By employing some powerful merchandising strategies and retail psychology, your company can improve its trade show merchandise sales performance dramatically. Start by determining whether you need a showroom or a storefront style display to most effectively merchandise your specific products. If your products are portable and customers will buy and carry them away, you should be using storefront-style merchandising. Showroom-type merchandising is meant for products that customers will order on the spot and receive later. It’s a common mistake among trade show exhibitors to use showroom-style merchandising for portable products, and that can lead to lost sales.
- A Balancing Act – Showroom-style merchandising uses a display of one example of each product. Trade Show Exhibitors find this style of merchandising appealing because it makes it easier to keep the shelves neat and it’s easier to keep items from being broken or stolen. Unfortunately, this merchandising model is a fairly strong deterrent to buying, if the products are things the customers expect to buy and take with them. Customers are more likely to buy things they can freely pick up and examine themselves, and less likely to buy things they have to ask a salesman to go get for them. If you’re selling these portable products, put multiples of each product on display, let customers handle them, and add staff to your booth if you need help keeping an eye on things.
- Set Your Display In Motion – Repeated studies on retail sales and merchandising have determined that including a kinetic element in a merchandise display increases sales. Motion attracts attention. If your product moves, be sure your display includes a prominent spot like a display table where visitors can see the product in motion and, if safe and feasible, to pick it up and check it out for themselves. If your product moves, but it’s not something you want people picking up, be sure to create physical barrier that still allows them to watch. If your product doesn’t move, and you are creating a purely decorative kinetic element, consider placing it up higher, so that it’s visible from farther away.
- Prevent Traffic Jams – Having too many people in your booth is both a great thing and a problem that can cost you sales if your trade show booth design isn’t adequate. When your floor plan creates a bottleneck, people tend to get stuck in places where they’re blocking your merchandise display from the view of passers-by. You can help prevent these issues by laying out your exhibit in a way that creates a route for people to enter and exit without having to backtrack. Placing large shelving units perpendicular to the aisle also helps to ensure that at least some of your merchandise will be visible from the aisle, even when the booth is crowded.
- Prepare For Checkout – Equip every member of your booth staff with a portable payment-processing device, so they can all be at the ready to check customers out as soon as they’re done shopping. This helps move people along more quickly so there’s room for more people to come in and look around, and it prevents customers from getting impatient with the wait and leaving before making their purchase.