Tip 1 - Light Up Your Sales
Bright and shiny attracts birds and customers! When used correctly, good lighting can transform a space or product from something people just walk right past to something they are instead drawn to, for a sticky-beak!
Take a step back from your stall and assess whether there is enough light inside your selling area and also on your products to attract customers as they walk past. Use accent lighting to showcase particular products that are your best sellers or have the best profit margin.
Use a strip of LED lights strung along your gazebo canopy to increase overall brightness inside your stall. Lighting will not only draw customers in but will bring the colours in your products to life.
Or go all out and setup a lighting extravaganza with a crazy number of lights and lanterns! You'll need a few powerboards to pull this off, but the effect may be that customers (but hopefully not birds) are attracted to your stall with its unique presentation. Get more lighting inspiration from Pinterest.
Tip 2 - Create A Fresh Perspective
Regular customers are very important to your business, but keep in mind that they too appreciate fresh products and a fresh perspective once in a while. Experimenting with different display layouts on a regular basis can remind your regular customers to take a fresh look when you have new products. Stalls that never change their layout will have the same customers walk by every time without bothering to look again.
When you do your own experimentation take note of which display layouts attract the most attention from your customers, and repeat these more often. For example does a large unique centrepiece attract more attention than two end displays? Does a green or red coloured sign gets more subscribers to your email newsletter? With a photo of each week's setup in hand you can remind yourself next year exactly how you created that particular product presentation.
Tip 3 - Use Merchandising Themes
To create a more powerful visual message for your stall consider merchandising themes based on seasons or annual events. This means grabbing extra props and using them to enhance, or magnify, the intent of your own products.
For example, if spring is coming then grab some gardening tools, flower bulbs, decorative pots and vases of flowers. Your customers will see your products in the context of their excitement about the approaching spring season, and this will evoke warm feelings.
Don't limit yourself to just the four seasons, or major retail events such as Christmas and Valentines Day. Be bold and create your own themes based on your product range. If you sell clothes then consider creating a theme around the materials used such as cotton plants and colourful dye pots. If you sell jams then consider a small-scale farm theme to show your products come from the goodness of the earth.
Nature Themed Market Stalls. Photos by Karen Roe
A theme that is unique, colourful and well thought through will connect your customers to the good things in the story you are trying to tell.
Tip 4 - Maintain Your Selling Mojo
It is much easier to maintain your selling mojo every weekend if you have the right gear that makes your life easier. Who wants to spend hours setting up tarp and poles to keep out the sun and rain, or hours standing in the dirt, or worrying about the rain dripping on you!
If you feel confident and happy about your setup then you're more likely to get out there each weekend and sell your wares. Gazebo manufacturers recognise that more people are selling at weekend markets, and that they are demanding a higher level of convenience and speedier setup.
With this in mind some manufacturers are creating new products to help market stall holders setup more easily and quickly.
A new product on the market is the OZtrail portable changing room especially useful for those of you who sell clothes. If you are regularly asked by your customers if they can try on the clothes then invest in a change room and see the difference in sales, particularly if you protect your customers' modesty with a sturdy changing room, and not a few pieces of fabric flapping around in the slightest breeze.
You can now buy gutters for OZtrail gazebos. This will channel rainwater away from your stall, customers and products. Rather than worry about the water ponding on your gazebo roof and then making a mess of your stall you can send it on its way (to your next-door neighbour!!), and feel more confident selling in all types of weather.
A temporary floor, that connects securely to your gazebo, is great for keeping dirt and dust away from your products and merchandising. It also improves the appearance of your store by giving customers 'something' to step onto.
At the end of the day, if you can setup easily, quickly and maintain a level of comfort (and sanity!) then you'll be far more likely to keep repeating the process each weekend, regardless of the weather.