Your store is one big package for the products and merchandise you have inside.
It’s the package that sells the merchandise.
Let’s say I give you a present. Well, not really – just in your imagination. Play along, OK?
I’m giving you a present. It’s not big. You can hold it in your hand. It’s wrapped in an exquisite Japanese-style handmade paper. The creamy gold-flecked paper is complimented with a gold fabric ribbon. The handmade tag bears your name in elegant calligraphy. A light floral scent wafts from the package.
You’re absolutely thrilled to receive such a lovely gift. Imagine all the care and attention that went into wrapping this special present. You are so touched by the gesture.
Especially since I haven’t even met you!
The presentation and packaging of the gift matters.
You don’t even know what is inside yet, and you have formed an impression about both the gift and gift giver. Even a small token gift – a chocolate, or a bar of soap, will feel exquisite and special when wrapped in a fabulous package.
You assume the gift-giver is caring, generous, and thoughtful. (Which, of course, in this case, is true.) You believe that care and attention has gone into choosing and preparing the gift.
The next time you hear from me, you remember the gift. All those positive emotions and associations come back to you.
Now imagine I gave you the same gift.
This time, instead of the handmade paper, it is just wrapped in some leftover colourful wrapping paper I had at home.
No ribbon. No tag.
It looks OK, but nothing special. When you open it up, you are pleased to find a small box of your favorite mouth-watering chocolates. You are happy I thought of you.
The pleasant experience lasts only as long as the chocolates. You might remember the experience the next time we meet, or you might not.
Missing in this gift-giving encounter is the anticipation, the emotion, the assumptions and associations attached to the packaging in the first example.
Let’s imagine again…
Instead of a gift wrapped package, I hand you a crumpled paper shopping bag. You wonder if I’m handing you my trash.
Inside, you are surprised to find your favorite chocolates. I obviously didn’t have time to wrap the gift, or perhaps I didn’t want to spend the money on ‘frivolous’ wrapping.
You make assumptions about me. Perhaps you think I don’t care much about you, or that I’m cheap. Worse than no association, or emotion, now you have a negative association about my sloppiness and lack of attention.
Can you see where I’m going with this?
Shoppers make assumptions about your product based on your store presentation and appearance.
The package for your merchandise should create anticipation about what is inside. The presentation needs to evoke positive associations and emotions. The store exterior, layout and visual merchandising should be designed to make shopping exciting and memorable.
Is your store a gift that is packaged with attention and care?