Web Store Visual Success

Visual Merchandising isn't just for brick & mortar stores.
Online customers are looking for experiences, too - 
from web stores, 
the kind of experiences that they can't get on Amazon or Facebook. 
This is where the science of visual merchandising comes in...

If you're an online retailer - or wholesaler - check out this recent post 
on the bigcommerce blog.

Writer Tracey Wallace presents their highly effective methods and practices
along with photo examples
(including VISUAL examples in a post about VISUAL merchandising! ;)
and I'm certain that you'll find useful tips that you can put into action immediately
on your own web store and social media accounts.

I can personally attest to the success of visuals on Harvey's website, shown in the images above.
Harvey bags are sold in the specialty stores that I merchandised at Disneyland, 
and their fans are literally fanatical about using their web store interface -
it's there that they find out about new product releases, prints, 
and special events like the ones we held at Disneyland...
and they turned out in droves for those events!

The visual brand image of the Harvey's website enhances the customer experience,
every bit as much as walking into a B&M boutique does.
It is immersive and experiential design, and it WORKS.

Images and Italicized verbiage used with permission from BigCommerce.com.
Thank you, Nigel, for the heads-up on your site's post on this subject!

Going Green in 2017

Your Color of the Year for 2017:
Pantone 15-0343 'Greenery', 
described as a “yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring"
by Pantone Color Institute Director Leatrice Eiseman.

Pantone calls Greenery “Nature’s neutral”—
a hue more prominently worn during spring and summer, 
but one they encourage people to wear and use in decor as a statement color year round.

Greenery calls to mind the ‘re-’ words: 
refresh, revive, restore, renew, replenish, regenerate, rejuvenate, reinvigorate. 
It's reflective of nature, the environment, and living healthy lives.
It's fresh and crisp, denoting cleanliness and energy.
And it's a color that pairs well with almost every other shade on the color spectrum.

I've often created displays around a green palette in the past...
click here for post                          click here for post

click here for post                                 click here for post

As shown in these photos,
I find that green can range from a neutral to a vibrant POP of color
dependent upon the way you use it in displays.

To draw in customers who have a yen for the newest trend,
create at least one window display in green hues.

To feature new merchandise inside your store, 
create a backdrop / 'set' in green tones that will draw the eye - 
and simply rotate new stock into that 'set' to make new displays simple.

find inspiration for window displays using the color green here


Focus Displays on What Comes NEXT

What are you featuring in your windows and front zone displays right now?  

Have you restyled them to reflect the season and provide fresh inspiration -
or are you waiting for new merchandise to arrive?
It's very simple to refresh existing merchandise to look new and appealing to customers.

It's important to get a fresh start immediately following the holidays
Your customers will be coming in with gift cards, gift certs, and money they received,
and they deserve to see fresh new ideas!
Inspiring them to buy what you offer can be as simple as taking what you already have
and combining it in a new way to reflect the season.

The tableware display shown in the photo above features white Vietri pottery,
along with luxe brown linens and whimsical dotted glassware.
A small, select group of merchandise here keeps the look clean and fresh.
Since this was during my stint creating displays for a winery, 
of course a lovely wine is a major presence. 

This look is a perfect mix for this 'bridge' season of late winter to early spring.
Simple, contemporary, classic, and warmth of color & textures draw the customer in.
Huge bare branches reflect the table legs and bring nature inside - 
you could even hang crystals (or leftover snowflake holiday ornaments) from the branches to add movement and sparkle to the display.

Most of the products shown here were in displays in the store during the Holidays:
the white Vietri was paired with red linens and snowflakes.
The brown linens were displayed with brown pottery and pinecones.
Combining them with new elements and a few fresh props creates a fabulous new look,
inspires your customers, AND saves you money. 

Go out on your sales floor and look at the components you already have - 
what possibilities exist to rethink, restyle, and sell them at full price right now?

Use leftover Christmas merch for Valentine's Day? Yep! Look HERE

6 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Store Displays NOW

It's two weeks before Christmas, 
and all through your stores
it's time to refresh your displays galore! 

Here are some tips for phasing out Holiday to make room for the NEW
(and you DO have NEW merch ready to put out on December 26th, don't you??)
1. Take the ornaments off of the decorated trees -
put them in baskets, bowls, and on platters to make shopping easier. 
Leave one main tree decorated for effect if you MUST, 
but focus on making product accessible so it will SELL.
2. Restyle some displays by simply removing the holiday merchandise & props. 
The scene shown above has hot red silk fabric swags and glass ornaments in it. 
As shown below, taking them out makes the look crisp, clean, and ready for the New Year.
3. Consolidate lines that have sold down - 
combine them in a cross-merchandised display according to color, use, or style.
Always always give your customers inspiring ideas to recreate at home: 
Only have six or seven of those glass ball ornaments left? 
Take them off the slatwall and heap them in a glass bowl on a tabletop. 
Just one handmade Santa left? 
Group him with a small tree and a heaping helping of stockings - 
maybe even display some great candles with them,
 as a suggestion of a last-minute Hostess gift.

4. Start your markdowns on Holiday-specific merchandise. 
Decor, gift wrap, cards should all be on sale now to help nudge customers to buy. 
If you have a huge overstock of an item - a certain ornament, or card pack - 
you may want to consider giving away one free with a minimum purchase: 
"Receive a Free Gift with any twenty dollar purchase" works wonders to motivate! 
(Just be sure the gift is commensurate with the minimum purchase requirement). 

5. Make sure you start promoting your after-Christmas sales now, 
so your customers can plan on coming in for them.

And one last thing - a very IMPORTANT thing:
6. clear a space and create a display of NEW product near your entrance. 
Whether it's a classic line, a new design, something for Spring or home organization items
(always hot after the New year!), 
you want to provide brand spanking new merchandise for your customers to buy 
with their gift certificates & cards. Don't offer them leftovers!

Photo Credits: Debi Ward Kennedy for Faded Elegance & RETREAT 2010

Winter Wonderland Display Inspiration

The Vintage Marketplace show in Temecula, CA this past weekend
was an inspiring gathering of vendors selling vintage, antique, and handcrafted goods.
The show is owned and produced by my friend, Rita Reade,
who founded it over 6 years ago with her sister in law, artist Christie Repasy.

When I'm lucky, I get to shop.
When I am REALLY lucky, I get to work with Rita to create visuals for the show!

At past shows, I've designed & styled her Mammabellarte booth displays
(and a few other vendors, too)
but THIS time, along with styling her booth displays, 
Rita asked me to style a display at the entry of the show
to welcome guests, share the show theme, and provide a photo op.

Photo ops like this serve to get images of her show out onto social media

from many different users, which increases her reach.
The hashtag helps tie the images to her brand, 

which also increases her visibility and recognition. 
That's Marketing 101, kids... and it works for your store, too!

We worked together and came up with a plan for a cozy scene that sparkles - 
and speaks more of the winter season than of holiday decor,
which is actually a pretty smart way to bridge seasons in display.
Rita's vintage props and my imagination (and our combined physical strength!) 
resulted in this pretty vignette...
a fresh, wintery white palette with fresh greens, crystals, glass, and silver shimmers,
and the black wall with white chalk snowflakes provided the perfect contrast.

The sofa allows guests to sit for a photo, 

and an empty picture frame, a large paper flower, and wrapped 'gifts'
serve as fun photo props.

But to be completely honest, things didn't go exactly as planned.
(because there's no display without drama, right??!!!

The black-with-white-snowflake wrapping paper covered boxes you see
weren't even in the plan. Nope!
I was almost done styling it all when I decided that I needed some gift boxes...
and then I remembered that in the back seat of my car were several rolls of paper,
meant to be used when I decorated my friend Sylvia's studio two days before.
I hadn't even thought of the paper as part of this display until that moment - 

it was total serendipity!
We rounded up some empty boxes, I wrapped them, and popped them into the display.
It was the finishing touch I wanted, and SO easy.
(display is dis PLAY, remember how I've said that to you for YEARS?! 

fast. cheap. easy. fun. it's work - but it can be fun, my friends!)

take a peek at some of the details in the vignette / display: 

We were both very happy with the results, and so were the hundreds of shoppers
who took photos and are now sharing them all over social media!

You'll notice that my DWK watermark is missing on these images...

I'm using my logo from my DIY home decor blog homewardFOUNDdecor instead, 
as the vintage industry recognizes me from that association ;)

The next Vintage Marketplace show will be held in March, 2017 in Rainbow, CA
(near Southern California's Temecula Wine Country) 
Please visit the show website and facebook page for more information!