Whether you are considering having a stall at markets or have done so before, chances are you’ve thought about your stall display. Visual merchandising (another way of referring to stall display) is the practice in retail of optimising the presentation of your products and services to better highlight their features and benefits.
The purpose of visual merchandising is to attract, engage and motivate the customer towards making a purchase, so this is an important factor to consider when you’re deciding on your stall display. When it's done well visual merchandising encourages customers to buy from you; it can enhance sales and boost repeat sales as well.
Additionally, visual merchandising is a way to represent your brand at events. For example, if your brand is boho chic, those elements should be reflected in your stall display; you don't want to be using plastic, crisp, black and white minimalist displays as this won’t match your brand. There are a lot of different ways to do this, and we'll be going through key items in this blog.
Key points that you should be thinking about when considering your stall display include colour, shapes and textures, illumination, layout, music, scent, signage, point-of-sale, pricing, and of course: how you are dressed! Remember the purpose of visual merchandising, which is to attract, engage and motivate your customers into making a purchase.
How you are dressed
At events you are representing your brand, so the way that you dress should reflect this as well. Think of outfits with colours and styles that suit your brand — does your brand have bright and bold elements? Perhaps a suitably outgoing outfit or fun accessories would complement this well. Or maybe you're an artisan who uses natural products, with a neutral colour palette to your product range: wearing earth-toned linens would certainly be a way to reinforce your brand messaging. You are essentially the personification of your brand, so it is important to think carefully about how you are dressed. Whilst you want to reflect your brand do still think about safety and comfort as well— markets are a long day and you want to be comfortable!
Using height for visibility
When people are walking past stalls at a market, there is a lot for them to take in; if they can’t see what you’re all about as they walk past, they might not walk into your stall space.
One way that’s really easy to grab people's attention is to add height to your stall display. This doesn’t mean everything needs to be on a pedestal; you can have just one or two eye-catching pieces higher which might invite people in to then look in greater detail. A really easy way to add height to your display is to make use of wooden boxes, and that doesn't need to be an expensive thing: you can get really nice wooden boxes like places like IKEA and Kmart, or you may even find items you can use in your display by going thrifting and op-shopping.
These wooden boxes can be used as steps, tiers, or shelves, depending on how you utilise them. Make sure that when you're adding height to your stall that you are doing it in a safe and stable way so that things don't get knocked down easily. The public can sometimes be clumsy; the last thing you want is for everything to go tumbling down!
Adding colour for differentiation
Of course, you should bear in mind that a lot of people might make use of similar sorts of items — so how can you make your display unique as part of your setup? You could look at painting the wooden boxes in your brand colours, or even using the boxes underneath a tablecloth in your brand colours, so that they're not visible but still add the height that you’re looking for.
Custom display setups
You can also look at getting custom displays made from local businesses; there are a few them around, including Maker Change Creatives who are based in Carlisle. In having something custom made, you can not only be sure that it's unique to you, but also have the added benefit of it being something that can be disassembled and reassembled easily which makes transport much easier as well.
Displaying your products
When displaying your products you don't want things to be too cluttered as it can be overwhelming for customers. If you have a large range of products, make sure that they're displayed effectively; do not simply load everything up because you feel like you need to have everything on display — particularly if you have more than one kind of product.
Put one of each kind out on display and have the others in storage (such as under the table) that you can easily bring out. For things like jewellery, that means if you have a ring, and it comes in multiple sizes, you simply have one on the table and you can bring out other sizes as needed. This is the same for products such as like prints and mugs — anything that you have multiples of do not all have to be on display all at once.
Planning your layout
Think about the layout of your stall — do you want people to be able to walk into your space and browse? Or do you want to have it so that there's a table and they are outside of the gazebo and not walking into your space? There are lots of different ways that you can do this. We highly recommend checking out Pinterest for ideas: click here to view the Perth Makers Market Pinterest board.
It goes without saying that your goal is to make sales at a market. As such, do you want to create a point-of-sale spot so that you can have all of your items in one place? If your products are fragile, this would include items such as bubble wrap and tissue paper; you should have everything laid out so that it's easy to wrap everything up on the go. Your bags could go into an easily-accessible place, along with things like tape, scissors, and twine. Setting up a point-of-sale station in one place makes it really easy for somebody to make a purchase too, because they know exactly where to stand when they're ready to buy from you (as opposed to waiting for you to notice them).
You could also make a custom point-of-sale stand: it doesn't need to be very large, and you can have your branding on it with your logo and your social media tags so that people can take a quick snapshot and find you later on. You could include things like shelving so that all the paraphernalia that you need is easy to access without having to rummage through tubs under your table. An added benefit of creating a custom stand is that you can also use it to transport your items to and from your stall when you're setting up and packing down without things getting lost.
Gazebo walls are also worth thinking about in terms of layout. Not all gazebos come with walls, but you may find that you could make use of them: walls can ensure that your stall setup feels like a defined space and doesn't flow into the stall next to you. That said, having solid walls on all three sides could potentially make your space feel small; so if you do want to make use of walls, maybe think about having screen walls instead, or simply having walls on one or two sides. Ultimately, this is a something you need to think about as it does affect the way your space looks and feels.
If you're attending a night market, you will also need to think about the lighting within your stall space. This should ideally be lights that operate on battery and have a long charge. You could just go and get floodlights of course, however these aren't always the nicest-looking option. A really great way to enhance your space is by making use of something like fairy lights as part of your visual merchandising. Sure, they may not add a lot of light as a whole, but they are attractive — which makes them something you should consider. There are lot of different kinds of fairy lights, so be sure you get those that will match your brand. Additionally, make sure that you're looking at the colour of your light that you are adding into your stall space. Warm light versus cool light is important to think about because it does affect the way that your products look; test it in your own home before you bring it to market.
We hope these tips will help you better plan your stall display! Whilst there are lots of things to consider, if you keep in mind the key points above along with your ultimate goal of being able to attract, engage and motivate customers while keeping in line with your brand identity, you can't really go wrong.
If you have any questions about any of the points above, or if you feel there's something we've missed, feel free to get in touch and we will try to include it in an upcoming blog or in our YouTube series answering business questions.