Creative Merchandising: It’s New to You

by : 

Megy Karydes

November 28, 2016
Marketing Mondays - Creative Merchandising: It’s New to You

How do we keep up with creative merchandising when things are moving around so quickly?

New products

Remember, your customers aren’t around your merchandise day in and day out. It may not be new to you, but it’s most likely new to them. How can you move merchandise that has been sitting in your shop for too long? Make it new to you, too! Merchandise it in unusual ways. Include it in displays that don’t always make sense. Can you add a child’s toy in a bath-and-body display? How about a cookbook near the children’s section and encourage customers to cook with their kids this holiday season? Sometimes people need to see product in unusual ways for it to stand out.


Another trick to help draw customers to particular product is to call out that product as a bestseller. This isn’t meant to trick your customers, so if it’s not a good seller, don’t call it out. But, if it actually does sell well and you think it can do better, make sure people know about it! People like to know what’s popular because when they need to buy gifts for people they don’t know well, it’s a lot easier to buy something others like because it’s less of a risky purchase.

Let customers in on the action

I love seeing retailers engaging with their customers. After all, retail isn’t just a retailer selling to customers (or it shouldn’t be, anyway). So why not ask your customers to be part of the action? Host a merchandising challenge and let your customers have a nook in your shop or a particular display area to merchandise as they wish. There are some really talented customers out there with a good eye for design. How would they merchandise displays?

You can always extend this beyond the shop and upload images of “before and after” shots on social media and ask customers to comment. Ask people to vote for their favorite displays and give the winner the option to choose an item up to a certain value from the display he or she designed (but make sure to check the social media platform's contest rules before you get started).

Customers love independent retail shops because they feel welcome there, and they want to support those shops whenever they can. Remember, not everyone is in a position to buy everything they want from your shop, and this might be a fun way for you to get some cool and creative merchandising done while supporting your community and your customers getting to shop and support your store, too.

And in this last case, your merchandising displays really will be creative and new to you, too!

Megy Karydes helps small businesses harness their marketing power. She’s also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic’s CityLab, Midwest Living magazine and Chicago Tribune, among others. Find her at