Your showroom is the first thing your customers will judge you by, so it has to be the best it can be. Retail consultant Paul Da Silva has some handy pointers.
First impressions count so having a showroom that looks good is crucial. But what should it look like? How many displays should you have?
There are several points to consider when looking at your showroom.
Most important of all is how does it look? If I were walking past the showroom, would it look inviting? And would I be comfortable walking around inside?
One of my biggest annoyances is where I see stock littering an otherwise fantastic looking showroom. Now I understand that not everyone has storage space, and sometimes a box is there because a customer is due to pick it up, but it isn’t always the case.
Think of how that looks to the customer. They will either assume that it is to replace something damaged, it was missing from the original order, or it has been brought back because it wasn’t needed. And it takes away from what could be a fantastic-looking display.
Also, how do the desks look? Are they clear of clutter and organised? If so, the customer will have a lot more confidence that their sales process will run smoother.
If everything is messy and in chaos, the customer assumes that this is how their project will be run. So get those empty coffee cups, cigarette packets and empty lunch cartons off the desks.
And don’t store your lunch in the working fridge on display! There is nothing worse when showing a customer around a display, than opening up the fridge to find a three-day old sandwich.
So, what do you display? Firstly, I would rather have two large displays than 10 small ones. Giving a customer a couple of different layouts is fine, especially if they show off all of the hidden storage.
It’s very important to have as many working items as possible. Induction hobs are great pieces of apparatus to demonstrate. Trying to describe how good an induction hob is will always take second place to actually showing it.
And if you are making the customer a cup of coffee, there is no point telling the customer how good the Quooker product is, and then going to make them a coffee from a kettle.
Do you have an oven that can be controlled remotely? Have you invested in VR headsets? Will the fridge compile your shopping list? Can the customer charge their phone by leaving it on the Corian worktop?
Show them these things!
What will customers walking past outside of business hours learn from stopping to look?
Opening hours, website address, contact details, social media handles should all be there if possible. QR codes are a very good way of getting a lot of information across very quickly, so every showroom should have one in my opinion.
Lighting is also very important, especially in winter. If you have a customer walking past at night, you want your wow kitchen to be lit up. Highlight the best things about your showroom.
When I go into a showroom and speak with the owners, the conversation about parking is generally me saying I’ve parked on Acacia Avenue and it’s very expensive. I’m then told “oh, you should have parked on Festive Road, it’s free for two hours.
If a customer is visiting your showroom, and you don’t have your own parking, put the location of the best parking spaces on the website, a map on social media and all emails. It will be one less stress for the customer when they come and see you.
One of the best tips I can give you is to get somebody neutral to have a look around and give you some feedback – the postman, or the meter reader. These people will be looking at things from the perspective of a customer and will give you the most honest feedback.
Some of the best display advice I have ever been given has been from people who have never worked a day in the industry.