"Some times, some days, I know exactly what I'm doing, exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. More often though, I live my life by the seat of my pants! Not that I take a lot of risks...just that I often have no clue what I'm doing or what will be next. I paint. Of this, I am certain."

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For Artists

For Artists Part Two

A question posed in Retail News recently was, "How can I get customers to stay in my store longer?"

The answer? Believe it or not, Customers go where they are lead. Understanding traffic flow is the key to solving this problem. Here are some questions to ponder:

  • Does your store have a general feeling of welcome?
  • Are you using the general rule of three feet for minor aisles & five feet for major aisles?
  • Do you have enough focal point displays & displays of merchandise that suggest lifestyle & end use? (These types of displays placed at effective intervals, draw the eye & your customer through your store.)
  • Are you using colour to attract your customer's eye?
  • Are you using sound, such as music or a recorded marketing message, as a motivator or activator?
  • Are your staff friendly & educated?

These are just some areas to look at to ensure customers shop your store (or space!) for longer periods of time. And, it's important to keep them around for awhile. Studies show that it takes seven minutes for a buying decision to be made.

Your display is your first impression. The space a vendor has, IS their store for the duration of the show. The above questions and answers are not limited to an actual storefront!

There IS limited space. With that in mind, it MUST be used wisely and to its best advantage. The 3 and 5 foot rules really can't apply here, but there still needs to be a flow, a focal point, a display of usage and a friendly knowledgeable staff.

We all hope that our product can stand on its own, but our backdrops, shelving and displays help to "sell" our product.

Do you need to get out some paint and freshen things up? Moving those walls and fixtures from show to show does "tire out" your display pieces! It's unavoidable!

I never miss the Canadian Gift and Tableware Show! Held in Toronto twice a year (and only open to retailers...sorry, not the general public), I go to see the displays, the colours, talk to people OUT of my insulated world. Its good to get out and see what's going on!! Sometimes, I take someone with me, but usually I go alone, notebook in hand. I am always excited to see I am using the "new" colours already!!

Their displays are often (but not always) professionally put together, and in a space similar to ours in the shows we do. They too are competing for my eye to "be caught", and draw me in. The ones that do, require me to stand back and figure out why.

Often times, it is with encouragement that I am able to make a few sketches and notes. Who wouldn't love to hear how much you like their display?! Be sure to tell someone what you are doing and that you are not a competing giftware wholesaler! Honesty strikes up the BEST conversations! As well as a possible lead for YOUR product!

I have been shown how to assemble an interesting and original display! Just by striking up a conversation, you would be amazed at what you can learn!!


PS. Retail News is a free publication, that I will get you more information on. I loaned out my latest issue and can't seem to put my hands on an old one!


All content © Lori-Anne Crittenden 2003-2006 unless otherwise specified.