3 Ideas for Merchandising This Holiday Season
Posted by Sarah B. on November 18, 2015 in Retail Focus

This year’s holiday shoppers are savvier than ever before. They are looking for an irresistible gift that makes the recipient feel as though they have been given something truly special and unique. A great way to find this special gift is through small businesses. Small Business Saturday, which falls on November 28 this year, is a day dedicated to buying local. The campaign helps drive traffic to local and small businesses. Small businesses are open and ready to help holiday shoppers find that perfect gift on Small Business Saturday and throughout the entire holiday season.


Online shopping has made researching gift ideas very easy as you can obtain information in just a few clicks. That is part of the reason shoppers are expecting so much from the in-person shopping experience. According to Think with Google, 40% of 2014 holiday shopping was done online. With 60% of holiday shopping still done in brick and mortar stores, small businesses across all retail segments—home décor, hardware, grocery, etc.—have the opportunity to bring in these customers and provide them an experience to remember.


Here are some ideas that can help you, the small business owner, with merchandising this holiday season:


Be seen. There are many ways to catch the consumer’s eye. Don’t let holiday shoppers window shop past your store. Instead, draw them in with sparkling lights. Don’t be afraid of using too many! Also, matte black backgrounds can make the lights pop. If fabric or materials are too expensive, you can try matte black spray paint.


Make shopping easy. Organize your store in a way that makes sense. Categorize and label your products by type, price, recipient, use, recipe, or size. Perform user testing and ask if your categorization makes sense to your shoppers. Also, put yourself in the shoes of a shopper. During the holiday season, price can be near the top of some people’s minds, so be sure to illustrate the value of your product.


Accessories can make great gifts. Accessories can include anything from a measuring cup in a grocery store baking aisle to dangling earrings on a mannequin in a boutique window. Just don’t forget to show them off! Shoppers often need a demonstration, so show the accessories in use. Smaller items, such as scissors, screwdrivers, and nesting bowls, can become holiday gifts by presenting them as part of a bigger-picture gift.


Whether your customers are shopping alone or with their family and friends, they will want a great in-store experience. Of all shoppers surveyed, 64% reported that in-store shopping was more influential in “their purchasing decisions than online research.” By training your staff to provide individual attention and to answer all questions in a friendly fashion, you can increase your sales. In addition, utilizing captivating and strategic merchandising can give your customers the in-store shopping experience that they seek this holiday season.

Sarah B. is our Retail guru
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.

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