How to use the seasonal aisle to increase your sales

By 21st September 2020Uncategorised
Co-operative - Retail Interiors

Preparation goes a long way when it comes to managing and boosting sales within your store, and this couldn’t be truer of seasonal events. Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, the summer holidays… each of these seasonal times has the power to increase your sales as long as you strategically design your store, aisles and displays to embrace them.

Yet, what is the best strategy? How can you design these seasonal aisles and displays to maximum effect?

In this article, we shall cover a range of tips – including layout, positioning and which stock to display – that are certain to keep you ahead of the game.

Position in store

No matter the size of your store, positioning is everything when you are trying to promote an event – or in this case a seasonal period:

  1. Utilise the entrance to your store by creating a display that signposts/directs customers to your seasonal aisle/offering?. Alternatively, you can make your seasonal aisle/display the first thing they come across, by placing it at your entrance. NOTE: if your store is small, don’t use high racks at the front as they will block vision through to the rest of your store – meaning if customers don’t like what they see on the first set of shelves, they’ll leave. Instead, harness lower shelving units with shorter pegs and narrower shelves. This will ensure that your store looks full without overcrowding it with merchandise.
  2. Use in-store signposting – these signs will catch the attention of those who weren’t originally intending to visit this aisle and tempt them to take a look. You can strengthen this strategy by utilising an end of aisle display to encourage customers to shop this department, as well as situating mini displays in other relevant parts of the store. A great example of this is showcasing some of your Halloween treats in the sweets aisles and creating a sign indicating that there is more on your seasonal aisle. Each of these will help to increase category conversion and encourage unplanned purchases.
  3. Harness visual merchandising – this concept goes beyond end of aisle displays but also includes window scenes, POS displays and signage. With their help you can create an enticing and memorable experience for your customers that will positively influence their purchasing decisions, as well as draw them into the store. TIP: when creating a window display remember to keep it simple, uncluttered and tell a story. Likewise, stick to a single colour theme that matches your brand image.
  4. Dual sightings of new products will allow you to increase product awareness. To maximise this, we recommend showing your new products across multiple locations i.e. on the seasonal aisle and on end of the aisles, as well as providing a list of its benefits and features. These will give customers more reason to buy/try the product.

Layout

The key is not to overwhelm or pressure your customers into visiting this aisle as it could deter them from browsing your store as a whole. Instead, aim to take them on a journey where they are free to embrace your offerings on their own terms.

  1. Journey through the aisle – alongside taking into account their journey around your store; with seasonal aisles you’ll also need to create something they’ll want to follow. This means avoiding the temptation to pack everything in together – REMEMBER: 20% of merchandise is skipped over because it is too crammed together – and instead using displays to make breaks in the aisles. These displays will allow customers to see your entire range of products and stop them from skimming/passing over them because their brain is overstimulated. This tip is also useful when you want to display a large amount of stock, as these natural breaks in viewing will make it feel uncluttered and of higher value.
  2. Lead customers somewhere – like all good journeys there needs to be a beginning, a middle and an end. Utilising an end of aisle display will help to nicely wrap up their experience of your seasonal aisle. Alternatively, you can use their journey to lead them onto a new relevant aisle.
  3. REMEMBER: 60% of shoppers are influenced by merchandising. For this reason, you need to make sure that your displays are bold, interesting, simple, enticing, uncluttered and easy to locate. Similarly, make sure your messaging is relevant.
  4. Examine shopper behaviour – how do customers move through your stores? Are some areas more frequented than others? By basing promotional strategies around shopper behaviour, not only will you understand which actions spur category purchases i.e. price reductions; by listing the promotional price against the offer, shoppers will be able to decide if your offer is good value for money.

Stock

Data from previous years will be a great help as you can look at past sales figures and use them to identify what was popular during this seasonal period in the past, and predict what is likely to be a hit in the coming period. You can also use this knowledge to assess less successful products, determine whether they make the shop floor this year, and if so, ensuring you showcase these products properly (this time around) in order to boost sales for this feature.

It is imperative that you research and understand what is currently trending by examining your sales figures and by performing some industry research. We recommend using Google Trends to help you review online sales patterns and so you can see when shoppers are using specific search terms in relation to that time of year. Google Trends can also be used to identify related topics and queries which can be used to tailor your stocking choices. You can also access reports on upcoming trends and core topics for your industry using services like Stylus (a service we swear by at Resolution Interiors). Again, these insights can be used to positively influence your product selection and to ensure that you don’t buy too much or too little of the item.

Other tips:

  1. Most seasonal aisles focus on the same event for an extended period of time. For this reason, you should try to update the products on your display every so often, so that regular shoppers are presented with new and enticing items that they may be interested in purchasing.
  2. Upsell and cross sell by strategically placing products next to each other in your store. This will naturally lead to an increase in sales, as these related products will already be a point of interest for your captivated audience.
  3. Create offers or deals relevant to the time of year. These will prove particularly popular before Halloween, Christmas and Easter when households are prone to hosting their own parties and are already in the right frame of mind to buy. Offering them a discount or package deal will encourage them to buy more during one shop. NOTE: your offers don’t have to be complicated. The simple offer of free gift wrapping and gift tags when a certain amount is spent will encourage shoppers to subconsciously spend more.
  4. Location, location, location – strategically placing items by the till can gently remind customers of upcoming events.
  5. Keep your seasonal shelves stocked – there is nothing more disheartening for shoppers than seeing an empty seasonal aisle, so it is essential that you have got plenty of stock options to replenish your shelves.
  6. Increase selling time – the more selling time there is, the better you will do as this time will lead to more incremental sales.

While all of these tips can help to increase sales during seasonal periods, it is important to remember that competition will be fierce, so it is essential that you plan at least 3-4 months in advance. This will ensure that you’ve got plenty of time to research trends, order stock, design and prepare your aisles, and tailor them to suit every aspect of your business.

At Resolution Interiors we can help you to navigate these seasonal periods and ensure that your store design/ aisles are more than enough to ensnare the attention of your customers. For more information and advice, contact our team today.