This article was written by Green Room Retail, a European based design firm specializing in retail window design. If you want more ideas on how you can boost your brand’s retail presence, visit their website or follow their blog.
In order to stand out in crowded shopping centres this festive season, retailers and merchandisers alike are going to have to think outside the (beautifully wrapped) box. So kiss goodbye to Rudolf and Frosty the Snowman. Here are seven visual merchandising tips to follow for this festive season:
1. Dress for the “Christmas Customer”
Before you start, it’s important to remember that your “Christmas Customer” is different from a regular shopper in your store.
While we might all be filled with a little for festive cheer at this time of year, our stress levels are up, we’re busier than ever, and we’re rushing around at 100 miles-an-hour. But perhaps the biggest difference to note is the customer journey. Your “Christmas Customer” is a gift-giver, not an end user.
This means, they need to be told something different by your window displays. Check out this Christmas window displays board on Pinterest for ideas on how to be different. Notice the strategic use of mannequins as mannequins are silent yet very persuasive sales reps.
Festive visual merchandising needs to interrupt the customer journey and display the perfect gift for a loved one. By remembering this subtle shift in shopping behavior, you can instantly create windows that drive foot traffic.
2. Create an experience
With the increase in online and mobile shopping, bricks-and-mortar retailers need to find ways of creating an unmissable experience to drive footfall in store. One of the easiest ways to do this, especially during the Christmas rush, is with your shop windows.
Kate Spade stores in the US have been known to attach rainbow pinwheels to their windows which customers can take for free. This simple technique helps the store stand out from the competition, and provides a unique shopping experience.
During the festive season, you can be a little more creative though and the possibilities for your window dressings really are endless. Take inspiration from your brand, the current trends, and
your favourite festive films to see how you can dress your windows.
Most retailers do NOT have enough mannequins/forms in their store to showcase their merchandise. And you can stretch your visual merchandising budget by purchasing used mannequins that were once in high end retail stores. They have to change their displays frequently to be trendy, so they offer perfectly good mannequins to mannequin liquidations for resale.
3. Entice customers in the store
While you need to attract customer attention with your VM display, your main challenge is to drive footfall – and sales – in store.
To do this, you need to offer customers a glimpse of what they can expect to buy from you. Show them exclusive deals, special offers, and even ways to wear the latest trends. Use creative an
innovative techniques to ensure you stand out and always leave consumers wanting more.
At a busy time like Christmas, you need to interrupt the customer’s journey and convince them to take the time to shop with you. That’s why a well-dressed window is so important; it has the power to boost interactivity with your store.
4. Continue your theme throughout the store
Once you’ve encouraged people to enter your store, you need to keep up the theme of your windows.
By adding to the experience that first captured their attention, you can help boost dwell time and drive purchases – whether planned or impulse. At Christmas especially, it’s more important than ever to dress your stores in a continuous theme.
As we mentioned before, customer experience really is everything. A consistent and recognizable theme and a store littered with great experiences will capture attention during the festive season and improve your festive outlook.
5. Spread the festive cheer
If you can’t get a little creative at Christmas, when can you?!?
While your store window displays shouldn’t all be about Christmas trees and faux snow; you shouldn’t forgo the festive cheer altogether.
Consumers will expect – and love – to see your take on Christmas window dressing, so you shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box. For retailers across all sectors, there are a whole host of ways you can spread a little Christmas cheer with your windows.
6. Stay on brand
It is important though, that you window and store displays are always consistent with your brand.
This is what will help customers continue to recognize your store, even in the busy Christmas shopping environment. By providing your brand’s take on the festive season, you can create a unique and memorable experience, without alienating your loyal customer base.
7. Don’t overdo it!
Our final festive visual merchandising tip is to rein yourself in from time to time. It can be very easy to go over-the-top and deck the halls in a festive fashion that Father Christmas himself would be proud of.
We periodically feature articles from visual experts from all over the world to keep you updated on the latest trends in visual merchandising. All photos are from our Christmas Window Display board on Pinterest where you can see lots of examples to inspire you to create your window displays.