When you walk into a discount warehouse club such as Sam’s or Costco, the first thing you notice is the lack of warmth. The second thing you notice is merchandise stacked floor to ceiling. Few, if any, visual aids add to the atmosphere. The objective is to move lots of merchandise and get the customer in and out as quickly as possible. That’s not the message you want to send.
Upon walking into a store that’s brightly lit, with light boxes highlighting beautiful gold jewelry and with soft music playing in the background, your senses send you a message. The mood is set for a pleasant and comfortable shopping experience. If that’s the type of atmosphere you yourself would want to experience, assume your customers do, too. Industrial architects incorporate psychology into their designs. So should you.
Light boxes direct the customer’s eyes to the area you want them to see. Color transparencies in light boxes can highlight your merchandise and are easily changed. Some manufacturers provide them at a low cost. Others help defray the cost for images of their products. If you don’t want to use light boxes or have no room for them, you can create a different type of visual excitement by changing the store lighting. While not inexpensive, changing the lighting in your store not only can improve the atmosphere but also help in the sale of your showcased products.
Color or props in showcases visually highlight merchandise and also catch customers’ eyes. Props force the eye to discriminate between areas and product categories and act as dividers. Adjust the size and color of props by season. Moving merchandise and shuffling it to different areas can lend the appearance of having new merchandise, and changing props on a regular basis achieves the same result.
Using props that take up space in a showcase lets you clean out slow-moving items and make the case visually more appealing. Your vendors should stock balance their slow-moving items and replace them with fresh ones. If your gold vendor doesn’t, you may have the wrong gold vendor.
Instead of putting chain ramps in the gold showcase, try replacing them with bracelets or necklaces that return greater revenue and profits. Take the chains, place them in a chain roll, and put them in under stock.
The most successful independent retailers understand the need for an array of visual tools. These tools create not only a mood but also an image of the store in the mind of the consumer. Your store image is a key component of your brand. What do you want your brand to say and stand for? If you pride yourself on selling quality jewelry, you don’t want your store to resemble a discount warehouse club. Create the store that tells your story.