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Are Your Displays Enticing Customers to Buy Big this Christmas ?

With just a few weeks to go before Christmas Day, the retail sector in Australia is in the middle of its biggest trading period of the year. Stores compete against each other for the almighty consumer dollar, applying all the psychological tools and tactics they have at their disposal to stand out from their competitors. From the use of attractive sales displays through to selling certain products at a loss, the ways and means of getting foot traffic into your store are wide and varied.

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Let's take a look at the practice of visual merchandising and the ways in which it can encourage your customers to spend. Setting up effective displays can increase consumer spending in store, while ineffective displays will either have no effect or compel people to not enter your store to begin with. This blog post details how you can use visual merchandising to your advantage so you can experience a bumper sales period this Christmas.

The Role of Visual Merchandising

Before we go any further, it's important to understand the purpose that visual merchandising serves. Essentially, it's used to drive customer sales in store – and the way it does this is through the use of sensory stimuli such as lighting, aromas, television screens, and music. The intention is to engage the customer – perhaps you want to make them imagine what the particular product might look like in their home or workplace, or maybe you want to remind them of a pleasant memory of when they used the item in the past. Ultimately, it's all about the strategic placement of the right items in order to elicit the desired response from customers.

Tips for Creating Effective Displays

If your visual merchandising hasn't been working for you this Christmas, it might be wise to visit other stores to see what they've been doing right and – without outright copying their displays – adapting them to suit your store and your customer base.

It's important to understand that everything included in the display is there to sell the product. It's not a standalone art installation constructed to be admired for its own sake. Whether you're crafting a scene that sells a lifestyle where the product would be ideally used, or you're creating a minimalist display constructed with display cubes and crates, everything included serves a singular purpose – and that is to shine the spotlight on the product. If the product gets lost among an elaborate display, the display is not doing its job.

By all means, be innovative with your visual merchandising, but understand that popular concepts are popular for a reason – because they work. There's no point doing something over-the-top original if it doesn't attract new or repeat customers to the store. Put your own individual point of difference on the proven, traditional display and people are sure to respond.

The use of props is a great way to tell a story that sells a product. But while they can certainly help to inform customers how the product is best used, they shouldn't be the main focus. At this time of the year, retailers will often communicate the idea that 'your Christmas will only be ideal with this product in it'. So you'll see plenty of displays at Christmas decked out with trees, lights, baubles, mannequins depicting people of all ages, and – because it's summer here – a barbeque and some deck chairs. The use of props helps to tell the story of an idyllic Australian summer Christmas that can only be achieved if you 'buy this product'.

Nothing is Permanent

Remember, if you feel like your current visual merchandising displays aren't working, change them! This change can be anything from giving them a complete overhaul through to rethinking where you place them. For instance, instead of displaying items in a showcase, you might want to try showing them at the cash register instead.

From all of us here at Display Decorations, we wish you the best of luck this Christmas – and throughout the post-holiday sales period as well!

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