Inspiring consumers to purchase high-end, handmade soaps from a soap store instead of picking up a cheap bar found at the supermarket store mandates creativity. Susan Miller Cavitch, author of “The Soapmaker’s Companion” explains that a significant component of success won’t derive from the soap’s quality, but from aggressive marketing. Thus, how the store is decorated can contribute to the business's success.
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Posters and Banners
Because the soap itself might not cover enough space, especially along the walls, use posters to highlight the inherent properties within the soap. Use the banners to provide a glimpse of how the customer will feel or what they will smell when using the product: a tropical-based soap, for example, should have a banner of a glistening papaya.
Divide the soaps based on their inherent ingredients: fruit, herbal and coffee scents are a few such categories. Hang banners of rosemary and basil or cut tropical fruit as it corresponds to the soap. Choose quality, vibrant images. Go to a copy store to make cloth-based banners instead of flimsy paper to avoid color fading from the sun.
Place ingredients next to soaps to indicate what’s in them. For example, place mint soap in a basket filled with peppermints or coffee soap in a bowl filled with coffee beans. Place orange-scented soap in a basket full of fruit. Or, using decorative ribbon, hang orange soap from a small fake tree dotted with orange blossoms. Set bars of lavender soap next to a large bouquet of it.
For purveyors of all-natural, organic soap, make a placard or use a chalk board and write the ingredients on it. Eco-conscious consumers will be grateful to see the ingredients displayed prominently instead of hunting for petro-based chemicals in tiny print on the label.
Instead of a plastic green shopping basket, make decorated wicker baskets tied with ribbon for shoppers to use. As they place items in the basket, the product is highlighted in nice packaging. This display effect could entice the consumer to buy more soap or maintain confidence about their purchasing decision. Additionally, display the soap in large wicker baskets filled with colored paper or bright wrapping.
Candy Shop Theme
For a large window display, make the store look like a candy shop. Buy a bakery display case and line the shelves with rows of soap. Decorate name cards and choose food-like names for the soap, like “mocha chocolate soap” or “orange cleansicle bar.” Place apothecary jars filled with candy, fruit, herbs or soap atop the case. Set candy scoops next to the jar.
If the rental space is old, ensure the store smells nice by lighting candles, using plug-ins or lighting oil jars. Choose a light scent agreeable to most, like vanilla. Check that the smell is not overbearing: you should still be able to smell each product.