Pop-up and Stand Out! Ways to Maximize Pop-up Shop Merchandising
Pop-up shops may live a temporary life, but when it comes to presentation and display, they require the same merchandising care as a permanent location. And pop-up shop merchandising may even demand greater creativity.Pop-up shops may live a temporary life, but when it comes to presentation and display, they require the same merchandising care as a permanent location. Click To Tweet
Let’s assume that you have already found your location, have hired and trained stellar employees, and have discussed ways to attract, engage and connect with shoppers. On the sales floor it’s all about the customer experience; an experience that determines how long they stay, what they buy, and what they say about your pop-up shop after they leave.
No matter its size or footprint, your pop-up shop will have a front door, a decompression zone, lake front property – space on the sales floor that sells better than other areas of the store – and a cash wrap. Our previous article in this series, Taking the Mystery Out of a Well-Designed Store covered each of these important areas in detail. In this article we will take a look at things to do to set impressive displays and sell more product; consider it a primer in pop-up shop merchandising.
Areas of Focus in Pop-up Shop Merchandising
Decor. The in-store decor you choose sets the tone for the customers’ experience; it should reflect the type of product being sold. Think about the merchandise you will stock and the ambiance you wish to create, and then choose colors and fixtures that will help you tell that story.
One of the first things customers will notice about your pop-up shop is the décor. All of the design elements – walls, flooring, fixturing, signing – must work together to tell a story. When we do store makeovers we follow this rule: Primary Colors (neutrals) are used in 80 percent of the store’s décor to make the merchandise the focal point and to create a relaxed atmosphere for customers to shop. Secondary Colors (bold accent colors) are used in 20 percent of the store’s décor to make it pop. You want shoppers to feel good in your pop-up space, not be overwhelmed by the decor.
Signing also plays a key role in your pop-up’s décor. Chalkboard signing is hot right now, both in-store and out, but unless you have killer handwriting and specific rules as to how every sign should look, it’s best to pass on handwritten signing. Instead choose signs that are printed using a sign machine, or on your computer, and are displayed in quality sign holders.
Fixturing. The fixturing you choose will also add flavor to your pop-up, but keep in mind that a fixture’s job is to house merchandise; you aren’t supposed to see it. Good fixtures make the merchandise the star. You need basic fixturing like hang rods and shelving to maximize dollars per square foot, and specialty fixturing to feature important items. If you sell apparel, invest in quality hangers and comfortable fitting rooms. Place mirrors in key locations on the sales floor.
Remember that even in a pop-up shop the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires a minimum of 3’ in-between fixtures. If customers can’t shop comfortably they aren’t likely to stay very long.
Sight Lines. Shoppers make value judgments about store within the first 10 seconds of contact. They don’t realize they’re doing it, but they are mentally cataloging whether or not they want to spend time in that space. You want them to be intrigued and anxious to enter so begin by placing shorter fixtures near the front and taller fixtures towards the rear of the store. This sight line allows shoppers standing near the front to see through your sales floor, drawing them to the various areas of the shop.
Speed Bump Displays. Place this important fixture front and center so it’s the first thing shoppers see as they enter the store. Load it with irresistible products displayed on a small fixture (stacking tables make great speed bumps) that can hold an assortment of product and is low enough to allow customers shop it easily and see into the store. Use your speed bumps to feature new and trendy items, and to tell product stories.
Georganne used to run a store on Michigan Avenue – the Magnificent Mile – in Chicago. She generally saw the same customers every day so after the morning rush she’d change product featured in the speed bump display. She’d change it again after the lunch rush and again before the mad dash to catch the train home after work. Georganne’s customers thought she had more merchandise than all of the other near-by boutiques combined. The lesson? Change your speed bump display frequently whether it needs it or not. Think of the sales potential!
Keep it simple. Shoppers passing by a display need to be able to understand its message within five seconds or less. It’s easy to go overboard, thinking “I can add this and this and this!” Add too much and all you are doing is making the display harder to shop. Sometimes the simplest displays make the greatest impact.
Play with Color. We are naturally drawn to color so use it to your advantage wherever you can. Group bright or contrasting colors together on tables and free-standing displays to attract shoppers and tell a story.
Go vertical. Any time you display product vertically, you expose the customer to a greater variety of the assortment at any eye level. And since we are naturally inclined to read from left to right, Vertical Merchandising encourages purchases because customers will see your entire selection of merchandise wherever they look. Going vertical makes every level buy level.
Throw ’em a curve. Visual Curve Merchandising involves the use of slanted shelves or waterfall brackets to increase the customer’s strike zone – the amount of product the customer sees in just one glance. Without realizing it, the visual curve forces the shopper to look up and down at the product as well as forward.
Aromacology. Remember that old retail adage: “If it smells, it sells”? Turns out its true: Researchers have found that a pleasant-smelling environment has a positive effect on shopping behavior. We all respond to good scents, maybe because they have the power to evoke memory. Who hasn’t gotten a whiff of something familiar and been instantly transported to another place in time?
Aromacology is the science of scent and its effect on our minds and moods. Grapefruit, for example, will give shoppers a burst of energy, vanilla will calm them when the store is hectic, pine inspires positive feelings, and cinnamon is said to attract money. So put out the potpourri, or better yet, purchase a diffuser. ScentAir has every fragrance you can imagine and unobtrusive diffusers you can tuck away anywhere on the sales floor.
Pop-up shop merchandising can’t be left to just anyone; you have to know what you’re doing to do it well. Have fun with your displays and your customers will, too!
Copyright Kizer & Bender | All rights Reserved
This is a guest post by Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender, experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. They are widely referred to as consumer anthropologists because they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: today’s consumer.
KIZER & BENDER are contributors to MSNBC’s television program Your Business. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine’s list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers, have been named two of Retailing’s Most Influential People, are included in the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers, and have been listed among the Top 50 Retail Influencers since 2015. Their award-winning Retail Adventures blog is consistently listed among top retail and small business blogs.