Be honest: is your shop neatly organized or does it look like Cupid just threw up in there?
In his Valentine’s Day Boot Camp, Thursday, Jan. 11, FloralStrategies President and Floral Management columnist Tim Huckabee showed a photo of visual merchandising gone wrong, featuring a showroom packed with heart displays and all types of product — but no clear path for a customer to walk and browse. Huckabee dubbed this “sensory overwhelm” and explained that it can cause customers anxiety and may even prompt them to leave your store and go buy an arrangement somewhere else.
“Think about the message you’re conveying to customers in the way you’re merchandising your store,” Huckabee said. “It truly is a science.”
Looking for inspiration? Huckabee pointed to Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie as “the poster children for attractive merchandising techniques.” He also offered a handful of easy tweaks that have a major impact on customers’ psyche and encourage them to linger longer:
- Use soft white bulbs. Harsh lighting may induce a sense of unease. Soft white bulbs will create a friendlier, calmer environment. Replacing your lighting will invite customers to stick around and browse more merchandise in order to find the perfect V-Day gift or add-on.
- Make price point zones. Set up tables and place similarly priced items together. Include signage that indicates the price range. And while you’re at it, stack the lowest-priced items around the most expensive ones, which should be showcased in the middle of the table. This tactic will draw eyes to more premier products (dish gardens, luxury candles, embellished picture frames, etc.) you’d like to sell.
- Place a table in the path of incoming traffic. When customers first walk in the door, greet them with a table of your favorite Valentine’s Day ideas. Half of your traffic will ultimately stop at this table and browse.
- Feature your highest-priced items on the right hand side of the store. Research shows that 80 percent of customers turn right when they enter a store, Huckabee said.