surface to hold an item. Consider instead using smaller items on a clipstrip to hang from shelf corners. Clipstrips are long ribbons with hooks running down the ribbon. These ribbons are then fastened by a bigger hook at the top corner of a shelf, displaying the items in an uncommon space. Many impulse items are displayed this way, so it is a good idea to keep and reuse these strips for your custom retail displays.
Once you are finished, review the layout of your store. Are your key items dispersed throughout the store? Are they evenly distributed among hard-to-sell items? Do they have attractive banners or hand basket stations to lure the customer across the floor plan? Do the custom retail displays look organized and orderly? Once you have checked these main points off the list, your store is now properly ready to receive the incoming season.