In this article, I’m primarily speaking to distributors who represent an array of promotional products. But before we get started, I want to quickly address suppliers and decorators who have any sort of customer-facing storefront or showroom.
No matter how you are able to display your products, I’m here to tell you, about the importance of a meaningful, memorable, and positive experience for not only your direct customers, but anyone that may pay a visit to your facility. Part of being in the marketing and advertising business is always being on our A-game, especially when it comes to the quality of showcasing our products and services.
Whether you’re exhibiting at a trade show or accepting walk-in embroidery customers off the street, you can use the tips in this article in your own way to ensure you give off a high-end merchandising vibe to your customers.
1. Create a Logical flow of traffic.
The first thing you need to do is choose the best way to organize your showroom. One way is to set up artificial rooms that represent where an end-user will interact with those particular products. Some of the most common include the kitchen, office, or car.
It’s important that you display these rooms or categories in a way that flows, so your customers can experience your showroom the way you want them to. Humans respond to experiences and feelings in a much more positive way than they do to sales tactics.
You can use seating arrangements, meeting rooms, or tabletops as a way to break the room up into sections.
Next, look at the layout of your store and decide how your ideal customer interaction would go.
Imagine a new lead walks in cold. How would you show them around? Follow the trail you hope to take from greeting all the way to sealing the deal. Do you prefer to start with big ticket items and feel the client out or begin with simple products and work your way up?
Use this imaginary scenario to help you set up your store for the flow of foot traffic. Getting into the habit of following certain patterns around the showroom will make you more comfortable in your ability to sell different products. It will also help you to quickly familiarize yourself with the location of each specific promotional item. When a customer has an idea of what they want, you can take them directly to all of their choices within that criteria.
The main goal of your showroom is to make this process as simple and seamless as possible for yourself and your customers.
2. Lighting is everything.
Whether we’re talking about selfies or showrooms, lighting is everything.
If you’re lucky enough to design a brand-new showroom, lighting is one of the most important topics to discuss with your contractor. The right lighting can completely change the atmosphere of a room.
You can use light and color to draw your customers’ eyes directly to where you want them to look. Use spotlights on key products to highlight them, and up-lighting throughout the store for a comfortable, evening-like ambiance.
I love this look of an all-white display case with individual lighting for each space. Each item pops against the stark white background. You can do the same thing with a slightly different feel if you use black units.
No matter what type of display you use, I encourage you to use soft, muted hues in your wall color, flooring, ceiling, etc. so that the entire focus of the room is on the promotional products themselves. Look at the carpet they use in most casinos and do the exact opposite.
3. Think of it as a retail store.
The difference between your showroom and a traditional retail store is your customers don’t leave with a product they picked in-hand. They leave after having seen and touched the products you have available and (hopefully) placing a hefty order.
But you are still selling the products on your shelves, so it’s important that you maintain them properly.
Apparel should be clean, free of wrinkles and lint, and neatly folded, hung, or displayed on mannequins. Different cap styles should be displayed on molds to maintain their proper shape. Shelving and products like drinkware should be free of dust and debris. Floors should be swept and vacuumed regularly.
One of the most important things to avoid is clutter, which can be quite a task in an industry that is sometimes unflatteringly referred to as Trinkets and Trash.
If you take a look at this example, you’ll see it’s a bit overwhelming. If I walked into that showroom, I think my claustrophobia would slowly start to set in.
Remember what I said about making this process as stress-free as possible?
You don’t have to display every single item that you offer. Display your bestsellers at all times, but everything else can be rotated in and out. We’ll talk more about that in the next section.
Consider utilizing a TV or a tablet station that displays additional options, colors, etc. It’s much more visually pleasing to see a single product, then swipe through all the capabilities on a screen than to walk into a rainbow of coffee mugs in all shapes and sizes.
4. Update often.
Do retail stores stock the same products year-round?
The final tip I have for you is to update your showroom and update it often. You should be re-arranging things at a minimum every quarter or season, with additional updates made for all major holidays.
Highlight your stadium merchandise and pumpkin-themed items in the fall. Move corporate gifts towards the entrance around Christmas time. You should also showcase any award-winning products to brag on yourself a little bit.
Changing things up allows you the ability to test out what works and what doesn’t.
Think you have an exceptional promotional product exhibit or store? Want to be featured on Hatswork? Send us photos of your showrooms, display cases, etc. You can leave us a comment below. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #hatswork.