Monday, December 17, 2018

Six Tips for Easy Holiday Merchandising

October 17, 2017 by mbrophy  
Filed under How-To Zone

This time of year, vendors are splitting their time and attention in many different directions. From selling at different markets, fall fairs, and festivals to sourcing the perfect holiday merchandise it is a busy time of the year. In every selling space and with each new batch of inventory, it is important to set yourself up for success – literally. Leading up to the holiday rush, it is easy to put merchandising on the backburner. However, that’s the equivalent of running the race and not crossing the finish line. Keep the following tips in mind to create an attractive and effective selling space in any environment.

Sweat the Small Stuff
Small details matter. Make every effort to keep your selling space neat, organized, and presentable at all times. Take a good hard look at your booth and see it as a first-time customer would. Instead of trying to cram every available item into your booth, focus on your best sellers. Leave space between each item and each category to create a cleaner-looking booth. If you sell clothing, make sure it is hung up on a garment rack. Separate large bulky items like purses and home goods from smaller items like jewelry or ornaments. If you sell out of an item, rearrange your display to account for the extra space. If customers are repeatedly confused about pricing, make your labeling more clear. Having a welcoming booth also means having an organized booth. In the chaos of the holiday season, the details are what will separate a pleasant shopping experience from a frustrating one.

Gift Baskets Galore
Spark shoppers’ creativity and offer better values by bundling merchandise together. Premade gift baskets, package suggestions, and strategically grouped items can be a problem-solver for struggling shoppers. Gift packages can be as simple as pairing earrings with a necklace or purple phone charging cables with a matching case. They can also be more creative and have a theme such as “Family Game Night” or “Girls Night Out.” Product bundling also helps increase the price point of your average sale. As long as the displays are executed thoughtfully, bundling is a win-win for everyone.

The Height of Interest
As the saying goes, “eye level is buy level.” Customers are much more likely to purchase merchandise that is right in front of them, slightly less likely to purchase merchandise that is below, and much less inclined to purchase items that are above eye level. So, be sure to have your crowd-pleasing and best-selling items at a height that is accessible to shoppers. However, that does not mean it is okay to ignore the space above and below your main selling area. Utilize the space that is not ideal for selling to create a welcoming environment. Lighting, mirrors, and signage are all important aspects of an effective setup that can also be used at different height levels to create visual interest.

Color Me Coordinated
Items should be displayed in harmony. Craft your displays with color in mind by keep likes with likes. Think about what displays look like at clothing stores in the malls. Blues are in one space, warm colors are grouped together, and the focal point is a seasonal color pallet. Even if you have a diverse range of merchandise, coordinating by color can create a cohesive appearance.

Shed Some Light
For any selling situation, lighting is key. Having a well-lit booth can not only visually separate your business from other vendors, shoppers can get a better look at your products. For outdoor vendors, the weather is unpredictable. On a sunny day extra lighting might not have much impact, but on a cloudy or gloomy day having a well-lit booth can cheer up your customers. Indoor markets tend to have industrial lighting, which is effective, but not warm or flattering. Decorative lamps, flameless candles, and other aesthetically pleasing lighting pieces will create a softer and more welcoming ambiance.

Sensory Overload
A display full of quality merchandise certainly helps gain shopper’s attention. However, it also helps to engage the senses. Lights, sounds, smells, and even snacks can help. Stimulating a customer’s senses not only makes your display stand out in a crowded market but also helps your customers become more invested in the shopping experience.

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