Free digital copy
Get Speciality Food magazine delivered to your inbox FREEGet your free copy
Planning a makeover of your layout to fit the products and impact you want to have during the whole pre-Christmas period makes huge sense. It’s not just thinking through the products you want to buy in from your suppliers - although the sooner you tick that off your list, the better to ensure you get exactly what you want and need.
It’s the visual journey that a customer will take through your spaces that will determine just how much of that stock you will sell.
Don’t cut the sales period short. You might start earlier of course, but remember Starbucks start with their much-loved Christmas Cup on the first Monday in November for a good reason! This will only give you 6.5 weeks of run-up anyway, so to start advertising and talking about what you are planning weeks prior to this will build some level of expectation and interest.
It makes sense to take a softly-softly, gradual introduction to your entire Christmas range, by putting together a phased menu and product plan to keep your regular customers engaged and returning frequently during the period.
Making sure your space is laid out to maximise the effect of every customer who comes in (and of all your carefully selected products) will take a bit of time initially, but once you and your team understand the principles of what makes a customer tick, re-setting for seasonal changes will be a piece of cake.
Time spent plotting the customer route and planning where each of your Christmas products will be displayed over the trading period at this early point, will help you reap the rewards of a well-merchandised season.
1. First impressions
As they come through the door, what will your customers see first? Make sure it’s what you want them to see. Focus on your visual hot-spots (where everyone passes/stands) and keep those looking amazing throughout opening times.
2. Clear signage
Can they see all the information they need about your featured/seasonal products at the instant they spot the product - price, provenance, flavour, etc? Include succinct, clear pricing/info ticketing with all the items you want to sell.
3. Visibility and positioning
Is the product range laid out to capitalise most effectively on the products that drew your customers in to your space in the first place? Position related goods near to these products to tempt add-on sales, and to aid visibility.
4. Shop flow
Is your navigational signage helping your customers to flow most effectively around your space? Entice them to see as much of the space as possible in their visit, as this will ensure a better spend per head.
5. Baskets, trays and trolleys
Have you made it easy for customers to make a selection of more than a couple of things? Keep a handy supply of trays or baskets near to the products you want to sell to help customers juggle with all their choices.
Apply these tips consistently and you will find that sales of the products that make more money for you will increase, while the customer has a more enjoyable and effortless experience.
Help everyone in your team to understand what you are trying to achieve, and why. Empower them to keep these five things in mind and you will ensure that the new way of thinking about the customer’s experience will stick.