Whether you're a seasoned member of the Etsy NY team or a seller from another are it's that time of the year when sellers start ramping up for the holiday season! Having a strong visual merchandising game is critical for craft shows. Merchandising strategy is something I come across every day in my 9-5 as a retail interior designer. And believe it or not, there are a lot of things that Etsy owners can learn from big names outside of handmade like Saks Fifth Avenue, Verizon and Primark!
1. Be organized.
This is the single most important key to success for your customers. If customers don't know where to find information whether it's the category of product, sizing or color you're not going to buy it. Having prices individually and clearly marked it important for shows where you will be extra busy. Often price lists are too overwhelming for consumers. The simpler the better.
2. Encourage Discovery!
While it's important that products are clear and visible, a controlled scavenger hunt can go a LONG way! Just think about when you visit your favorite discount retailer...there is a sense of excitement when you hit the racks and search for a one-of-a-kind find. The same principle applies here. Use bins to organize product for customers to "flip through". This principle is most effective when you have just one of each item on display. It makes buyers feel extra special when they find "the last one!".
3. Promote Top Sellers
Tell your new customers what your existing customers love! We all read reviews on Amazon AND Etsy! Be sure to highlight and feature these items on risers and with signage to call special attention to them. A little goes a long way!
4. Tell curated stories.
We've all seen "Dads and Grads", "Back to School" and "Best Stocking Stuffers" at name brand retailers. That's because it's a simple way to communicate the best of the best and make shopping less intimidating and easy. Be sure to merchandise products not only by category but into some of these stories. Double exposing your product even in a small booth is typically a good idea. This means you can have the same shirt both on the mannequin under "Gifts for Mom" and hanging on the rack for another buyer to find. Give customers multiple opportunities to connect with your products.
5. Be Unique
Be true to the product category you are selling and have a presentation and strategy that works best for your unique product. Whether it's food, home decor, clothing, jewelry or stationery Pinterest is a great resource. Telling your own unique handmade story is another opportunity to make an authentic connection. Be sure to thank your customers for buying handmade!