You are probably doing a lot of things right – investing in online advertising because you hear that’s where your target audience hangs out, churning out amazing designs because that’s what your customers come to you for time and again, investing in new technology, etc. But, you will have many missed opportunities if you do not pay enough attention to your store-front all year around. Most retailers go all-out towards visual merchandising efforts during festivals and auspicious days, but, it’s all-essential to pay attention to this all through the year. After all, what better chance to make a sale and a lifelong customer than with a new foot in the door! And, the only way to do this is with intense all-year around visual merchandising efforts. How does one do this? Here are a few pointers:
Your store front needs to speak to and delight your target audience: As a retailer, you already know what kind of products you make and for whom. You know your target audience. So, your visual merchandising efforts need to not only be in-synch with them, they need to delight your target audience enough to have them approach your window first, and then come into your store.
Use product advertising displays to educate people who approach your store window: You must have advertising displays about your new lines and specifically for the products you have on display at the window. This will intrigue passers-by and they will approach your store window to read about the product on display. Offering product information to a person who is busy and would not otherwise walk in and ask, is likely to have the person remember this information and come back later for a look if the offering is of interest.
Train your security guard to offer passers-by a pleasant and inviting smiling: You probably haven’t realised this but your security guard should be able to play the dual role of being vigilant about thieves as well as being welcoming towards potential walk-ins. Picture a bored guard that offers a glazed stare at people versus one who smiles and nods a hello at passers-by. Your guards should however not err on the other extreme and be opening doors before they should for example, because nothing puts people off more than a presumptive and pushy attitude.
Change is a must: Just like if you have the same jewellery designs in your store, if you have the same window display and decorations to your store front for months and months, people will be bored and will even stop noticing your store. You must keep “tossing-it-up” so to speak, and window displays must be changed often – this includes the jewellery as well as the decorations around. This need not require a massive overhaul. When your visual merchandising expert is designing the overall look, you would do well to ask him / her to allow some flexibility for changing things around, keeping the overall theme of your brand intact. A designated employee should be trained to alter displays in a way that looks attractive. Many retail outlets have contracts with visual merchandising professionals to come in and change the windows on a weekly basis.
Keep the pavement and street surroundings clean as far as possible: There should be no unpleasant sights around your store. Having dirt and filth around would take away from the splendour of your store front.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for how you should go about designing and setting up your store-front / window displays.However, there certainly are some fixed goals your displays need to achieve. Firstly, passers-by need to be attracted to your window. The next step is for the window to be compelling enough for maximum walk-ins.Remember, your window is like an open stage of a theatre production. How you build the set will determine how large an audience you will have! Limiting your efforts to just festive days will cost you heavily.