Over the last few weeks, I have been spending more time out in stores working with independent jewelers to increase their bottom-line profits by improving their displays and overall visual merchandising.
I find however that many of the stores I visit have several very similar display challenges that can be easily solved with a little attention. These display “errors” are somewhat obvious and become so to the store-owner when pointed out. In a matter of a few hours in the store, we can often correct the easier, more obvious “Display mistakes” that are holding sales back.
These simple “fixes” are the “low-hanging fruit” of retail jewelry display.
Here is the first few entries of a list of some of the most common errors I see and some suggested solutions that might help you diagnose your own stores situation and take corrective action.
• Give new thought to how your merchandise is placed in the case. Display with “intention”, not by habit or by accident. Many jewelers, over the years, fall into the trap of just “putting it all” in the case in an effort to make it all fit. The case comes off looking like an unattractive mess of goods. Take time to organize your merchandise to be “presented” not just displayed. Place best pieces in the back (salesperson’s side) of the case on individual displays that make them look special. Put middle priced options near the center of the case (front to back) to show selection. Place less expensive items in trays near the customer’s side of the case. This organizes the case in a “Best-Better-Good (back to front)” arrangement that makes selling up easier. Now the best pieces are in the first place your customer looks and obvious to all eyes.
• Decide which pieces in each case you want most to sell and display them accordingly. Use common sense in your intentional placement of your most important items. If the one ring you would really like to sell in your case is in a tray with 11 others tucked in a dusty corner of the case, your odds of a sale (and the customers opinion of the piece) are diminished. Make those pieces look special. Take the 3 items in each case that you’d most like to sell and display them individually in a way that attracts extra attention to them. Add a small sign with some text that tells the story behind the piece. If you do not have the right display, call your display supplier and ask for for these “key item” displays. You can make your own with some clean, simple display element placed on a small platform with a splash of color or sign that sets them apart. It is a bit of a cliché, but the more people that see a given piece, the better the odds are somebody will buy it. When the item sells, replace it quickly with another.
• Other common display mistakes include inadequate or confusing signage, improper use of vendor provided displays, lack of attention to the role of color in the case, misplacement of merchandise in showcases without concern for traffic flow and failure to use the computer data from sales and merchandise reports to influence display decisions. I’ll address these errors in this space in the next few months, along with any new observations from upcoming trips. (Please feel free to submit your own list as well)
You saw the word “intention” used several times in this article. I did this intentionally because I believe that is the one word that best sums up the core strategy of good display. Do what you do for a reason. Have a viable reason for what, where, why and how you display your store. Your business is too important to leave things to chance and simply hope for the best. Everything we do has a “Why” and it is the answer to this question that gives us insight into the future result.
Try this exercise. When your staff is busy displaying your merchandise inthe case, ask them “why” it is being done this way. If the answer is anything unrelated to the customer and the customer’s buying experience, question it and find a way to change it. “I didn’t have room for these in that case” or “We have always put these here” are not display strategies for growth. “The customers are more likely to buy them over here” or “Because our customers often ask about …” or “Putting them here increases my chances of selling that companion piece” are indicators of sales growth potential resulting from intentional efforts. Display with intention and you will drive your sales and success. Try it.
More “fruit” next month. Las always, let me know if you have questions, contributions or if I can help in any way.