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Face of Space . . . The visual lowdown on your store

retail 7One of the major differences between brick-and-mortar and ecommerce retail is the ability (or inability) to create a physical customer-product interaction. In-store retail displays allow you to draw attention to specific merchandise, round out the immersive in-store experience, and flex your creative muscles.

In-store retail displays play a crucial role in driving conversations. Here Francesca Nicasio of Vend shares with us some insightful findings and know-how, can-do on retail displays!

According to NPD Group, window displays alone influence 24% of purchases. And that’s before shoppers walk into your store: Imagine the impact of displays once they’re inside?

Despite the opportunity that retail displays provide, many stores are still overlooking this important selling tool. Below, we’ll dive into reasons why your in-store retail displays aren’t working and what to do instead.

1. They’re one-dimensional

One common mistake that retailers make is creating a one-dimensional display that lacks depth and height, a couple of the most important characteristics for appealing visuals. Whether it’s monochromatic or features products of the same height, this in-store display mistake could make your products and your store appear dull and boring.

retail 6What to do . . . Vary the visual elements; add height, color or depth where possible. If your products are the same size, put some on pedestals, or hang them from the ceiling as in the example above.

2. They’re too busy and distracting

Sometimes, less is more. But it’s easy to overdo it with your in-store displays. “Simple is best,” says Greg Corey, founder and principal at retail design agencyPorchlight. “Oftentimes there is so much information that the space becomes cluttered and overwhelming.”

retail 2Whether it’s because of various team members’ conflicting input, lack of clear vision, or something else altogether, adding too much to a display can distract from its ultimate purpose: to drive sales.

“In some cases, the retailer immediately turns the shopper away before they have even sparked interest in the item by making the display unapproachable,” Corey says.

What to do instead . . . Establish a focal point for your display: If there’s one thing in your display that you want every passerby to see, what is it? Then design your display around that. “It’s best to narrow your focus and pull out key attributes that consumers can pick up on from at least six feet away and be drawn to learn more,” says Corey.

retail 33. They’re complicated to execute

While we may have grand, creative ideas, they’re not always realistic. There are logistics that every retailer must account for, including but not limited to budget, staffing, and timelines. “Displays are on and off the floor in a matter of weeks to make room for new products,” says Corey.

“Another challenge is electrical. Electrical doesn’t always run to the middle of the store,” Corey points out. “So when you have displays that are in the dead-zone, there’s no way to incorporate video displays or backlit displays.”

What to do instead . . .  It’s best to anticipate logistical challenges and design your displays around those circumstances. “As designers, we have to build the displays with low cost, non-permanent features because they will likely be shuffled around or damaged during relocation,” Corey advises.

retail 44. They don’t reflect your price point

Linda Cahan, a retail visual merchandiser and design consultant, says one major miss for retailers is not respecting price point designing your displays. “Space equals cost,” she says. “If you have expensive merchandise, people will understand that if there’s actually some space between the items.”

What to do instead . . . Mind the space for your merchandise; the amount of space a product occupies should be proportionate to the price point. This sets expectations. “It improves shopping experience,” Cahan says.

 

 

 

 

Jun 11 2018

Gift Directory Advertorial . . . Promoting you on our pages!

What’s worse than being talked about? Not being talked about!

We’re inviting our businesses to share our site and present their unique company stories, products and people across our blog, newsletter and Facebook pages.

What’s on offer? Editorial of your choice! And we’ll do all the writing, editing, posting and publicising for you!

showcaseWhether you have a new product line to push, a new business venture or are having a business refresh – let us share your story. We’ll organise the necessary questions and writing, craft an angle and write up an editorial piece purposeful to your company.

Next? We’ll proof and perfect it according to your wants and needs and then get it published! Retailers will see it on our blog, in our newsletter and on our Facebook page.

And what’s more …we’ll promote it to our friendly associate publications, such as Pharmacy Today!

We’ll also link it through to your website and social media pages – great exposure with just a few clicks!

We’re also happy for you to feature your editorial piece wherever you wish – you may want to publish it on your own website pages or catalogues – your words, your way!

The cost? For $200.00+GST, we’ll do it all – interview, write, proof and publish – let us take care of it all!

To lock in your editorial showcase and show off those new ranges, and get eyes on your new releases, email: [email protected], phone: 0800 222 818

Or email our editor: [email protected]

Be in quick, be our first . . . Let’s hear it for those new arrivals and shout out to New Zealand retail.

Apr 16 2018

70s Swing . . . Accessory and living trends past to present

ba197a42c4b826f8fe4a66d4300709de0bd3bd62The bygone era of the 70s has once again swung back into action – or the living room to be specific. This year we’re channelling those opulent interiors that showcase patterned surfaces, materials such as velvet and shine a light on all things brass and chrome. Think colours: orange, yellow and browns, cool metals and velvets on the interior front!

ba197a42c4b826f8fe4a66d4300709de0bd3bd62Decorate me brown

Don’t just think brown leather couch! We’re opting for geometric golden-hued vase, rust-coloured glass balloons, Japanese-inspired tea caddies and services.

Gift Directory is liking Spunglo’s Round Reactive Brown Plate!

Go for contrast

ba197a42c4b826f8fe4a66d4300709de0bd3bd62This year dare to contrast cool metals with warm colour palettes. Think side tables and newspaper racks with chrome legs. Brass accessories – plant pots, hangers, shelves – all exude a retro vibe.

We’re liking Optix NZ’s Temple Bells Trio!

The jungle is gone

ba197a42c4b826f8fe4a66d4300709de0bd3bd62Last year’s deep green trend is fading and in it’s place sage is coming to the fore. Not just for the walls, think sofas, tableware – linen and napkins. The extra bit of 70s sparkle is hitting a high note in the drinkware department, with gold edging fetching on wine and champagne glasses too.

Gift Directory is eyeing up American Fiestas’ range of Bistro Sage tableware!

Velvet speaks up and out!

ba197a42c4b826f8fe4a66d4300709de0bd3bd62The glamorous trend is still very much in the game, and velvet is its number one player. Whilst muted colours are reigning higher on the popularity stakes, all cushions, throws, lampshades, sofas and soft furnishings relish in the velvet trade.

We’re hearting the Linen Collection’s muted range of woolen throws for the winter ahead!

 

To view these fabulous wares and more click through to Gift Directory!

 

 

Mar 29 2018

Part Two: Business Survival . . . Tips to stay in the game

Stay in tune with your business all year round! Below is our Part Two of maintaining a retail game plan month after month from retail expert and Vend blogger, Francesca Nicasio. . .

media 1Reach out to the media

Publications usually plan their articles months in advance, so if you want to land a magazine feature just in time for your industry’s peak season, you’ll have to reach out to reporters early on.

Take advantage of the slow months to gather intel on relevant reporters and publications. Be on the lookout for people doing stories in your industry and get your hands on their editorial calendars so you’ll know exactly when to send your pitch.

media 2Attend networking and educational events

Use the slow months to broaden your knowledge and network. Attend events that provide learning and networking opportunities so you can get to know people and trends in your industry.

Conferences, trade shows, and even local business events can help you gain new partnerships and skills that you can use in your business, so don’t pass up the chance to attend them.

media 3Get shopper feedback and reviews

The off-season could be the perfect time to get feedback and reviews from your customers. Consider getting in touch with people who purchased from you and ask them what they thought of your products.

If you get a lot of great feedback, encourage customers to leave a review on Yelp or Google.  Got some not-so-great reviews? Use that feedback to improve next season.

And that brings us to our next tip…

media 4Evaluate your business’ performance and plan for next season

Assess the performance of your company last season. What went right? Concretise the reasons behind your successes to determine which strategies should be continued.

Do the same exercise on the things that could’ve gone better. Were there situations that could’ve been handled differently? Again, nail down the reasons why. Take notes, so you’ll know what to avoid when business starts to pick up.

Some of the things you can look into include:

Inventory – Which items were flying off the shelves? Which ones were snubbed by customers? Should you introduce new products? Itemise, evaluate, and then stock up accordingly.

For further reading, tips, advice and inspiration from Francesca and the team at Vend, click here

 

 

Mar 19 2018

All Natural Mums’ Special Offer!

all 4Fancy getting playful with makeup? Test and try All Natural Mums beautiful range of products on Gift Directory – with a bonus 10% discount!

Mention the unique code: GIFTDIRECTORY10 when placing an order.

Special thanks to Stacey and the team at All Natural Mums for this unique opportunity!

 

 

Mar 13 2018

Child’s Play . . . Makeup that won’t wear you down!

all 1Children being children – using their imaginations, creative play, exploring and having fun – was the impetus behind Kiwi company, All Natural Mums’, mission to create a natural makeup range with kids at its heart.

Whilst hunting for play makeup for her own daughter, founder of No Nasties, Natalia Michael soon realised there was a real shortage in the marketplace for play makeup made with quality ingredients – such as organic beeswax.

“Every single product was formulated by Natalia in a blender at home,” says Stacey Beveridge of All Natural Mums, the exclusive distributor of No Nasties. “Natalia made over 300 batches over the course of a year to get it just right!”

all 6No Nasties makeup (soon to be No Nasties Kids) was made specifically for children and therefore the ingredients selected were as natural as they could get, explains Stacey. “The product range is very niche and is tailored to parents who are looking for truly natural and yet on-trend, beautiful play makeup.”

With No Nasties makeup characters names all beginning with the letter ‘n’ – Nala, Nancy, Nox, Niki, Nerissa, Nia, Nixie and Nisha – it’s hard not to forget them either! And the company will be adding to this eclectic bunch.

all 5“Much of the range is changing and evolving in the next 12 months and we cannot wait to share that with the world,” explains Stacey. “We must keep them under wraps at the moment, however, I can tell you that there are six new product ranges being released in the coming six-to-nine months which we believe will have a global reach!”

Whilst the All Natural Mums cite little difference between the Australian and New Zealand retail markets, they do feel there is greater onus for online purchasing in Australia.

all 4“The Australian marketplace for natural and organic products seems to be bigger online than in bricks and mortar stores and we can see that New Zealand appears to have more of a bricks and mortar presence,” says Stacey.

all 2However, maintaining their online presence is essential for All Natural Mums, says Stacey, as social media is a dominant force.

“People are generally busier and spend a lot of time of social media platforms as well as online shopping or browsing. We treat online platforms as an extension of our everyday business because it really is becoming the foundation for consumer reach and success.”

Online and instore, keeping their retailers and customers at the fore is the number one all 3priority for this growing business.

“Some retailers are most concerned with the ingredients and others with the packaging. The balance that we have had to achieve is that of quality ingredients and eco-conscious packaging at a price that consumers are willing to pay for play makeup. The main concern from our retailers is ingredients,” she explains.

To view All Natural Mums great range of products on Gift Directory click here

 

Mar 13 2018

Business Survival Season All-year-round . . . Tips to stay in the game

pop 1Whatever your seasonal business – pop up store in a town or beach-based souvenir soiree – thoughts of the off-season are never far from mind. However, just because business may slow down it doesn’t mean you have to. Below, retail expert and Vend blogger, Francesca Nicasio shares with us tips to stay on your feet no matter the weather. Read on for part one and tune in next week for part two!

Find ways to bring in revenue all year round . . .

Diversify your business offerings and see if you can sell related or complementary products and services. Determine the other needs of your customers and find ways to fulfil them even when your main business isn’t in season.

pop 3Have a look at what H&R Block is doing.  On top of seasonal tax preparation, it also offers a number of financial services including credit lines and payroll processing. This lets it provide value and earn revenue even during off-peak months.

Cater to customers in other locations (where your products are in season) . . .

Bear in mind that just because your business isn’t in season in one location doesn’t mean that there isn’t a demand elsewhere.

Question whether your products or services in demand in other parts of the world? And look at a targeted AdWords campaign to drive sale. Be sure to go after those opportunities.

Build your community and establish thought leadership . . .

Social media gives you tons of opportunities to connect with people all year round, so keep your blog and social accounts active.

Keep publishing blog posts and posting updates on all the channels your customers follow. Use your downtime to come up with great content that can educate your customers. Doing so lets you build authority, strengthens your community, and ensures that people will remember you when it comes time to do business again in the on-season.

pop 2Find ways to save money . . .

If the business is really slow during the off-season, take steps to reduce your spending. Here are some areas to look into:

Staffing – If foot traffic and store activity are on the quiet side, consider reducing your staffing requirements. Perhaps you can cut back on shifts or encourage team members to take time off.

Hours of operation – Generate sales reports per hour to figure out your least profitable times. For example, you may find that while you’re open from 9am to 5pm, you’re not generating enough sales from 4pm to 5pm to be profitable.

With that info in mind, you can decide whether it’s worth it for you to stay open that late.

Vendors/solution providers – Look at the business services and subscriptions that you have and see if you can downgrade to a lower plan for the time being. Also, see if your vendors allow you to put your account temporarily on hold.

For instance, Vend lets retailers put their accounts “on ice” — a service that allows users to retain all their data and account information when they’re not actively using the software.

pop 4Space – Subletting your location could help lower one of your biggest expenses — rent. Check with your landlord to see if you’re allowed to rent your space. If you get the green light, conduct a search for other shops who would be open to moving into your location.

Staffing – Did you have enough hands on deck to handle customers during the busy months? Did any of your staff members shine or underperform? Take note so you know who to hire next time around.

Maintenance – Is your store still in good shape? Are there any maintenance or renovation issues that you need the address? Take care of them when your business isn’t too busy.

. . . The bottom line? Your business may be seasonal, but your commitment to it shouldn’t be. Put these tips into action and find ways to thrive all year round.

 

Mar 6 2018

Stick to the Knitting . . . It’s socks down, hats up for Claro Design

claro 5There’s no magic formula at play at Claro Design, the Kiwi wholesaler who turns a hand to socks, hats and accessories, puts its smooth operations down to passion for products and people.

“We have to be aware of trends but it is not about following trends, it is about looking at our products, gauging what’s working, and providing consistency for our customers,” says Craig Dalton, director of Claro Design. “Having been in the business of headwear and fashion accessories for decades we have a good grasp on what works, why it works claro 3and what doesn’t. For example, different hat styles suit different face shapes, material qualities and their application, which price points lead to the highest stock turn and understanding the styles and size range that suits New Zealanders.”

claro 4Ensuring retailers make good margins on the product ranges we offer is essential, but the products have to be good and the service has to match, says Craig.

“Our most successful retailers manage their stock and work on four+ stock turns in a season, which gives them an amazing return on investment, and you need that if you have allocated space to a product stand.”

What began as an agency business representing Australian wholesalers has seen Claro claro 1Design successfully launch into the accessories and apparel industries – serving Rebel Sport, Briscoes and independent retailers nationwide. Throughout its successes – and some “not so great times” says Craig – Claro has remained true to its vision and ethos.

“We are always looking at our products and thinking ‘what can we do better?’” he explains. “We want our reps to always be showing our clients something new – adding value to their product lines and assessing what’s working for them and what needs to change.”

claro 2A long period of doing business within the Australian retail sector, hit home the importance of consistency rather than huge growth.

“Australia is a big market where growth can be exceptional but our market is completely different,” explains Craig. “In New Zealand, we realise that we do have a ceiling and business success is weighted more on the people you work with, the quality and service you offer and, most importantly, the people you are supplying to – the big and the small.”

To view Claro Design’s great range of products on Gift Directory click here

Feb 13 2018

Food Trends Ahead . . . What does 2018 hold? Robots, fasting and mixed reality!

m 4With the New Year well underway and much hype surrounding back-to-school, work and daily commitments and routine, it’s exciting to look ahead to foodie trends that are influencing our everyday choices and wants. Here culinary innovists, Bompas and Parrs share a snapshot of food speak that is destined to impact on our living in 2018.

An A1 Dinner Party . . .

Fancy hosting Shakespeare of Nelson Mandela at your next dinner party? Well, in accordance with merging technologies, this is the year robotics and A1 are picked to enter the hospitality area with meaning (already treading the streets of London is Starship technologies food delivery droids for Just Eats). More exciting however, is Bompas and Parrs current research into AI dinner parties, where guests can ‘invite’ a famous personality to dinner, and have an actor play out the role whilst being feed lines via a discreet ear bud from a bot. The actor can then interact accordingly in character throughout the evening!

m 5Food Fasting . . .

With ‘clean eating’ last year’s go-to fad forced to share the spot light with the likes veganism – which is steadily on the rise in the Western world – we see yet another trend vying for the spotlight – food fasting. The guardian describes this new fasting movement as ‘bio hacking’, with popularity soaring globally for this restrictive means (average fasting lasting between two to eight days). Claims of weight loss, mood stability and productivity are all being touted and trials on mice have proven increased longevity.

m 2African Food on the Rise . . .

With Asian cuisine well and truly on the map, Bompas and Parrs are predicting a surgence in African-inspired eats for the year ahead. It is arguably one of the world’s largest culinary influences – yet it has gone remarkedly unnoticed or explored due to localisation of knowledge.

Given African cuisines harbours European and Asian, and Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences, this fusion of flavours is a melting pot just waiting to be dipped into.

m 3Dining for Sleep . . .

Going beyond a warm glass of milk before bed, is deeper scientific research into dishes that aid the sleep process and provide health benefits whilst slumbering.

Foods that are identified as releasing serotonin and melatonin neurotransmitters, are being put under the microscope in the hope of conducive sleep. Don’t make your bed just yet!

m 1Mixed Reality Dining . . .

Move over virtual reality and welcome mixed reality. Dining that aims to employ an array of technological streams: microelectronics in crockery and glassware, responsive sound environments, and digital content that is focused on enhancing taste and aroma using multi-sensory scientific understanding for a complete immersive eating and drinking experience.

 

Jan 30 2018
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