Retailing Begins With an Appeal to the Senses

A great retail space is designed around the senses, says salon consultant Bryan Durocher. Ramp up your retailing effort for 2010 with an appeal to clients’ sense of touch, sound, smell, and sight. “If you implement only a few of these tried and true ideas, you will most likely have a leg up on the competition,” says Durocher.


• Sample trays with multiple products grouped together appropriately are always effective. Groupings can be made of similar products such as a variety of masques or can feature an entire treatment regimen like a cleanser, toner, serum, and cream. Be mindful of the scents each product has and group complementary aromas together.


• Ancillary products such as candles and reed diffusers create an additional opportunity to fill your retail space with pleasant scents and additional products to sell. Placing the groupings in one featured area is effective on many levels. Clients will be more likely to try more than one, it will be easier for your staff to speak and demonstrate multiple products, supplies for testing to prevent cross-contamination such as spatulas and tissues can be more readily available, and clean up will be a breeze. Try to have a sample of as many products as possible, with care taken to not overwhelm or clutter the area.


• When deciding what sounds will fill the retail area, it is best to choose music that is set at a tempo to relax clients and slow their sense of time. Selecting music that is wordless is wise, for it allows clients to focus on browsing and making selections to purchase. Many top spas and salons only play music in the retail area that they also sell. There are many music options available, from wonderfully eclectic multi-national music to CDs that can be private labeled as signature sounds of your spa.


• The element of sight is the final sense that ties all others together into a cohesive and effective merchandising area. Ensuring that the space appears appealing and organized may sometimes be a challenge for people new to the game of merchandising. Choose an overall game plan for the space and stick to the plan. Select either a theme or a purpose to the plan. A safe direction to go when you first begin visual merchandising is to choose a monochromatic theme. Grouping different areas of the retail space by color of products can create a clean and uncluttered feel. Accent the groupings with pleasing art pieces mixed in with shelf-talkers that give details about each product.


• Color is a common stimulus that sometimes is overlooked. Color can change a client’s attitude and has the ability to influence decisions seemingly unnoticed. It can convey the festive feeling of various holidays or the dramatic change of seasons. Color combinations can be very simple and it is always best to go with a high contrast. Choose a few colors that identify well with your target market of clients and add splashes of color from there.


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