For Traders: Quick tips to attract customers to your stall

It’s the eternal question that rattles through your mind when you’re standing behind your stall and customers just seem to be walking past: How do I make them buy?

A lot of the time, it’s the coming together of several strands that results in a sale: A product people want, a great display, an effective sales technique and of course a bit of luck.

There’s no failsafe solution but there are certainly some common denominating factors that successful traders all seem to share, so we thought we would let you know what they are.

  1. Make it easy for the customers to know what you’re selling

When customers are browsing at a market, spending money might not be the first thing on their mind. They’re most likely thinking about food/what happened last night/what they might buy for future birthday gifts. Shopping at a Sunday market is quite a laid-back experience for customers who are usually there as much to soak up the atmosphere  as they are to make a purchase. The trick is to pull them into the present and persuade them to buy that gift or treat now – and to help them feel good about it.

One way to draw them over visually is to ensure that it’s clear from a distance what you are selling. Focusing on a product that has a coherent theme but that is available in different shapes, sizes and colours really helps to create an impact and re-enforces to the eye what’s for sale. Take Canvas Butterfly (pictured below). It’s pretty clear that the artist Colette sells illustrations of butterflies and insects which have a wide appeal, so all you have to do is to walk on over and choose your favourite colour, size and format. No thinking required.

Try this: Imagine you were a customer and you had never seen your stall before. Would you know what you were selling? What could you do to make it clearer?

Canvas Butterfly uses lots of different heights to display many designs that are similar yet different, making an impact and giving the customer lots of choice. Colette (the seller) looks professional and friendly too
Canvas Butterfly uses lots of different heights to display many designs that are similar yet different, making an impact and giving the customer lots of choice. Colette (the seller) looks professional and friendly too

2. Use clear signage

Another reason to make it clear to customers what you are selling is that with so much competition for their attention, they might not feel they have the time or inclination to go up to your stall and find out what it’s all about. Also, some customers will fear that awkward moment when they’re browsing and you’re looking at them, so they just avoid going over, but if you have a banner, sign or labels explaining what you sell, it makes it that much the easier for them to know why they should stop and browse. The same goes for pricing – you should advertise at least one attractive but realistic price point for customers to be able to judge if they want to spend with you or not.

Posh Bird Designs made a sign to tell customers a little bit about the provenance of her work (below)

Posh Bird designs has designed a sign to tell customers about her products
Posh Bird designs has designed a sign to tell customers about her products

Try This: Take a picture of your stall and show it to someone who has never seen it before and knows little about it. Can they tell you what you make/sell and what your price range is? Did they learn anything interesting?

3. Display products  in clever ways

Let your creativity run wild and design a stall where you can show off your products at different heights and use interesting objects to draw the eye and therefore the customer. If you’re selling pictures for example, bring an easel or a metal hanging rack to clip cards onto as well as having a box for them to leaf through. It’s good practise to protect foodstuffs from dust and dirt in the air  but you can still display products in baskets at different heights behind a perspex shield or in interesting jars like Eat Roar has in the picture below.

Try this: Start noticing interesting window displays in shops and at markets and work out what you think works. Try applying some of those thoughts to your own stall display.

Eat Roar display their Superfood delights in clear plastic sweet container - simple but effective as they are protected as well as displayed in an interesting way
Eat Roar display their Superfood delights in clear plastic sweet containers – simple but effective as they are protected as well as displayed in an interesting way

4. Talk to your customer

This has got to be one of the most essential messages. Stand up, be engaged and look happy and approachable and ready to chat with customers about your product and how its made. Customers who buy local and handmade want to know the provenance of items so they can tell their friends and it adds to the experience of buying. Putting on a friendly exterior also lifts your day says Francesca Kay, who sells letterpress cards and knitted finger puppets, “I say ‘hallo’ and smile at everyone who passes my stall, and even if they walk past, I get a smile in return!”

Try this: Become a smile addict. Say hello to five strangers in the street one day to  realise that it’s not the end of the world if you smile at someone and they don’t respond. For everyone that ignores you there will be someone who smiles back which always makes you feel good. You’ll soon be hooked!

Our award-winning resident Chai producers, Henny and Joe's, have a professional looking aprons embroidered with their brand and a smile for all their customers
Our award-winning resident Chai producers, Henny and Joe’s, have  professional looking aprons embroidered with their brand name and a smile for all their customers

5. Learn from others and share what you know too

One of the most valuable sources of information is other traders! Be friendly and ask pick their brains (in a quiet moment!). Or read one of the many great blogs out there and share what you learn in return. Here are just a few that might help.

Try this: Read some of the following blogs about designing and selling at markets/craft shows.

How to design your craft stall by Chrissie Freeth

Craft Fair Secrets

How to greet your customers at Craft Shows

Finally, follow our Pinterest boards for tips and tricks for Stall Inspiration

If you have any other tips please leave a comment whether you are a customer or trader.

 

5 tips to make your stall stand out!

It’s one thing whiling away the hours developing products to sell, but what happens when you bring them to market? Do you think that simply putting them on your table will ensure significant sales?

Of course you don’t, because you know that your market stall is your shop window for the day, but it’s not always easy to know the best way to present your stall so that it catches the public’s eye but retains your individuality at the same time. That’s why our designer, marketeer and Bath Spa art graduate Carla Stobbs has researched some innovative, creative and simple ways to help make your stall stand out. And if you use Pinterest, find some more ideas here.

1. Make eye-catching signs.

Be proud of your brand! One of the first things a customer looks for is your business name or information about what you are selling/making. There are lots of creative ways to do this, from hand-stitching your name onto bunting or banners (especially if you sell textiles) to creating handmade signs with an arty feel to commissioning a fellow trader from the market to make one for you. We love how this blogger (pictured) has upcycled some old pallets to do just that.

Blogger: Salt and Pepper Moms
Blogger: Salt and Pepper Moms

Not confident with your handwriting? I’m sure many of us have struggled writing that perfect chalkboard sign. Here is a sneaky tip to getting it perfect!

Tags and labels are just as important, these are best written in a simple font or neat handwriting. If a price tag isn’t shown or is hard to read, the customer might not always ask and may walk away.

Does your packaging have your brand name on it? If you are using plain paper bags how about getting your logo design turned into a stamp so you can turn that boring paper bag into your own unique creation! I recommend The English Stamp Company who I used to create a stamp for my screenprinting business, Happy Inkers.

2. Find unique ways to display your products

Your stall should be an inviting space for people to be drawn to, just like a shop front. How about bringing extra things to the market to use at props? People love objects that are visually interesting – these scarves displayed on a ladder makes for easy pickings, plus they are easy to display and customers can quickly compare and contrast colours. Even you wouldn’t have to keep folding them back up.

These scarves are ordered by pattern and displayed so customers can easily see the range of colours. Much more effective than laying them folded in a pile or basket.
These scarves are ordered by pattern and displayed so customers can easily see the range of colours. Much more effective than laying them folded in a pile or basket.

Use colour to set things out from each other. If you have lots of clashing colours it may be difficult for the customer to spot things easily, but by using plain tablecloths you can really make your stock stand out.

Also, another useful tip is to have a look at other market stalls or browse on our Pinterest board for some stall inspiration.

3. Wear your products 

If your product is clothing or jewellery, always wear it! This shows that you are confident about its functionality. If you have a couple things to show off then bring along some mannequins. This will give people an idea of the shape and style more so than a hanger.

Ollie from Wolfe Academy  is proud to wear his own T-shirt designs - it gives customers an idea of what they look like on
Ollie from Wolfe Academy is proud to wear his own T-shirt designs – it gives customers an idea of what they look like on

4. Allow your customers to visualise your products in their lives.

If your product isn’t worn, think about creative ways to show its uses. If you’re selling food,  have some samples out to taste. This will invite the customer over and open up a conversation plus they will hopefully be seduced by your delicious food.

Think about how you want your customer to use your product and display it in a way that  makes them easy to visualise it in their own homes. Revel Interiors for example, uses a parasol to hang her lampshades which gives the customer a better understanding how the product may look when hung. Not only that but it makes a huge impact to the way her stall looks! Display cushions on chairs and hang pictures on a back board if the space allows.

Revel Interiors uses a parasol stand to display lampshades
Revel Interiors uses a parasol stand to display lampshades

5. Don’t be afraid to change… 

If something isn’t quite working, think about doing things differently. Nicole from Loganberry did just that by changing the way she displayed her soaps from rustic but cumbersome wicker baskets to painted wine boxes. Not only do her products stand out more now, but also it has saved her time cleaning up straw at the end of the day!

Loganberry went from this...
Loganberry went from this…
to this!
to this!