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7 Visual Merchandising Tips for Christmas

By on October 21, 2013 – Updated on October 21, 2013

With Christmas less than 100 days away, it’s time for visual merchandisers to dust of their baubles and tinsel, and start planning their festive window displays.

But ‘decking the halls’ is about more than trimming your stores and windows in all their Christmas finery.

In order to stand out in crowded shopping centres this festive season, retailers and merchandisers alike are going to have to think outside the (beautifully wrapped) box. So kiss goodbye to Rudolf and Frosty the Snowman; here are seven visual merchandising tips you need to follow this festive season:

1. Dress for the “Christmas Customer”

Before you start, it’s important to remember that your “Christmas Customer” is different from a regular shopper in your store.

While we might all be filled with a little for festive cheer at this time of year, our stress levels are up, we’re busier than ever, and we’re rushing around at 100 miles-an-hour. But perhaps the biggest difference to note is the customer journey. Your “Christmas Customer” is a gift-giver, not an end user.

This means, they need to be told something different by your window displays.

Festive visual merchandising needs to interrupt the customer journey and display the perfect gift for a loved one. By remembering this subtle shift in shopping behaviour, you can instantly create windows that drive footfall.

2. Create an experience

With the increase in online and mobile shopping, bricks-and-mortar retailers need to find ways of creating an unmissable experience to drive footfall in store. One of the easiest ways to do this, especially during the Christmas rush, is with your shop windows.

Kate Spade stores in the US have been known to attach rainbow pinwheels to their windows which customers can take for free. This simple technique helps the store stand out from the competition, and provides a unique shopping experience.

During the festive season, you can be a little more creative though and the possibilities for your window dressings really are endless. Take inspiration from your brand, the current trends, and your favourite festive films to see how you can dress your windows.

3. Entice customers in store

While you need to attract customer attention with your VM display, your main challenge is to drive footfall – and sales – in store.

To do this, you need to offer customers a glimpse of what they can expect to buy from you. Show them exclusive deals, special offers, and even ways to wear the latest trends. Use creative and innovative techniques to ensure you stand out, and always leave consumers wanting more.

At a busy time like Christmas, you need to interrupt the customer journey and convince them to take the time to shop with you. That’s why a well-dressed window is so important; it has the power to boost interactivity with your store.

4. Continue your theme throughout the store

Once you’ve encouraged people to enter your store, you need to keep up the theme of your windows.

By adding to the experience that first captured their attention, you can help boost dwell time and drive purchases – whether planned or impulse. At Christmas especially, it’s more important than ever to dress your stores in a continuous theme.

As we mentioned before, customer experience really is everything. A consistent and recognizable theme and a store littered with great experiences will capture attention during the festive season and improve your festive outlook.

5. Spread the festive cheer

If you can’t get a little creative at Christmas, when can you?!

While your store window displays shouldn’t all be about Christmas trees and faux snow; you shouldn’t forgo the festive cheer altogether.

Consumers will expect – and love – to see your take on Christmas window dressing, so you shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box. For retailers across all sectors, there are a whole host of ways you can spread a little Christmas cheer with your windows.

6. Stay on brand

It is important though, that you window and store displays are always consistent with your brand.

This is what will help customers continue to recognize your store, even in the busy Christmas shopping environment. By providing your brand’s take on the festive season, you can create a unique and memorable experience, without alienating your loyal customer base.

7. Don’t overdo it!

Our final festive visual merchandising tip is to rein yourself in from time to time. It can be very easy to go over-the-top and deck the halls in a festive fashion that Father Christmas himself would be proud of.

By keeping your brand – and customers – at the forefront of everything you do, your Christmas visual merchandising for 2013 will be the best it’s ever been.

____________  __  _

Green Room Retail is one of Europe’s leading retail designers, specializing in retail window design. To hear their ideas for how you can boost your brand’s retail presence, visit their website today.

Image: London Display by dw*c, on Flickr

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