As a marketing executive, I occasionally get asked by our customers to help them with their showrooms. Sure, I’ve taken a visual merchandising class or two in my day, but as a supplier it is a difficult position to be in to help with a showroom that isn’t mine. In my experience the customers that have successful showrooms are the ones that are aggressive and take responsibility for creating a cohesive showroom.
What do I mean by that? Below are 5 things that I’ve seen successful showrooms do that not everyone else does. My experience applies mostly to the glass and glazing trade,…but also to retail home fashion.
1 – Get the product out on the sales floor for customers to touch and feel for themselves
Too many times, samples and swatches stay in boxes and binders behind the desk. However, people in the design phase are visual, and are looking for a tactile experience. Allow them to explore that need for themselves.
2- Show off your expertise with your in-store installations
Unusual and difficult projects that not everyone can do can help explain your particular expertise. Show vignettes of the product in an amazing room environment; the more difficult, far-out, or unique, the better. You want people to ask about it. And change them up periodically. Challenge yourself to continually “wow” the returning customer as well.
3- Form a mission and stick to it
You have a mission statement for your business, right? Treat a showroom in the same way. Have a philosophy for what your showroom can be, and be sure that every piece of signage, every installation, and every sample leads back to it. You have to believe it and live it.
4- Commit to the finest suppliers
Enter into a real partnership with them. Have them in for a face-to-face. Give them any concerns or questions. See how prepared and open they are, because that is the type of service you are going to get from them if you choose them as your supplier. Do they know what LEED is? Do they have testing data? Do they have a warranty? If not, look for a different supplier.
5- Commit to some expense
Don’t rely on the displays your suppliers may provide. They may not necessarily fit in with your showroom’s mission. In order to create a showroom that is distinctly yours, you will have to spend some funds. But that financial step should just further solidify your commitment to the vision and success of this venture. If it’s done half-way, the customer will sense it immediately.
What is your one tip for your showroom success? Post a comment by March 7th sharing your best idea, and you could win a $10 Lowe’s gift certificate!