Unless you’ve been isolated from the retail world all year, then you know that the holidays are (practically) in full swing. Shoppers will soon be flocking to retail stores to purchase everything from Christmas gifts and decor to holiday outfits and supplies.
And while the uptick in traffic is great news for retailers, the holiday season is also the most competitive sales period for stores. This means you need to work extra hard to grab your customers’ attention and drive sales.
One key step to doing that is setting up compelling holiday retail displays. Visual merchandising often serves as the initial touchpoint that consumers have with your store. The look and feel of your displays can make or break people’s decision to buy. As such, you must ensure that your displays are on point.
Need ideas on how to do just that?
Here are a handful of holiday retail display tips and examples to try in your store.
Incorporate seasonal colors
People shopping for holiday merchandise will set their sights on stores that (they perceive) would meet their needs. This is why using seasonal colors in your displays can be helpful in driving holiday traffic. Having the right colors conveys that your store carries relevant products, in turn attracting more customers.
Traditional Christmas colors typically include red and green, so it makes sense that many retailers are opting to use these hues in their displays. Here’s an example of this in action from Anthropologie in Philadelphia.
That being said, let’s not forget that Christmas isn’t the only important holiday of the season. If you cater to shoppers who celebrate Hanukkah, it makes sense to use colors like blue and silver.
Take a look at this library book display below, which showcases books (and colors) relevant to Hanukkah.
Keep these examples in mind when you’re designing your retail displays. Consider the most relevant colors of the season and find ways to use them in your merchandise initiatives.
Weave in familiar elements into your displays
Props like tinsel, wreaths, string lights, and more can make your displays look a lot more festive, and position you as a go-to store this holiday season.
The following example from Anthropologie shows this in action. Even if the displays themselves don’t feature bright holiday colors (like red and green) the pine tree garlands and baubles do an effective job in creating a Christmas vibe for the store.
See if you can do something similar in your business. If your branding doesn’t match traditional seasonal colors, opt to use props to show your holiday spirit.
Like the Anthropologie store above, you could use garland and baubles in more subtle tones. Another idea is to use string lights, as they can brighten up your space and give your store a more energetic feel.
Tell a story
Our brains love a good narrative. That’s why when you’re able to tell a story through your displays, shoppers are much more likely to remember them.
Identify a theme, trope, or story that your customers can relate to, and build a display around it. For instance, this store in The Summit at Fritz Farm used the theme “Home for the holidays” as the narrative of its display.
The backdrop features a large snowy building (i.e., home), while the foreground showcases a mannequin wearing a holiday outfit.
Try to implement the same practice in your business. Spend time thinking of stories that resonate with your customers, then use those same themes in your window and in-store displays.
Put a holiday spin on your existing merchandise
Do you carry non-seasonal merchandise? If so, find ways to put a holiday spin on your current items, then add them to your displays. Combine your current products with seasonal components to create a relevant in-store display.
Check out this example from the Cuyahoga Falls Library. In it, the team used books to create a Christmas tree; then, they added a few lights and props to effectively build a unique display for the season.
This is a handy tip to follow if you’re not in the business of selling gifts or decor. Spend time looking at your catalog from the lens of a holiday shoppers, then plan your windows and store designs accordingly. For instance, if you sell apparel, then putting together “Christmas party” outfits is a great way to inject the holiday season into your merchandise.
Don’t forget about seasonal signage
Be sure to swap out your everyday signage for holiday-centric ones. Putting a seasonal spin on current signs can go a long way in catching the attention of your customers. Check out this example from Nekoosa, a print media company.
That being said, it also helps to use holiday-centric taglines to drive excitement this season. Consider the following:
- It’s a holly jolly sale!
- ‘Tis the season for holiday sales.
- Happy holidays from our [STORE NAME] family to yours.
- May your shopping days be merry and bright.
- Happy holidays! Our gift to you, enjoy 25% off…
Create photogenic holiday displays
We live in an age where social media sharing is the norm. Young, savvy customers are increasingly doing things “for the ‘gram,” so why not capitalize on this practice in your store?
Encourage your customers to take photos of your shop and share the content on social media. It’s a great way to drive social media engagement and traffic to your store.
Need inspiration? Take a cue from the @thefloralescape, which creates immersive floral experiences.
Keep this tip in mind when creating your own holiday retail displays. Once you’ve put together your merchandise and decor, snap a photo to ensure it looks amazing both in person and on social media.
Your holiday displays play a critical role during this time of the year, so you want to make sure they’re on point. It’s time to take a close look at your catalog, get your creative juices flowing and start creating irresistible displays to bring holiday shoppers into your store.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.