How to build effective retail displays

How to put together an effective retail promotion

Customers like to see change. An effective in-store sales promotion is a great tool with which to quickly and inexpensively evolve into something that appears fresh and relevant, whatever the season. However, in order to adapt and change in today’s fast-paced retail environment, there are important promotional ‘must dos’ that will help you develop successful sales promotions each and every time. So how do you put together an effective retail promotion anyway?

The upcoming festive season is by far the most important seasonal marketing opportunity you have. It’s an excellent chance to put these ‘must dos’ into practice. Why not pick a few and try them out in your store? See if you can’t just top last year’s sales!

1. Have a ‘clear purpose’

As with any promotion, first things first – you MUST know your reason for doing it. What’s your purpose? What are you trying to achieve? What are your goals? Who are you trying to reach?

Whether it’s to generate extra cash; make room for new products; spring clean slow moving lines; help launch a new product or maybe just inject a bit of life and excitement to your retail space – all great motivations. For your promotion to be a success it must be based on a clear understanding of who you’re trying to target. Know who your customer is.

Valentine's Window2. Choose a great theme name

Once you have a clear purpose you must then give it an identity. This will ‘make it stick’.

The White Company’s General Store promotion last year is a great example of this. The promotion allowed the White Company to highlight products they felt were of ‘great value’. Products from each department were selected and graphic communication and signage used to highlight key products. REMEMBER! Think carefully about your tone of voice. Whether it’s ‘’We love this…” or “Last chance for this….’’ what it must do, is sound like you.

3. Choose your product wisely

When choosing product, think about how you can create stories or themes that actively ‘push products’ throughout the year. Think seasonally, be strategic and stay firmly in tune with your customers needs, wants and desires…. you want to ensure that you’re always choosing RELEVANT products for them.

Seasonality Example

Spring storage/ cleaning
Summer Eating Alfresco
High Summer BBQ’s
Autumn/Winter Lighting i.e Candles
Christmas Dining/Xmas Gifts

4. Choose the right position for your promotion

It is essential you choose the correct physical position that actively maximises your promotion and adequately pushes your chosen products. Windows are a huge opportunity too and don’t forget about the people who are entering the store too. You can ensure your store stays fresh and continues to inspire each and every customer simply by implementing a dedicated ‘seasonal area’ or ‘hot-spot’ on entrance.

We call this visual merchandising and there’s an art and skill to it that luckily is something that can be learned. Throughout the year we run day masterclasses on ‘space planning’ and ‘how to visual merchandise’ and it continues to help retailers learn the basic principles, and ensure their retail space is working hard for them. Contact for more information.

5. Set the stage

Below is a picture I took inside fashion and lifestyle retailer Merci in Paris. What a simple and effective way to set the stage for something that at the end of day promotes a chair! A fantastic example of a ‘hero’ shot.

Merci in paris

We teach professional techniques and principles such as the ‘Display Pyramid’ and how to find the right fixtures and fittings. And when you’ve learned these skills, they allow you to create powerful displays that are easily read by passing trade. Save our RSS feed or subscribe to this blog for more on this in future weeks.

6) Graphics, Signage and Communication

Stories help to build deep relationships between consumers and products. That’s because today, people don’t just want a drill — or a t-shirt or carton of eggs or television set — they want to know where that drill came from, how it came about, and what the drill-maker is going to do with the money they’re about to pay for it. When doing a promotion, stores have an amazing opportunity to use graphics and imagery to explain all this. It’s a chance to create interest and further show your personality. When you have an exclusive, or a new product line, or just a great price offer, highlight ticketing should be used to make it really stand out. If I can’t see it, I won’t buy it.

And lastly, something that seems simple but can often trip retailers up, REMEMBER, your stock should be replenished at all times to keep the area fresh, relevant and inspirational.

Follow Eve @MetamorphosisGr

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