Building Professional Window Displays

How to Build Professional Window Displays...A Few Great Tips

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Focus Attention

 Have you ever tried to persuade someone who wasn’t really listening? It doesn’t work.People only have so much attention to give. Show a customer one product and you’re dealing with 100% of their attention. Show them two products and you’ve got only half as much attention on each. That’s called splitting attention. And the more products you add, the worse the math. Some store owners violate this principle hoping that something in the window will catch the eye. In practice, however, the normal result is to catch nothing at all. So little attention is available for any given item, the average passer by sees nothing at all.On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with grouping related products together and selling them as a package. 

Mask Distractive Background

 What else can the customer see through your window? If they can see into the store, you must ask yourself if this is going to enhance the overall effect or detract. Depending on the setting, this could go either way.If viewing above and around the display is distractive, if it looks cluttered, use a backdrop of some sort to wall off distractions. Cover the background panel in fabric or display vinyl. This could be a large panel, or even fire-resistant seamless photography paper. 

Keep It Clean

 A dirty or dusty window display lowers not only perceived value of the product, but also the integrity and control of store management. Five minutes with a feather duster can make a huge difference. Window glass is best cleaned before the display is done, using a solution of clear ammonia and water. Wipe edges with clean paper towels or newspapers. 

Present The Correct Quantity

 Now that you’ve selected an item and limited distractions, you need to decide how many products to put on display. This decision may pivot on price. Generally speaking the less involved the customer is in the purchase of the item, the more you may want to display a volume of the items on display. For example, a potato does not require a lot of thought on the part of a buyer, whereas an expensive watch does. So display only one of the watch, but offer potatoes in a huge pile. 

Elevate

 Get your items off the ground. To put something on a pedestal or platform is to glorify it. Remember the old idiom about putting someone on a pedestal. You can cover a box in velvet or display felt, buy a plastic column from a display supply, or use a table. Never place items on the floor in a display. Make it special. Elevate.  

Use Signage

 The use of signage in a window display gives the chance to reinforce the purpose if tasteful and clever. You want your display to be as powerful as possible but since the ultimate goal is to sell there are times when the whole composition will benefit from a word or two. Or perhaps a brand name or logo positioned somewhere. In fact, there are times when the omission of the brand name would be sheer idiocy. Take, for instance, a series of window displays interpreting a new fragrance. Such a display would make no marketing sense without the name of the brand somewhere visible.But in most cases, unless you have a really good idea for a sign, leave it out. As a comparative, advertisements sometimes include a tag line or slogan. Today the rule is, unless the tag line is spectacular leave it out! Like a bad haircut or botched plastic surgery, a mediocre tag line will do more harm than good. Many advertisers don’t understand this. “What’s our slogan for this campaign?”,  they think they have to have a slogan -not true.  ... The moral of the story, use signage, ( Link to Shoppetalk to Buy! ). 

Add Trim

 Foliage, flowers, ribbon, a velvet pillow, rusty steel, a wicker basket... in the display profession, props such as these are called “trim.” Older dictionaries give a definition of trim as a, “decorative addition.”In fact, it might interest you to know that for decades, a display artist in the apparel industry was called a “trimmer.” In the main, trimmers worked with wires instead of mannequins, making clothes appear to hang, float or fly in mid air as if by magic. They habitually added in decorative additions such as dried foliage, flowers, ribbon, and all manner of things to tell a story.

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas ..… Robyn hand made all the butterflies . Nice Trim!

Send me pictures of your window displays. Best Barbara

Buying Signals

smart ideas Barb pic

smart ideas Barb pic

When Buyers Are Ready To Buy,They Will Tell You. But Not With Words ...

They will, however, send loud non-verbal signals All you need to do is be able to read them! ...

Customer Signals:

When customers come into your sights, whether it is a retail store, at an exhibition or in any other environment, they will be sending you signals.

The Signals That They Send Will Include:

  • I am just wandering around with no real interest in products and intention to buy.

  • I am interested in this product, but am not currently anxious to buy.

  • I am very interested in this and might well buy it if you can answer a few questions.

  • I want to buy this, now!

When They Are Not Ready To Buy:

When a customer is not ready to buy, it does not mean that they will not buy, but it does mean that you will need a different approach. Do remember also that if there are many customers around, spending a lot of effort selling to one customer may mean that you miss out on a lot of other easier sales.

Avoiding Eye Contact With You:

When you look at them and they immediately look away, they probably do not need assistance right at this moment. Do watch what they are doing, because they may need some help soon.If they are handling a limited range of products, spending time looking at things, then it may be a good idea to stand nearby, relaxed and ready to help (not anxious and ready to pounce). When they look at you with a longer glance, move toward them. If they keep looking, keep moving in and start the sale.

Making 'Not Now' Excuses:

If they say 'just looking' or otherwise indicate that they don't need help, then make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. Still keep an eye on them to see if their demeanour changes.

Casual Handling Of The Product:

customers-buying

customers-buying

If they are casually picking up different products and dropping them back, perhaps not tidily, it can be a big nuisance for you as you tidy up after them (when they have left) but this may well be a symbol of a bored browser. As ever, keep an eye on them so you can move in when they change how they are behaving.

Looking At Many Different Products:

If they are wandering around looking at almost random products, spending a similar short time on each one, then they may again be a relatively bored browser.

Moving Around Quickly:

When they are moving quite quickly around the place, they may be scanning for something or may be wandering. If they slow down, watch more carefully and move in when they are showing more signs of interest.

When They Are Ready To Buy:

 When the person is ready to buy, or at least they are showing some interest, then you should also be ready to pick them up and move them towards the final close.

Spending Time Looking At One Product Type:

When they are looking at one type of product, and especially if you have a broad range from which they are browsing only a small category, then they may well be interested in buying. Perhaps they need advice, so ask if you can help them decide.The longer a person looks at one product type, the more likely they are to buy it. They are investing their time, which is a sure sign of interest.

Looking Around For Somebody To Help Them:

If you see them looking around, catch their gaze, and perhaps raise your eyebrows a little to signal that you are ready to help. If they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows too, move in to sell.This is particularly significant if they are holding the product or have just spend time looking at a limited product range.

the way you buy

the way you buy

Asking Questions About The Detail:

If, when you offer help, they get into more detail about the product, then they are likely to be becoming more interested.If they ask about the functionality of the product, they may well have a checklist of things they are seeking, so ask for details of what they are seeking. You can also ask more about how they will use the product, from which you can advice on the best buy for them.

Asking About Price:

This is a good buying signal. You can tell them the price or you can ask how much they are looking to spend today. If they tell you, then you can help them find the best value for the money they have to spend.

Using Possession Language:

When they pick up the product, they are getting a sense of owning it. This continues when they talk about how they will use the product -- which is a good reason for encourage this talk. Look for 'I' language. Get them to use it. Ask how they will use it. You can even talk about it as if they already own it, although be careful of being unsubtle and pushy.

Asking Another Person’s Opinion:

When they ask another person what they think about the product, they are likely thinking about buying the product and are seeking confirmation.You might thus find yourself selling it to the second person also. Think about this when you are making the initial sale -- include whoever else is there in the sales talking, though do watch for whether the main seller wants to be the main focus or appreciates others being included.

Body State Changes:

Any transition in non-verbal communication will typically signal a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. If they suddenly relax after asking questions or discussing the product, this may well signal that they have changed mental state. Other signals includes changes in body position, gesture, skin tone, style of talk and so on.

Touching The Money:

If they touch their wallet or purse and especially if they get out cash or credit card, this is a very strong signal for you. Get to them and ask if you can help. If they say they want to buy, just take their money (and do beware of 'un-selling' the product by your over-zealous and non-needed sales patter). Great info! Share this with your staff it's all part of improving their skills and knowledge on "How To  Sell more Effectively ". Need Sales Training for Your Staff? Contact me today!

Best Barbara

The Check Out Experience

smart ideas Barb picThe art of delivering a great checkout experience uses most of the same skills and behaviours required to work with Customers on the floor. ...    


   

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 Here are some tips for mastering Line-ology:

  • Always give your Customer your undivided attention.  Anyconversations with co-workers and others should wait until you have completed ringing up a sale.  The checkout process should be fast and efficient but at the same time must never make the Customer feel rushed.
  • Never interrupt another employee who is checking out a customer.  The number of managers who interrupt the cashier when he/she is working with a Customer always dismays me.  Unless it's an emergency it can wait.
  • Always greet your Customer in a friendly manner including a smile and eye contact. The eye contact is important because it establishes a stronger relationship in the short amount of time you're with the Customer.
  • Avoid overused questions like "How are you today?"  That is the "How may I help you" of checkouts.  Try to keep it more personal or about what the Customer is purchasing. "Are you enjoying this beautiful day?" or "Isn't that the cutest blouse?"
  • Try to acknowledge the next Customer in line while ringing up your current one.  That simple acknowledgment will demonstrate to the Customer that they are your priority and it will be keep them from getting annoyed by you talking with another Customer.

    ... Practicing the Art of Line-ology might be challenging for some, as one needs to multi-task while delivering a great experience.

  • Really hear what the customer is saying.  A lot of Customers indirectly voice pleasure or displeasure, and your ability to recognize and respond to what someone is saying without maybe quite saying can make a big difference to that Customer's experience.Example: A Customer might say, "The store is so busy it's difficult to get a dressing room."  Many employees would either not respond at all or agree with the Customer's statement.  The master of Line-ology will respond by saying, "Is there something you would like to try on?  I can set these aside and get someone to assist you."
  • Know that some of your hardest tasks are vital to your store's success.  Every time you capture a Customer's contact information you're creating future sales.  Take pride in your ability to capture that information. The same goes for doing required add-ons.  If your owner or manager has asked you to suggest an additional product, do it to the best of your ability.  Remember that almost everyone will say "no," the "no" is not personal, and enjoy those moments when the customer says "yes."  By the way, I'm not a huge fan of those types of add-ons, but to each their own.
  • At the end of each transaction look your Customer in the eye and say "Thank-You."  That brief moment of demonstrating your gratitude will stay with the Customer beyond their time in your store.  You may also, if appropriate, want to invite the Customer back.

    Lastly,.. If you're a Cashier, or occasionally checkout a Customer: Never underestimate how important you are to the success of the store.

    

Best,

Barb

 

The Evolution of Customer Service in Family Owned Businesses

smart ideas Barb picI came a cross an informative article, while browsing on LinkedIn I know will resonate with a handful of my readers. Do you own a family run business? Considering your options?

Either-way this is a must read!

 


Remember the good old days when continued Customer purchases were usually yours unless you didn’t fix a problem… 1st Generation Family Run Business Owners businesses grow from:

passing the baton

  • Investing long hours of hard work and detailed attention to Customers

  • Getting to know Customers through long conversations over dinners!

  • Loyal Customers would tell business owners when something was wrong.

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  • These Customers would complain, even make a suggestion! And wait expecting to hear back from the owner, to tell them exactly how the problem would be remedied -then offer a discount or tangible evidence that the loyalty is appreciated!

  • Lastly, where the business is Family-Run often you’ll find the 1st Generation Owners calling up the 2nd Generation (Employees) to demand that Customers problems are fixed immediately -Not just when “[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][they] get around to it”.

   

Learn more, here's the Link...

The Evolution of Customer Service in Family Owned Businesses

Best,

Barb

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Day #58 - Asking For Customer Contact Information

Some  really easy tips on how to do this:"Contact Customers"

  1. Start asking for customers emails.  Not Asking is one of the biggest problems I see daily in my work with retailers .  Data base marketing works , so I want you to start thinking in this way.  Please remember  - the biggest untapped sales potential is right there in-front of  you. By  inviting   existing customers to come  back  regularly  to your store you increase your sales.
  2. Train your staff to ask every customer for their email address. Be diligent; here is an idea that works give your staff $1 for each e-mail they collect. This works like a charm.
  3. The customer must feel there is value in it for them to give you their email. Make sure you deliver  value. Make the promise to  your customers very clear.  Let them know  that they will have  instant access to unadvertised specials and customer-only updates?
  4. Write up a script and keep it by the cash until your staff have to memory what you want them to say."Retail Counter"
  5. Your job as a retail store owner  is to follow up regularly with your customers. Contact your customer list monthly through e-blasts, Face Book, Twitter, and Linkedin etc.
  6. Looking for a very easy way to manage your newsletter and customer data base use  Constant Contact (  Steve link to my affiliate )

Barbara

Day #38 - Being Proactive, Part 4 of 4

Monthly Email Blasts:

"Proactive"Your plans must include a monthly promotional communications piece sent to your customer list. After you have set your promotional calendar for the year you must tell your customers what is going on in your store and here’s the big one. Invite them to come and shop with you. For those of you who are not "eMail Blast"collecting customer contact information for your data base, the work starts right now. No excuses. This is one of the most valuable tools you have.Here is a challenge; collect 3 to 5 names daily. You will soon have 1,000 plus names a year on your list.  If you don’t use email send promo info by regular mail or pick up the phone and call your best customers.I need you to get re-energized about what you do in your store. It’s about increasing sales by what your focus is as the owner or manager. Review what has worked in the past to stimulate business add the suggestions I’ve made and get working to make it happen. No waiting - start immediately.BarbaraNorth Americas #1 Retail Business Coach

Day #30 - Customer Feedback

Recently I read a survey that had tracked information on consumers shopping habits . Here's the ugly truth, 67% of consumers polled completely left, or didn’t return to a store because of perceived apathy.  Stores seemingly or actually not caring about them as a customer."customer surveys"That got me thinking about the whole customer experience and the importance of the real connection between you the retail owner and your customers. The relationship.Service quality is your #1 concern it’s part of the whole customer experience. Retail consumers measure you in the market place and against your competition.In my daily practice, as Retail Makeover Coach, I’m often asked the question, “How does a retailer find out what the customer experience is in their store?”The best and easiest way is to ask. Why I want you to do surveys is that it gets you in front of your customer. You get to hear what they think. So what do you ask your customers?

Key Questions For Your Customers:

  1. Where do you live?
  2. How often do they come to this general area to shop?
  3. How often do they come into your store?
  4. Do they shop for themselves or for gifts?
  5. Do they like your store set up?
  6. Is it easy to find things and to move from one place to another?
  7. Do you carry the products they like?
  8. Would they like to see something added to your product mix?
  9. How is your staff? Friendly, knowledgeable, available to help
  10. Store appearance?
  11. How would they rate your customer care?
  12. Product displays?
  13. Overall shopping experience?
  14. Would they recommend your store to friends and family?
  15. Would they like to receive your monthly newsletter?

I believe in regular surveys being done. One a year is a must. You should be able to handle this yourself. Create the form and do the leg work."customer surveys"Surveys can be administered in many different ways: in store, on line, your monthly newsletter, mailed to your customers home or place of business or by phone. You choose what works best for you. Use a rating system 1-10, 10 being exceptional and 1 very poor.In getting ready for this blog, I went into different retail stores to pick up their customer care cards. From formats that just ask. How are we doing? Leaving me endless lines to write - to surveys that were full of questions with boxes to tick off. There where on line surveys with a contest attached to it. Or mail me back surveys with a coupon attached to them. So lots of different approached.As a thank you, you may want to give an in-store coupon for $10, it’s a nice gesture and the customer gets to spend the coupon in your store.So what do you do with the info you get? You react to it and act on it. If after you do the survey you don’t know how to assess what you need to do. Please contact me  - It will be my pleasure to help you.Barbara