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4 Visual Merchandising Tips for the Holidays

4 Visual Merchandising Tips for the Holidays

The holidays are quickly approaching, which means it’s time to prepare for an increase in customers, sales, and eyes on your product displays. To take advantage of this busy time of the year, make sure you have updated all of your displays to incorporate different elements from the season. Here are some visual merchandising tips for the holidays to get you started:

1. Target all of the senses

Merchandising tends to only focus on what customers see, but what about the other senses? The holidays are closely associated with very specific scents and sounds, so try to incorporate them into your display to create a better experience for your customers. Spritz a cinnamon or pine tree scent into the air around your holiday displays, and pair it with light music playing in the background. This will activate all of your customers’ senses and create a more enticing display for your merchandise.

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2. Tie in local charities

Celebrate the season of giving by tying local charities into your displays and encouraging customers to get involved in the community. For example, work with a local chapter of the Adopt A Family organization and find out what items are on the wish lists of needy local families. Then, group some of these items together and display them in your store with an informational sign telling customers how they can buy these items to donate to Adopt A Family. If you can, you should try to match donations or give back in some other way so customers don’t think you’re doing this for the sole purpose of increasing sales. Using a charity in your merchandising strategy is a great way to connect and give back to your community with an engaging product display!

3. Focus on impulse buys

What products are you currently displaying near checkout? Most of the year, you might use this space for gum, small candies and magazines, but the holidays are different. During this time of year, customers will be looking for small gifts that can be used as stocking stuffers, and the checkout aisle is the perfect place to display these. Use the checkout aisle to sell candies in holiday-themed packaging, small toys, and gift cards, which are all perfect as stocking stuffers. Just don’t forget to add a sign that creates a sense of urgency by reminding customers they still need to buy stocking stuffers for the little ones in their family!

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The checkout aisle is also the perfect place to put items that customers frequently need during the holiday season. How many times have you run out of tape while right in the middle of wrapping presents? Don’t let it happen to your customers by keeping tape, bows, and other gift wrapping essentials within arm’s reach of the checkout counter.

4. Be nostalgic

Most of the time, retailers and grocery store distributors try to make displays seem as modern and innovative as possible, but that’s not necessarily the best strategy during this time of year. Around the holidays, people tend to think a lot about their childhood. Tap into this emotion by incorporating visuals that look a little vintage or old-fashioned into your displays to make customers feel nostalgic. If your merchandising reminds customers of their childhood, they may start having positive memories about spending the holidays with their family and associate these positive feelings with your products. Think about using muted reds and greens, along with images of families around the dinner table to get through to your holiday shoppers.

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Are you putting together special displays for the holidays? Remember to use these tips to incorporate a holiday theme into your merchandising for increasing your sales.

Featured photo credit: Good Housekeeping via ghk.h-cdn.co

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Joel Goldstein

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Last Updated on May 20, 2020

What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

Everybody makes bad decisions. Some people, however, are more capable of making better decisions that inch them closer to success.

These individuals are not ruled by emotions, desires, or hunches. Rather, they depend on their analytical skills to overcome challenges regardless of urgency or complexity.

What Are Analytical Skills?

According to Richards J. Heuer Jr., a former veteran of the CIA,[1]

“Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But unlike other skills, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.”

Analytical skills can be considered as one of the critical life skills that are not taught in schools. It comprises of visualization, critical thinking, and abilities for gathering and processing information.

Here’s a closer look at some of these abilities:

Visualization

Also tied to a person’s creativity, visualization is the ability to predict the possible outcomes of strategies and actions. In a professional setting, visualization involves the analysis of data – often through illustrations like charts, graphs, and detailed lists.

Critical Thinking

Simply put, a person’s ability to think critically can be measured by his or her consistency in creating reasonable decisions. It pertains to the ability to evaluate information, siphon what’s useful, and draw conclusions without being swayed by emotions.

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As a critical thinker, you’ll find yourself challenging assertions and finding loopholes in proposed solutions.

Computing

Whether you like it or not, you need to be comfortable with numbers if you want to sharpen your analytical skills. Bear in mind that computing encompasses other skills like cost analysis, budgeting, and performing general calculations.

In business, you need to use computations when weighing the risks and benefits of any given strategy.

Problem-Solving

Remember that analytical skills are used not just to understand problems, but also to develop the most suitable course or courses of action. This relates to your goal-setting skills, which involve breaking down and prioritizing between objectives.

Resource Management

Lastly, analytical skills involve some degree of resource management depending on the task at hand.

For example, professionals with a tight schedule must know how to effectively manage their own time – also known as one of the most important resources in the world.

Business leaders, on the other hand, must know how to manage company resources, including cash and manpower. Take note that the definition of analytical skills may change to match the requirements of a specific situation.

For example, upon hiring a web developer, analytical skills may refer to the ability to determine the needs of online users, understand web analytics for optimization, and identify visual elements that can match a company’s brand.

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The skillset above, however, should be applicable in most if not all scenarios.

Develop Your Analytical Skills for More Growth Opportunities

There’s no question that the right decisions lead to positive results. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a business or simply trying to climb the corporate ladder. By training your analytical skills, you position yourself for more growth opportunities while staying away from negligible actions you will regret.

For example, you plan to launch a new startup in your local community – but struggle to decide the niche you want to enter. Since you’ve been a technophile your whole life, part of you desires to invest in a gadget store. If you’re passionate about your business, success will come – right?

If you have sharp analytical skills, you begin to see your plans in whole new dimensions.

What are the possible outcomes of this venture? Does the local market have a need for a new gadget store? How much do I need to get started – and how much should I sell to make a profit?

Depending on your findings, you can determine the feasibility of your business idea without letting your emotions get in the way.

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Analytical Skills

There are several approaches when it comes to developing an individual’s analytical skills. For instance, psychologists agree that reading fantasy stories as a child can help sharpen critical thinking.[2]

Research also suggests that undergoing traditional education has a positive effect on a person’s IQ and analytical skills.[3]

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But as an adult, such opportunities to hone your analytical skills no longer apply. That’s why you need to devise a more deliberate, active approach yourself.

Below are a few strategies to get you started:

1. Ideate Business Ideas

Developing a profitable business idea, whether you pursue them or not, involves numerous challenges. You need a ton of research, computations, and problem-solving to create a tangible business plan.

You can organize your ideas with a note-taking tool like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. Doing so will allow you to delve deeper into your analysis, organize your findings, and stay focused on roadblocks as well as how to solve them.

2. Leverage Analytical Tools

Aside from note-taking tools, you can also leverage other software that can help with analytical tasks. A money management app like Mint, for example, makes it easy to track your spending habits as well as manage your budget with visual tools. When it comes to prioritizing goals, you can use simple task management apps like Trello or Wunderlist.

3. Have a Personal Learning Library

Thanks to the internet, there’s a colossal amount of resources you can utilize to learn new skills, expand your vocabulary, and train your visualization muscles.

Social media networks like SlideShare and YouTube, for example, offer mountains of tutorials you can access to your heart’s content.

For a personalized learning library, you can download Instagram videos or GIFs from educational accounts like NASA Goddard and the American Mathematical Society. But if you prefer specific, technical skills, then a good place to start would be online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Alison.

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4. Participate in Online Communities

The internet is a great place to share experiences, opinions, and sometimes intellectual discussions with like-minded individuals. Reddit, for example, has a place or “subreddit” dedicated for every topic imaginable – from technology to entrepreneurship.

For structured debates, you can head to websites like Debate.org and let other users choose the winner via votes.

5. Seek Mental Stimulation

To keep your mind sharp, make it a habit to engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as chess, puzzles, and brain training apps. A great resource would be Lumosity, which contains dozens of cognitive games designed by teams of scientists and game designers.

6. Keep a Personal Journal

Finally, keeping a personal journal allows you to take a second look at everything that happened in your day.

Remember that writing about learning experiences lets you focus on the lesson rather than the emotion. It will help you analyze how you made your decisions, why you came to certain conclusions, and what you can do to improve in the future.

Here’s How to Create a Habit of Writing in a Journal.

Bottom Line

As an adult, you are required to face a myriad of challenges on a daily basis. Work, school, business, relationships – the list goes on when it comes to the sources of life’s problems. With analytical skills, you can confront and overcome any obstacle standing between you and your goals.

More Success Skillset

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences: Analytical Thinking?
[2] KD Novelties: Why You Should Read Classic Tales to Your Children
[3] Economic Inquiry: The Effect of Education on Cognitive Ability

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