For many consumers, shopping is becoming an increasingly experiential activity. Touch and test-drive is the new norm, edging out traditional retailing practices that rely on passive viewing and window shopping. There is still a definite need for conventional glass display cases and other in-store merchandising techniques, however.
Here's how to adapt your store's customer-facing product presentation in light of new shopping realities.
A case for glass
Jewelry and other expensive goods may still need an unobtrusive glass barrier that lets shoppers see an alluring array of products before they decide which particular ones interest them enough to touch and inspect. Glass display cases are the perfect vehicle to help make this happen. Display cases not only make showcasing merchandise easier, they also assist you in organizing and managing inventory. Plus, since display cases are often made of strong tempered glass, that adds an extra layer of protection for your most precious products.
Tell a story
Sometimes display cases can function at a different level, offering more than just a conventional collection of products, but rather an interactive or experiential "story" to attract shoppers' attention. Picture, for example, a unique shadow box-style arrangement of merchandise and supporting accessories like caption panels, snapshots, artfully arranged backgrounds and miniature tableaus utilizing inexpensive doll figures. The stories you can tell with displays like this will draw in shoppers who are looking for ways to connect personally with you and your wares.
Cubed and partitioned
If a traditional display case seems too big or intimidating, there are other alternatives such as glass cubes, towers, countertop displays and partitioned transparent displays that provide a more open, inviting experience. These can also be adapted to the storytelling approach, using the individual cubes as storyboard or comic strip frames. In addition, cubes and similar displays are excellent for grouping smaller pieces of merchandise, such as fashion accessories, gloves or hair bands.
Have a large number of small casual items like earrings, pins, rings, brooches and so forth? Instead of a large display case, consider acrylic jewelry displays. These come in different styles, including countertop, revolving displays, stair step units, security cases, watch holders, earring trees and necklace displays. One advantage to these is the display's classic, glass-like appearance at a more practical cost. Plus, they can be placed atop a conventional display case to complement the higher priced merchandise displayed inside.
Try it before you buy it
The Apple Store blazed the way with its revolutionary approach to retailing, filling its selling floor with table after table of perfectly positioned, high line Apple products that shoppers could physically pick up, handle and try out. Security wasn't neglected, however – all those costly computers and digital devices are well-tethered to tables and protected by in-store security systems. If you want to take Apple's lead, all it requires is functional display tables and either wired systems or retail security devices that can be attached to merchandise.
For customers who have been accustomed to online purchases, the shopping experience at a brick-and-mortar store may feel somewhat limiting. If the exact merchandise they want isn't in the store, that could turn into a lost sale. However, when one of your display tables has a dedicated tablet or computer display that can connect with other resources, such as your online shopping website, then you can use that tool to deliver the precise products the shopper desires. Not only that: If your site includes interactive options such as viewing the product in the different colors available, or pop-up windows that show related accessories, then you've also added the versatility of tagalong purchases, expanding the final sale to include more add-on items.