By Sam Iontton - 18/01/2021
As we are all aware, the UK is currently experiencing a public health emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, it is critical that businesses, such as retail, take a range of measures to keep their customers, and staff, safe.
Here you’ll find everything you need to help you understand how to work safely and keep your customers protected, as well as advising the best ways to display products, in a way that is safe, yet still engaging.
We understand how crucial it is to work safely and support your workers’ and customers’ health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, when considering how to display products in your shop, you must ensure there is space for customers to easily comply with social distancing guidelines (2m or 1m with risk mitigation, where 2m is not viable, is acceptable).
We hope this article provides you with a practical, yet inspiring framework, to continue, or restart, operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and in turn, prevent any contribution to the spread of the virus.
Retail displays and visual merchandising are so important in enticing customers and driving sales. As humans, we are very visual, so while we do enjoy smelling and touching certain products to give us a better understanding of the potential purchase in hand, we get the most feedback from visual displays. In fact, according to researchers Dr. L.D. Rosenblum, Dr. Harold Stolovitch and Dr. Erica we process 83% of information through our sight sense. This means there are still ways you can display your products in an imaginative and enticing way, while still adhering to the restrictions. Here are some of our top tips on how to display products in your shop and keep your customers safe:
The best way to make a lasting impression is to immerse your customers into a whole new exciting world. Create a theme and stick with it. Covid restrictions don’t stop you bringing storytelling to life. Still create focal points, use colour. and blend inspiration with shopping. Discover our ‘5 ways to display merchandise in gift shops' article for inspiration.
Due to the risk of infection, customers may want to be in and out of your store quicker than they would have before the pandemic. This means you need to make each section of your store accessible, with all products to hand. Cross-merchandising is a subtle yet effective way to ‘add on’ products and increase basket sizes and order values. Think of it like the ‘people also viewed’ or ‘people also like’ you often see online. Cross-merchandising promotes product discovery and in turn, encourages customers to consider products that complement what’s already in their basket.
If you’re selling skin care products, be sure to have a flannel or facial buffer close by. For a clothing store, you could consider having all the elements that create an outfit in one stand-alone display, for example.
Different depths and heights tend to grab customers interest in comparison to a one level display. Creating a hierarchy allows customers eyes to wander and pique interest. A pyramid scheme is a great principle if you’re struggling with creating a visual hierarchy and it makes items look like they are cascading in the line of vision.
Clear display boxes, trays and cubes are a great way to introduce this layout during the pandemic, as each box provides a protective outer case. The products can be easily accessed when it comes to purchasing, yet remain safe, concealed and visible when browsing.
Space conveys value. The more space for customers to move around freely, the more comfortable they will feel shopping during a pandemic. Displaying certain top tier products in a standalone case, will not only make the product seem more luxury and appealing, it will protect it from customer handling, thus controlling the spread of the virus.
Our acrylic clear cubes mean customers can see your product from every angle. They can be placed on a countertop, or even stacked to create an exciting display.
Before Covid 19, supportive signage was a great way to inform customers of sales and promotions, as well as directing people to different areas of the store. These signs are still just as crucial to driving customers' direction, however, you must now be implementing a wider variety of signage in relation to social distancing measures and hygiene. These carefully positioned signs and displays promote regular hand washing and social distancing, alongside key floor signs and stickers that indicate standing positions when queuing.
Create and use signs that are short, clear, and to the point, this way, it avoids any confusion for the customer. They should be straightforward to read and match the theme of your store or business.
Having clear indications of where to apply hand sanitiser on the entrance, will also make customers feel more at ease. Hand sanitiser dispenser stands at the front of the store, and hand sanitiser dispensers dotted around will ensure you minimise the risk of spreading infection, to both customers and staff.
As well as hygiene safety signs and displays, posters and other eye-catching signage can help boost the overall cohesive look of your store, showcase brand messages, and show-off successful campaigns. In fashion retail stores, posters of well put together outfits can provide inspiration, alongside mannequins and tailors dummies.
An out-of-date display, or visual merchandising customers have seen again and again, isn’t going to capture attention. Customers are used to seeing fresh, new content on the regular - let’s face it, they only have to refresh their instagram feed, and they’ve got a rehaul of clickable content in an instant. After months of online purchases, it’s likely customers will be eager to hit the physical shops in order to feel present and emerge into a real experience.
Updating stores layouts regularly will give those frequent shoppers the exciting prospect of discovering something new. The best way to do this is by giving your customers a surprise. Don’t make things predictable, and place unexpected objects into your displays, such as flowers, animals, seasonal objects, or other themed items.
When refreshing these displays and layouts remember brand consistency is key, and keep a close eye on your retail calendar to make sure your visual merchandising fits with relevant seasons and events.
A need for social distancing has changed the way we shop. In light of this, retail stores need to think of new and innovative ways to use their space, so they can provide as much scope to maintain distance as possible from other shoppers. Whether you need help rethinking your floor plan, creating a one-way-system, or advice on how to be more creative with your retail displays, check out our 3 retail space management tips during Covid, in our advice and inspiration hub.
Remember your space is becoming more than just a store to buy products from, it’s an outlet and safe space for customers to enjoy a little bit of normality during a particularly uncertain time. Be sure to add counter top sneeze guards to your check outs, tills, and customer facing drop-off points. Use social distancing queuing barriers to enforce effective social distancing and prevent overcrowding.
In conclusion, how you display your products can make a huge difference to a customers' experience, and can be extremely influential in overall conversion rates.
As well as keeping customers engaged, keeping them safe during this current climate should be a number one priority. Be sure to check out our social distancing and hygiene range to ensure you’re meeting the correct guidelines. If a customer feels protected and shielded whilst shopping, they’re more likely to shop with you again.
Whether your store is fashion, sport, footwear, interior, or any other sector, we’ve provided the best, and safest ways to increase your sales, and create a long-lasting impression. Here at Displaysense, we provide a wide range of display and merchandising fixtures including risers, display cubes, stacking baskets, merchandising systems, mannequins, hook displays, slatwall panels and more. Boasting an array of designs and styles, you’re sure to find exactly what you need to create an eye-catching, and well-displayed store.