Here are the basic tips for having a great and successful Christmas Market pop-up display.
1. Know how much space you have, the size of your table, if that's what you are using, or how much space you are renting if you are bringing your own fixtures or tables.
2. Scout the facility, if you can ahead of time, or check online for previous markets to see how the space is set up with vendors in it.
3. Light is LIFE. Check out the lighting and find out if you can bring extra lighting for your products and any associated charges with that. (plan to take extensions cords and power bars)
4. Backdrops: A table cloth almost to the floor does several things. (1) it creates a visual backdrop for everything that's set on it. (2) It covers your storage bins and bags underneath out of sight.
(3) It sets the mood for the theme of your pop-up and make sure it doesn't have a pattern that will compete with the features of your products. Solid is usually better.
5. Use Vertical Merchandising with risers, table top fixtures, and sign holders that are tall and hold up your merchandise or signs above the table. I even used a chair on a table once on which to drape some fabrics and show off a feature display, which was more visible from the distance.
6.Categorize your products into colors, patterns, and styles, or shapes and sizes. Color is the number one visual selling feature.
7. Group and Space: Leave space between different product groupings to avoid visual confusion. Separate patterns with solids if possible. Or place loose items in their own container, basket, or shallow bin with a sign attached.
8. Packaging and Gift Wrap. Make sure you have gift bags, ideally with your label on them, or customized. Have lots of tissue or packing material for safe transportation of delicate or breakable items.
9. Promote yourself. Have your business cards and brochures on hand to tuck into each bag or just offer passersby. If you do special order or custom work, have a sign, or brochures that detail that.
10. Find out who is shopping. This is done with a door prize. Ask for enough information to find out where people are coming from... so at least their city or town should be listed and the way in which they would like to be contacted when they win.
DO NOT SIT stagnant behind your table. Sit on a stool or stand so you are at eye level with the shoppers. Make eye contact. Smile and engage in social chit chat or begin to point out some features of your products, or services. Or ask questions like, "Are you enjoying the show? Do you come to this every year? Even resorting to commenting on the weather is a feel good moment.
Don't forget... some shoppers will browse the entire show before they begin to shop and often come back around.
Most of all give yourself enough planning and rest ahead of time so you feel excited and ready for the event. Both setting up and taking down. Drink lots of fluids and bring healthy non-sticky finger foods snacks to keep your energy up.
Even during the recent crisis and lock downs, I've been working. One of my clients that I did display and merchandising for, including traning her staff, has just gone out of business after trying to stay afloat the last three years. It wasn't due to her display or merchandising. It was due to shoppers coming in recently and making the comment, "I'm glad you're still here." but not making a purchase! She realized she had become entertainment for shoppers happy to get out and about, without masks, or so much social distancing, but also less motivated to spend money in such uncertain times.
Main Purpose of Merchandising and Display: All my educational materials and semiars begin with the words: "Goods to be sold, must first be seen." Whether you are shopping online or in a bricks and mortar store, you want to SEE what's available if you are searching for something specific, or not. The benefit of a real store is that the other senses kick in with taste (food samples) smell, and touch, not just sight and sound. For my client her windows were the first impression of traffic, vehicle or pedistrian. Therefore, it was important to have them attractive, change them often, even a little weekly for regulars, and use good lighting for extra impact and focus of details.
Merchandising and display is also to enhance the shopping experience. Categorizing and arranging items helps the shopper in a hurry to make a bee line for what they are looking for. Category (department) is first and then brand POP or color, and then size, and other features that justify the price: high or low. A complaint on a website recently showed the purchase of a designer dress online that turned out to be for a doll! Just like in the picture, but a very wrong size! Unless the important deatils and descriptions aren't in the online ad, researching is necessary and trying it on in a real store is the best.
Windows and Websites: If you have a store front, or a face from a tent in a market, that is considered a 'window' and your window online if your website, or social media page. Here too it's all about what is seen. I have a saying about store windows: 100% go by! Of that number what percent are you attracting, at least slowing down to take a closer look? Pay attention when you shop to what slows you down or stops you to take a closer look, or walk in and check out more.
Four Motivaters from Merchandising: To reach the maximum number of shoppers in your target your displays should do one or more of these four things:
Humans are created with five natural senses (and some, like a 'fifth' sense, or "nonsense" we aren't discussing here!) Non-Store shoppers browsing magazines, papers, catalogs or text and images on-line, are using ONE sense: SIGHT. It's the most important one for sure, and that is why everything Today's Displays does begins with VISUAL! I say VMP is what you see.
Non-Store shoppers listening to phone soliciting, are also only using ONE sense: SOUND. So anything visual here is totally related to what you are visualizing when listening. Videos and face time add the sense of SOUND and when added to the SIGHT influences us even more. This is when watching TV, audio/visual ads on line, or even a non-interactive product presentation in a store or at a trade show exhibit.
I think it's hilarious the antics actors go through on TV to try and describe what something smells like, tastes like, or feels like. The ad agencies have to come up with ways to make you believe that peanut butter tastes like the first time each time, challenging you to go buy a jar and see if that's true. Another favorite of mine is the 'nose blind' ads, or those for laundry freshening products. I wonder when we will have Smell-a-vision, Taste-a-vision, and Touch-a-vision! Right now they can only use what we see and hear to influence our motivations.
As an Independent RETAILER, you have the chance to appeal to ALL FIVE senses. You can add the other THREE senses to SIGHT and SOUND in a bricks 'n mortar shopping experience. Examples are:
We sold tons of masks and I became the expert mask fitter! We had five vendors who supplied masks and the all worked differently. Letting shoppers know they could try on the masks was huge. All we asked was that they didn't put the ones unpurchased back on the rack, but to bring them to us. By the end of the day, there was a little pile of unsold masks waiting to be sanitized. This made everyone feel safer and happier with their purchases. We also sold more masks and the word began to get around town.
If you sell beauty and health products, the fragrance you want is different than if you sell food items, or garments. Some seasons lend themselves to smells that are traditional and familiar, such as pine, or cinnamon at Christmas, with hot apple cider being offered to shoppers with ginger cookies.
As a sales rep for a company, I once called on an upholstery shop that was located between a salon and a fast food chicken place. When I walked in I immediately reacted to the smell of fried chicken and fries mixed with the small of perm solution. Because in their industry that was just their workshop and they called on customers to show samples and give quotes, they didn't feel the need to relocate!
Words of WARNING:
(Side note: you will sell on average 20% more of what you take out of the package and display! And you also reduce the temptation from shoppers to open the box to see what's inside!) Don't use strong smelling cleaners on your floors or fixtures that smell like disinfectants.
The bank I frequent from time to time offers cookies and coffee or water to those standing in line. At that moment they are 'soothing the senses' which is what our featured article this week is all about. Check out the FREE article: Soothing the Senses
VMP Display Consultant for 25 years. Consulting, Instructing, Public Speaking and Writing.