Improving Your Showroom Appeal During the Pandemic, Part 2

Smaller, focal-point displays of health-related items, such as these handmade facemasks at Heartland Home Store, will capture customers’ attention.

By Lyn M. Falk, Retailworks, Inc.

See Lyn’s AVB University seminar, “Retail During COVID,” in the BrandSource Backroom.

As we continue to navigate our way through business during COVID-19, we have to remind ourselves that it’s imperative to make sure our shopping environments are always safe, informative and upbeat, whether we’re in a pandemic or not. It just makes long-term sense to operate this way.

Last month we listed the basics of what retailers need to do prevent the spread of coronavirus in showrooms and offered some suggestions for punching up your storefronts.

Here are some additional tips for addressing the interior of your store than can help create a memorable shopping experience for your customers.

First Impressions

After you have alerted your customers to the precautions you are taking inside your store, treat their eyes to a super dynamic display that gets them to laugh out loud, say “Wow!” or compel them to take a photo. This will set a positive mood and serve to break the ice. Change the display often to keep both visitors and employees engaged.

See: Five Keys to Captivating Displays

Layouts and Product Offerings

We all know by now that store layouts need to be flexible to accommodate social distancing requirements and to ensure that customers feel safe and comfortable. This may mean removing some product lines from the floor in congested departments, but don’t worry — less is often more. The brain can only process so many product lines or model numbers in a shopping environment, so trying fewer styles on the floor may actually increase sales.

Also, the shutdown and fear of COVID has more consumers experiencing the outdoors and appreciating the value of good health and a more balanced lifestyle, so be sure to showcase any products that promote these practices. Create smaller, focal-point displays with these items to capture shoppers’ attention.

Touch or Don’t Touch

Make sure you post signs on items you don’t want customers to touch. If possible, display products should only be handled by gloved and masked staff persons throughout the sales process.  

Also, keeping shiny surfaces wiped down has never been more important than now. When customers see fingerprints, they think contamination, so keep small bottles of cleaning spritzer in an apron pocket or hanging off your belt.

Whether we’re in this new mindset for another year or several, no one can argue that these times are opportunities to reset and think out of the box!

Lyn M. Falk is President and Founder of Retailworks, Inc., an award-winning branding, design, display and consulting firm specializing in retail, corporate and hospitality spaces. A registered interior designer and retail consultant and a contributor to AVB’s store Makeover Manual, Falk has devoted over 35 years to helping businesses build healthy, purposeful and productive spaces that move hearts, minds and merchandise. Contact Lyn at lfalk@retailworksinc.com.