Zoning In on Retail Display
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of space, a dimension of calm, a dimension of transition. You’re moving into a land of both practicality and whimsy, of needs and desires; you’ve just crossed over into…the Decompression Zone.
All well-designed retail environments have one at their entrance. It’s a transitional space that allows a consumer to take a moment to get into a shopping mode. People have a psychological need to slow down, refocus and adjust to new surroundings. The ideal Decompression Zone is spacious (relatively speaking), streamlined and inviting.
It is also the single worst place to put merchandise; shoppers simply won’t see it.
That’s why we have Speed Bumps. (Apologies for not introducing with a riff on a classic TV program, but I can’t think of any that involve both retail environments and bumps.)
Just beyond the Decompression Zone is where smart retail marketers place eye-catching fixtures – Speed Bumps (a term coined by retail strategists and friends of the blog Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender). The displays within such retail environments grab attention and slow the shopper down (hence, Speed Bumps).
These displays must be eye-catching and engaging; they are easing the shopper into buying mode and setting a tone for her overall experience. Here are 15 thought starters to help inspire displays that will stop traffic (get it?):
- Build a display out of actual product
- Provide a physical link to an online promotion
- Surprise with an unusual take on seasonal display
- Evoke a strong emotion
- Invite participation
- Deploy signage in unconventional, innovative ways
- Facilitate trial
- Encourage product touching
- Prompt a dialogue
- Seek opinion and input
- Tell a story
- Tease the eye with an unusual perspective
- Demonstrate benefit
- Use repetition to create visual impact
- Delight by showcasing the unexpected