Crafty Fox Market's ultimate guide to displaying your products at Christmas markets
Last month, we thought about how to prepare for Christmas markets as a designer-maker, including making stock in advance, preparing packaging, making a clear action plan, and maximising the value of your brand’s online presence.
This month, as Christmas draws even closer, we thought we would gather some more tips, tricks, and insider-information for market first-timers, with help from some of Crafty Fox Market’s regular traders.
Today we’re looking at a crucial part of selling at Christmas markets: how to set up and display your products on your stall to show off the artistry behind them and to maximise your sales.
1) Present a cohesive collection
The simplest way to attract buyers is to keep your stall clean, tidy, and organised. Give your customers an instant feel for your brand by presenting a cohesive collection, with products that complement both each other, the overall aesthetic of your stall, and, if possible, the season.
“I fill my stall with extra little Christmas products at this time of year, with both ‘spur of the moment’ items and ‘wow’ products to attract the loyal customers who already know my brand well.” – Beth Hart, Floozey.
Lay out your products in ways which suit your style and ethos. Minimalist pieces will look best against a plain and elegant backdrop. On the most basic level, a tablecloth in a complementary colour can work wonders and, at the very least, you won’t have to rely on presentable table-tops when you arrive at the market!
“If in doubt, keep your display clean and simple. Messy displays put people off straight away, so if you're pushed for time and money nothing really beats a clean, plain backdrop, simple display layout and clear signage and pricing.” – Rosa Pietsch.
2) Make your brand recognisable
Make sure your branding is clear and visible on your stand. Signpost your shop name wherever you can, on stickers, flyers, and banners, and on business cards if you have them. If you have online stores, make links to these sites easy to find and put social media handles on your stall too, so that customers can follow you online later.
“I try to use the same colours in my display at all my markets…Repetition of colour, logo and business name is useful to help people remember you and recognise your products.” – Rosa Pietsch.
You should also make sure that your products sit well alongside any Christmas-themed decorations you choose to use. Don’t let seasonality overshadow the aesthetic of your brand!
“I don't theme my stand to be too Christmassy because it wouldn't go too well with my branding, I just like having a few things themed here and there.” – Charlotte Martin, Martin Le Lapin.
3) Decoration and display materials
Think about the layout of your stall before market day. Optimise the space that you have by building height into your display; not only will you be able to fit more on your table, but you will also create a more dynamic (and Instagrammable!) image that customers will want to linger over.
“The look and layout of your table is really important, and its worth taking some time to think about what you need for your specific products. I find a lot of my props in homeware departments of high street shops, so they don't have to be expensive, and you will more than likely use them again.” – Mary-Ann Aveline, Hello Marilu.
You should also think about what materials you will use to display your products (e.g. wood, metal, fabric, etc.). Your choice of materials can help to convey the aesthetic of your products, and, if they are neutral, can be adapted to suit the season with a few small additions.
“Most of my products are house ornaments, so to make my stall more readable to the customer I try to hang things that should be hung, and stand things up that should be stood, not just lay everything on the flat surface…I would definitely recommend using height on your stall.” – Beth Hart, Floozey.
4) Emphasise the handcrafted side of your products
Think about how you will convey the handcrafted side of your products. Could you use interactive videos or galleries on an iPad to show the process behind your products? Remember that busy markets get very loud at peak times, so video audio probably won’t be necessary. You could also use small signs with images and short pieces of text to give customers a little bit of insight into your craft process, or place your most intricate items in the most prominent areas of your stall.
“I try to push the items I have produced specifically on eye-level so people get attracted to them more.” – Charlotte Martin, Martin Le Lapin.
Another great way to emphasise the handcrafted side of your products is to conduct simple demonstrations at your stall, if possible. Alternatively, consider whether you could bring some unfinished products with you to work on at your stall? Most customers will be interested to see and chat about how your products are made, and it will be a direct reminder of the time and artistry that has gone into them!
“I always bring something to be making behind the stall – it is interesting how many people are surprised that you are the one who has made everything, which leads to good conversations.” – Beth Hart, Floozey.
5) Logistics: prices, payment methods, transport
To make market day as stress-free as possible, aim to make your display adaptable and lightweight. Ensure that it can be set up and dismantled in a range of different venues, and practice laying out and packing away your stall at home, to see if you can make the process any quicker or simpler before the day itself. Think about transport, too, and how you will carry your products from your car (or other mode of transport) to the venue.
“Setting up a table at home to see how it all looks will make your first market much less stressful. And try and think about all the small details too; for example how will you display your pricing? Where will your signage sit etc.” – Mary-Ann Aveline, Hello Marilu.
Finally, you should always make sure that you price your products clearly. Unpriced products are off-putting, so maximise your likelihood of getting a sale by making it as easy as possible for customers to see and buy your products, without having to ask for help. The same goes for contactless payments. If you accept them, make it clear on your stall and invest in or make a small sign letting customers know.
“I always make sure my pricing is clear and visible. Something that's always useful to think about is ‘how easy am I making it for my customers to buy my products?’ It sounds simple, but things like signage, prices, and a display that makes it easy for people to pick up and look at things, are all really useful and will help customers make decisions.” – Rosa Pietsch.
As these tips have shown, planning ahead is key at this time of year, and is an essential part of designing and managing the display of your stall. With some forethought and practice, however, this can be a really creative (and relatively stress-free) part of the selling process, as our designer-makers have demonstrated. We look forward to seeing your displays at the Christmas markets this year!
Written by Lily Taylor