CAPTURING CUSTOMERS IN STORE THIS FESTIVE SEASON
Covid, floods, war, lettuce shortages and the price of tomatoes. It’s been a mad, crazy year. We’re all eager for some enchantment, some wonder and joy. Thankfully, that’s just what Christmas is for – so let’s take a look at how you can create an inspirational visual space for your customers this Christmas and help spread some cheer this year.
Many people will remember the allure of bright lights and the novelty of Christmas time as children. Let’s recapture that feeling and shower it on the favoured customers visiting stores this year.
Worried you don’t have enough space to get creative? Use your windows! Not only is this the first point of contact for passersby, it’s visually impactful and a great use of space for smaller, boutique stores.
Shop windows have two main purposes: to simply show off the merch or – and this is far more effective – to create a looking-glass into our own souls: to reflect our desires, show us brightness that makes us smile, and promise gifts that will bring smiles to the ones we love.
If it feels overwhelming, use what you’ve got. Decorative lighting is a simple and effective feature of many holiday displays. And the best bit? Lighting displays are usually an essential characteristic of jewellery stores anyway because they compliment your sparkling jewellery brilliantly.
Aim for surprise and delight. This year – of all years – is the perfect time to try something new and maybe a bit quirky. Jump onto Pinterest and search ‘retail Christmas window displays’. There’s an extraordinary amount of beautiful things that can be created on a budget – white packing puffs and fishing line can make a fall of snow suspended in time, or for more authenticity, a bucket of sand and a bottle of 30+ sunscreen sets the mood just as well.
Think about creating an instagrammable backdrop with lights/decorations. Encourage people to take photos in front of your display, tag the store and watch shoppers market your store and advertise to their friends and family for you!
Choose a holiday theme. Sticking to a lighting and colour palette will take the pressure off your hands at the same time as making your store look stylish and consistent.
Top tip: Be careful not to detract too much attention from your product – the jewellery pieces and gift ideas still need to be the star of the show!
Put your customers in a good mood from the outset. Keep the annoying Christmas carols to a minimum (most folk can only listen to the Chipmunks do the Twelve Days of Christmas so many times) and instead provide calming music that makes your store feel like a safe haven from the frenetic activity outside.
Consider a bowl of Christmas-themed lollies on the counter – wrapped, thank you Covid. Children love those gold-wrapped chocolate coins or chocolate santas. For the grown-ups, let them know that certain spends include things like free personalisation or engraving, or free jewellery cleaning.
Shopify highlights the importance of the following three factors when decorating your retail store:
- Focus on your brand – don’t try to be something you’re not. Consider your budget, space in store and available time you have to devote to this.
- Promote your products – don’t overshadow them.
- Evoke emotion – don’t just make something pretty.
Jenkins, K. (2020). Holiday Window Display Ideas, Inspiration, and Best Practices for Retail Stores. Retrieved 6 September 2022, from https://www.shopify.com/au/retail/christmas-window-display-ideas
Christmas is a time for giving. Create a sense of wonder in store for children with a small but effective gesture. This could be a free candy cane or Christmas cracker with every purchase.
Most of us can’t help but feel a stronger connection to our neighbours and our communities when experiencing the shared enjoyment of Christmas time.
To nurture this feeling and encourage people to support local stores, create friendly competitions for the children in the area. An example of this? A good, old-fashioned drawing competition. The criteria? Children draw themselves in your store or adorned in their favourite jewellery. And the winner? A gift of course! A small token or candy gift bag. The remaining pictures could be displayed in your store and shown off to family, friends and visitors.
A small corner for children in your store, with a kid-sized table, paper and some cheap colouring pencils, will free parents to spend more time browsing and choosing the perfect gift.
LOOK TO THY NEIGHBOUR
Similarly, an amicable competition between your local store neighbours will contribute to the community feel this festive season and may help snag some new loyal customers.
How about, Best Window Display or Ugliest Christmas Staff Sweaters? Want to engage your customer base? Have them vote for their favourite. A shared Facebook group or Instagram hashtag will help set the competitive mood and encourage customers to get in on the fun. Let customers know that small rewards – discounts to be enjoyed in the new year – can be won by posting their pics in your store to their socials and using the right hashtags.
Collaboration is also an opportunity for some cross promotion of products and offers. Have a chat to your retail neighbours – they might just have some fabulous and festive ideas!
Have you ever been in one of those cold, clinical and unwelcoming retail stores that make you want to get in and get out as quickly as possible? (Apple Store I’m looking at you!) While this might work for some retailers, smaller businesses want people to hang around.
A store that has put effort into making the customer welcome with delightful window displays and thoughtful in-store charms creates a sense of community with just those acts. And that’s what the Christmas-shopping experience needs to be about. Not the ‘buy one get one free’ schtick that we’re all tired of.
Delight, surprise and wonder are the magic ingredients this Christmas. Make sure your store is a place where hearts can feel free and easy after a difficult year. And don’t forget, even if you don’t make the sale, the feelings of joy you invoke in the guests in your store are just as worthwhile. Make an impression on your customers and they will remember – and return.
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