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How to Inspire Retail Sales During the Valentine’s Day Shopping Season

How to Inspire Retail Sales During the Valentine’s Day Shopping Season
Autumn O'Bryan

It’s the season for love (as if our customers weren’t aware) and that means it’s time to gear up stores with eye-catching, romance-inspiring (and purchase-inspiring) displays. These days, finding inspiration is only a click away, thanks to sites like Pinterest and Instagram, and it’s easier than ever to get creative and channel your inner Martha Stewart or Amy Sedaris.

What Can You Make?

It always helps to complement visual displays with sounds and smells that evoke something sexy.

K.I.S.S. is a great thing to remember for Valentine’s Day — “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” Some of the best decorations are the simplest and easiest to find/make.

Feeling lazy or don’t have time? Pay a visit to a crafting store and buy all the red and pink balloons, paper lanterns, doilies, and crepe paper you can find. Buy a bag of clear beads and some plastic champagne glasses, fill each glass and you have instant “champagne” to display on endcaps or use as bookends for a high-ticket massager that would make a great gift. Get cheesy with teddy bears and boxes of chocolates — they’re clichés but instantly evoke a Valentine’s Day vibe.

Feeling a little crafty? Grab scissors, construction paper, and craft the kinds of Valentine’s Day imagery we used to make at summer camp. Think paper heart and cutouts of kissy lips — fold a piece of construction paper in half and cut out shapes freehand, or pick up stencils while you’re at the craft store. Hang these in windows, from ceilings, or use them to decorate the point of sale for a fun pop of color that helps get shoppers in the V-Day spirit.

Feeling a little next-level? Grab some cardboard from the warehouse, cut out heart shapes, and paint them to look like giant sweetheart candies. These make for great window displays and can be hung or stacked alongside products that inspire a sweet-and-sexy vibe — think flavored lubricants like Sex Sweet or alluring pheromone-infused fragrances like Lure Black Label. Don’t forget to cross-promote cosmetics like these with complementary lingerie and other softer lifestyle items, as they make perfect well-rounded romantic gift ideas.

Depending on your clientele, you can get cute or a little cheeky with your sweetheart candy messages: “IAnd if you don’t already, invest in a mannequin or three. They’re great for showing lingerie, apparel and accessories in action, of course, and can be ideal focal points for a multifaceted display.

Put your mannequins in romantic (or romantic-ish) scenarios: Maybe it’s holding handcuffs and a bouquet of roses or swiping right on a cardboard cellphone. Maybe he’s surrounded by rose petals with a bottle of lubricant in one hand and a stroker looped around his other wrist, ready for a romantic night in. Don’t forget to include bondage or fetish accessories for an unexpected twist; gimp masks, strap-ons and riding crops are always fun fixtures on mannequins. Incorporating humor into your displays not only brightens the vibe, but it also can help establish rapport without a staff member having to say a word.

Not feeling super-creative? No problem; the internet is a hotbed of listicles and image searches that can help you see what non-adult stores do to get their stores in the romantic holiday mood.

It always helps to complement visual displays with sounds and smells that evoke something sexy. Light candles or incense — ideally kinds you can buy in your store – and keep “baby-making” music on loop to get all the senses involved. Remember that this genre can include everything from Marvin Gaye to Prince, Beyoncé, Banks and even Nine Inch Nails. Play to your audience!

However you choose to decorate, don’t forget to incorporate the pre-made counter displays that so many manufacturers make. Topco Sales’ Penthouse POP-a-PET P.O.P. Display is a colorful display unit stocked with affordable, reusable handheld strokers that let shoppers pretend they’re on a fantasy date with their favorite Penthouse Pet.

That brings me to my final point: every shopper has a different relationship status and some might need a reminder to treat themselves on this holiday. Don’t forget to set aside romantic gift ideas for those of us who are dating ourselves and are looking for something special just for us, and never assume that your customer is coupled. If your fun displays have inspired a shopper to ask for product advice, wait for them to tell you what they’re looking for (and who’ll be using it) so you can provide the best, most supportive customer service possible!

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