Winter 2015
The Five Senses

Create a store atmosphere that appeals to all of your customers’ senses.

When you look around your store, do you think your display fixtures are arranged to optimize your sales? Is your merchandise presented in the most attractive way?

If not, check out these tips for assembling more interesting store visuals.

Visually Intact

DI_FireflySS_Image_3From the display fixtures you choose to the way you use them in the space, your store’s overall visual arrangement has a strong impact on the atmosphere. The lighting should be appropriate for the products you sell. Merchandise that customers want to examine closely should be in brightly lit spaces, but mood lighting can create more of a relaxing environment in other areas.

Try to expand your selection of store fixtures beyond the generic and expected options. Look for furniture that has details and character, yet is still versatile enough to use in a plethora of store displays.

The Importance of Enticing Displays

DI_FireflySS_Image_1Store displays can have a lot of influence on the purchases customers ultimately make. Entrepreneur magazine related the importance of displays to a restaurant’s presentation of the dishes. They add garnishes and interesting flair to make a plain steak look more enticing. That’s the basic idea to keep in mind as you rethink your displays.

Beyond visual displays, glass display cases can be a type of security measure. If you have valuable or breakable items for sale, you may want to lock them in one of these fixtures. Many stores will keep them near the cash register so an associate is always nearby to unlock them when necessary.

Even if you create one beautiful display, your work isn’t done. It’s important to update your visuals and even rearrange the display fixtures if possible. Regular customers will be looking for new merchandise, and you can increase the sales on a certain product if you replace it, then rotate it back in a few months down the road.

Ideas to Help You Brainstorm

DI_FireflySS_Image_2As you consider how you can make your store displays more interesting, look to other stores for inspiration. Figure out what entices you as a shopper and what appeals to you as a human, then recreate those feelings in your store. Entrepreneur recommended browsing through trade shows and magazines as well for new ideas.

While certain store fixtures such as shelving units are great for holding a wide selection of inventory, glass cases should be used differently. Rather than stocking the shelves, make the display sparser to catch the attention of shoppers. If the design is hectic and crowded, it’s likely those potential customers won’t give the products a second look.

People may be drawn to your display fixtures if you create a theme or recurring concept throughout the store. According to Entrepreneur, they shouldn’t match directly, but rather complement the other fixtures. Once you pick a general motif, stroll through your local thrift stores and secondhand shops for knick-knacks or accessories that fit yet don’t cost much. When it comes to retail displays, small details can make all the difference. Some additions to consider are small plants, decorative glassware and seasonal decorations.

For example, if you are creating a gift display in a glass display case tower, there are a few accessories you can add to the setup. A half-written thank-you note with a fancy pen and gift-wrapping materials can take it to the next level. For stores arranging book displays in glass display cubes, try to channel the mindset of avid readers. Dress your display up with a pair of reading glasses, a bookmark and a tea mug.

Add an Extra Something

DI_FireflySS_Image_4While shoppers probably first visit your store for the merchandise, a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere may be why they return.

A comfortable store setting isn’t just good for customer satisfaction, CashierLive explained, but also for employee morale. It’s easy to assume that an environment shoppers find welcoming will make staff feel more relaxed as well, which allows them to further promote the aura of positivity you aim to create. Regardless, the people who interact with patrons have a strong influence over the vibe your store gives off.

The definition of comfort that customers are looking for isn’t necessarily uniform across different businesses and industries. It’s important to consider what environment your target shopper enjoys as you select store fixtures and accessories including furniture, lighting, sounds and scents.

When customers enter your store, the smell that hits their nostrils first should be pleasant. A place that smells like packaging and shipping materials or emits a scent like wet dogs on rainy days isn’t exactly comforting.

If you want to add a touch of comfort to your shop, try integrating these tactics.

The Nose Knows

DI_FireflySS_Image_5The increased use of technology has left many people with shorter attention spans than before. Because of this, it’s imperative to actively keep customers focused on what there is to buy while browsing in your store. One of the solutions to this cultural trend is creating a multisensory shopping experience.

Currently, shoppers can see your layout, touch the merchandise and hear the atmosphere-setting music you select. However, there is one more way to engage them further: the nose. What garnered attention as a criticism against a big name tween store’s excessive use of branded perfumes and colognes a few years ago has gained traction as a viable marketing plan.

As discussed in The Chicago Tribune, scent branding is becoming increasingly popular as business owners try to round out store atmospheres by appealing to all five senses. According to the article, 2013 brought an estimated $200 million in revenue to the scent-marketing industry, and a 10 percent annual growth is expected to follow. The Tribune referred to the use of scents as a way to “market above the clutter.”

DI_FireflySS_Image_6Although you may have a signature smell in mind — be it a particular fruit or spice — you don’t necessarily need to narrow it down so specifically. The Association for Consumer Research explained how some businesses consider a scent that matches the merchandise or clientele, rather than an identifiable item. Fragrances that coincide with the current season are fitting as well. Scents that remind customers of happy memories are great to add to your store, especially as the holiday season approaches.

Firefly Store Solutions has been in business for 60 years and is a one-stop source for retail solutions that remains committed to genuine care toward their customers. Visit or their daily Retail Design Blog at

Social Connections

Gift Shop Plus Summer 2024
Get one year of Gift Shop Plus in both print and digital editions for just $16.

Interested in reading the print edition of Gift Shop Plus?

Subscribe Today »

website development by deyo designs