Thursday, January 30, 2020

When You Look into Your Showroom Do You See Surprise and Delight?

Great showrooms are memorable. Good showrooms have a few go-to product lines. Bad showrooms are well, boring. I believe those that take risks with their product presentations are more memorable and will win more customers in the long run.

A majority of today’s Internet plumbing and hardware sites present a vast array of products that are easily viewed on your screen, but a customer is still not able to feel the handle and see how the light bounces off each finish. Luxury clients enjoy visiting creative spaces to see, touch and shop for beautiful products. This is why people leave their screens. This is why people seek out great showrooms.

So, what is a great showroom? A popular definition is one that continually both surprises and delights its customers with its engaging ambiance and inventive product mix supported by talented salespeople and five-star service. Simple right? Unfortunately nothing that can be labeled great is simple and therein lies the challenge and fun, yes fun.

Your luxury showroom is catering to designers who fly all over the US and Canada, possibly even the world, seeking out dynamic decorator showrooms for their clients who go antiquing in Paris. If your showroom is populated with gray and white factory displays and has not had a colorful addition in months, these good customers will visit once and move on. They do not need to shop in your place, there are plenty of other boring showrooms within driving distance. If your showroom is to make their go-to list, you must let them know you are willing to take chances by showing new, unique, even startling products and learn what they crave.

The next step is threefold:

  • First and most important: before you start working on numbers two and three, you must set a regular time, I suggest monthly, to quietly walk your showroom looking for ways to make it great. I suggest focusing on: 
    • Displays that are tired and need updating.
    • Displayed products that are not selling, boring and need to be replaced.
    • Discovering places where you can add an attractive display, small or large. This display should both provoke your salespeople and arouse your good clients.
  • Second, commit to #1 above and start having fun in your showroom working to make it full of surprise and delight.
  • Finally, start learning from what you customers purchase and discover what they are looking for. This comes from your sales data and setting up opportunities to learn from your good clients. We will address this in another article.
Now, let’s have fun…

“The one thing we all agreed on, our chief aim, was to be totally unpredictable and never to repeat ourselves,” Mr. Terry Jones of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

So why not have a bit of fun in your showroom. I am not saying that you have to completely redesign your showroom with a Candyland color scheme, but use your imagination and create punches of color and inventive product vignettes that will challenge your repeat clientele and intrigue new shoppers. People love to see and touch shiny new things.

One note of caution: bold displays lose their edge over a period of 6 to 9 months. Keep backdrops dynamic but simple. Paint and wallpaper are easy to change; try to work with vendors that understand that products in bold settings gain attention and help their brands gain more recognition.

Luxury showrooms are there to delight and challenge their good customers, so make some changes and get out of the white and gray palette. It is really dull.

P.S: A good play here is to allow a good, strong willed, designer to design the vignette inside your band parameters and sizing.

P.S #2.: Those daring displays will play great on social media. If you can set six and change one out every month, you will have some interesting content to share.

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