Go to any market and a lot of the stall holders will have set up their display like this. I have airbrushed their faces and identifying signs to protect the inexperienced.
Their thinking is that as customers walk by they can see everything. Seems logical, Right? Lets go back and re-look at the phrase “as customers walk by”. That’s right, by setting up your site like this you are making it too easy for your customers to keep walking. And I didn’t set up this image. I literally walked outside my door and took this straight away, no waiting for people to walk past.
Another reason I don’t particularly like this set up is that the table has created a barrier between you and the customers. Its very difficult for you to get around and provide assistance, to make the experience personal for them, to engage with the customer.
The product is well packaged but displayed poorly. Having all your products sitting flat on the table provides no visual stimulus, there is nothing to catch the eye. The food is also directly in the sun.
If you have no choice due to site position then you need have an attention getter, something that will stop people in their tracks for a better look. That few seconds pause in their step could be all that is between you and a sale.
Not all sites and conditions are equal so your set up strategy will need to be flexible. Sue from Spoil & Indulge has mastered this. This is the stall set up Sue uses in wet weather and at busy Event Days. Being able to step in allows the customer to stay dry in the rain. At Event Days it easy for the crowds to be so big that it is difficult for a customer to stop without being trampled to death. Allowing the customer an opportunity to step away from the crowd and browse in peace will increase your sales.
Note that Sue has set up the site to entice the customer in. The placement of the 4 tiered stand catches the customers eye inviting them in a little further. The L-shape with the short end at the entrance is another successful ploy.
Here is another of Sue’s setups. Here Sue has no immediate neighbours. To the right of the photo is a pathway down to the building behind. To the left is a park bench. Customers can walk around the entire site.
Yes I know not the best angle but the best I could do to demonstrate this next point. Even though the weather was fine Sue has still set up the tables back a little so her customers can step out of the sun while looking. Customers linger longer when they are not melting away. Both of Sue’s displays utilise risers to vary the height of the display providing visual variation.
Setting up your site is akin to setting up a shop. Large Department Stores, Boutiques etc spend a lot of time & effort on Visual Merchandising. Why? because it increases their sales. Have a look around the next time you are a market at how more experienced stallholders set up their sites. Experiment and note how changes affect your sales. You’re not likely to get it right first time but with a little perseverance you will learn the best setup for you and your product.