Display a competitive edge

An article looking at how shops selling women’s clothing can best use display equipment to show their merchandise encouraging customers to enter and make a purchase.

Competition: It’s the word that strikes fear into the heart of any business man or woman and also the word which keeps them striving to be better, keeps the fire in their belly and makes them constantly seek to find new and improved ways of promoting their business. And no matter how niche your products are, the chances are somebody else will have already had the idea and you’ll need to figure out some creative ways to make your customers and potential customers use you and stick with you instead of looking elsewhere.
Obviously having great products is an absolute must. If you’re selling women’s clothing then you need to ensure great quality fabric, good designs, excellent stitching and an eye-catching end result. But how do you get your customers in through the door and browsing your products in the first place? Getting the right type of display equipment is one place to start. Clothing that’s all bunched together on an unattractive rack can turn customers off before they’ve even looked at the clothes. Your great-quality products will be steadfastly ignored if they aren’t set out nicely and tastefully. So consider the type of racks you’ll use, invest in some decent coat hangers and you’ve made a good start.
The right shop display equipment covers all kinds of things, really anything which draws your customers and in and offers them information about your products. So you need to make sure all your display materials are clear, posters are placed in the right location to announce special offers and your standard shop signs (open/closed, no smoking etc,) are placed where they can be easily seen. The right lighting will also make a world of difference, particularly if you are trying to sell clothes to women. Use harsh, fluorescent lighting and they will run out the door never to return, as this is about the most unflattering type of light to even the most sveltest figure. Choose gentle, soft lighting which creates enough glow to show off your products, but which allows your female customers to enter the changing room without fear of every flaw being exposed.
Simple signage
Ensure that your pricing and offer merchandising always looks really professional and clear. Scribbled handwritten prices can look shoddy. You need clear signage which tells customers exactly how much an item costs and makes clear what the new price will be if there’s a sale on. You might not want to draw attention to your prices, but your customers will thank you for your transparency. Neat, organised shop display equipment will also give you a great competitive edge. Piles of screwed-up clothes, however, will have the opposite effect. Keep your displays tidy at all times and refold the clothes after customers have been browsing and you’ll give your shop the professional feel your customers are looking for.
Marian Hayes is a specialist in merchandising and retail displays, advising businesses how to use shop display equipment to best effect. She shares her knowledge through a series of related articles and blogs.