Display Your Merchandise Effectively For Your Specific Goals
August 16, 2016
Display Your Merchandise Effectively For Your Specific GoalsWhat's the most effective way to display merchandise at a trade show? That depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Your trade show marketing plan should include very specific objectives, so you can design an exhibit that does what you need it to do. Is selling the merchandise you have on hand your primary objective, or are you selling something large that will be delivered to the buyer later, and the merchandise you have in your booth is accessory items for that larger, primary purchase? Or maybe you're selling to wholesalers, so you want to show them the product, but they're not taking home the ones you have on hand. If your business involves retail sales, you're already well familiar with how much intricate psychology goes into retail merchandising and sales. Selling at a trade show involves some different psychology, but at its foundation, it's still retail sales, and you need to use that psychology to your advantage if you want big success.
Do You Need A Showroom Or A Store?In order to decide how to display your merchandise effectively, you need to think about what and how your customers will be buying. In showroom-style merchandising, you're displaying a single example of each product because the customer will be ordering the product, not carrying their purchase out. In store-style merchandising, the products are typically small and portable, and being sold retail; the customer expects to carry the product out and will actually be less likely to buy if it's not there waiting for him to pick it up from the shelf.
It's an important distinction and many companies blow sales opportunities by creating a showroom when their buyers want and expect a store. If your product is portable and your main mission is to sell retail, you need a store, and you need to use retail psychology in your exhibit design. Many retailers at trade shows try to use showroom-type display because t's easier to keep the booth neat and organized, and there is less chance of loss due to breakage of theft when there's less product on the shelves. Unfortunately, if your sales depend on people coming in, browsing, and picking up merchandise to purchase, showroom-style display is a deterrent. It's a subtle but powerful distinction between knowing you're going to talk to a salesman while you pick up what you want to buy and being stuck waiting for that salesman to go find what you want "in the back," and bring it back to you; it can feel more like bait in a trap than merchandise. Additionally, if you've set up a store, people will feel free to take their time reading the packages and investigating, but if you've gone with a showroom and there's only one of each product out, people will tend to put them down and move along when other people come along.