Giving a gift is pure joy. Especially if one happened to come across something small and quaint without pondering about it or looking for it for too long.
Almost every shop has items that are perfect as a small bring along or big-time gift. Shoppers, however, must be able to spot those amongst the sheer volume of merchandise. That is why the first step inside a shop should not be guided towards stocked shelves alone.
Shopping inspires – and how retailers stage their merchandise should not only be an inspiration for every shopper, but also nonchalantly sow ideas for gifts in their minds. Ideas as to who to gift the things they discover for which occasion. Christmas gifts are a given. But even Easter, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or Father's Day are popular occasions for a little something. And on the remaining 360 days of the year, showing one cares with a small gift can be an even greater surprise.
'tis the season for giving – always. Yet it is the creativity of the visual merchandiser that brings the topic or the occasion to life. Whether a wedding or the start of school, almost all specialty shops will dedicate a table or a shop window to these occasions. Yet more often than not, customers are clueless about what to bring when invited by friends, or how to bring joy to their mother-in-law. Charging visual merchandise with emotions and dedicating the display to the respective target group is the key here. How about this: a table "for the best friend", "for the adventurer", or "for the trendsetter". The right items are surely found on the shelves. While one's best friend may appreciate a pretty little notepad or a pen, a mug or a little bag in shades of pink and rosé, an adventurer is likely to go for everything that is travel-themed or speaks of foreign cultures, with even maps or exotic fruits and animals capturing their attention. The list of ideas, depending on the primary focus of the target group and the product range of the specialist retailer, is sheer endless: "for gourmets & hobby chefs" (recipe folders/ stamps/ magnets/ notebooks for shopping lists); "for the pet owner"; "for the golfing pro"; "for working at home", etc.
The individually themed tables need not be large – and ideally, there should be multiple different tables on display. Every shopper will then quickly realise that they are in the right place to find an idea for a gift. For shoppers to immediately connect with the display tables, the goal is to find an eye catcher that can be customised depending on the set-up which also doubles as the key visual. For example, a retailer that stocks gift-wrapping paper and ribbons could create gift towers (dedicated to the respective theme and target group) as the combining element while delivering a perfect gift-wrapping idea for the product. Even posters as oversized gift tags can highlight a theme. This will allow retailers to position their business as a treasure trove for presents.
... so a saying goes. And we can all attest to that – especially when we receive a small something as a surprise gift. Since 2011, "friendship" even has its official day of commemoration. The General Assembly of the United Nations declared 30 July as the Day of Friendship. That, too, is a good reason to surprise one's friends.
About the author
Sabine Gauditz is an expert in visual marketing in the retail sector. Since 1986, she has been designing and arranging sales-promoting product presentations for various industries and redesigning the ambience of retail spaces. Together with Hans Schmidt, she founded the visual marketing consultancy, Arte Perfectum, in 2002. Since then, she has been holding seminars and workshops and offering in-house consultancy services.