Ebook: How SA retailers can get ahead!

Table of Contents

• Introduction
• The greatest challenge facing retailers and mall managers today
• How the market has tried to solve the problem
• What’s the solution?
• Top ways to optimise the in-store experience
o Stories stick and stories sell
o Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication
o Grab attention and influence with colour
o Light up your display with LEDs
• A market opportunity that comes with many benefits
• Conclusion

Introduction: In this eBook, we’ll examine some of the challenges faced by retailers in South Africa and how to overcome them through optimising in-store displays.

How SA retailers can get ahead 

Before the 21st century, the retail game plan was fairly straightforward: if you had the budget you simply opened a store and invested in some advertising space. But now, in an age of increasingly competitive business environments, saturated markets, rising retail occupancy costs, shrinking profits, fly-by-night trends, the emergence of online shopping, and millennials who would rather hunt for Pokémon than bargains at the mall, retail has gotten a lot more challenging.

The greatest challenge facing retailers and mall managers today

Let’s face it – anybody involved in retail knows there are many challenges to staying successful and competitive. Not only are sales down because of competition, saturated markets, and, at times, a lack of knowledge, content or branding. But of all the difficulties that those in the industry have to deal with, the biggest challenge is attracting shoppers into the inner-store space.

The retail industry is undergoing a huge shakeup—and despite what you may have heard, brick and mortar is not dying, it is only evolving. Yes, it’s true. Brick and mortar is going through some big changes, but an in-store presence can still be profitable if done well. (And, yes, we’re going to tell you how!)

So what’s to blame for these changes? A little thing called disruptive technology!

Online and Smartphone technology has had an enormous impact on the in-store retail industry. From the tsunami of technologies, and changing nature of retail competitiveness, to the rise of the digitally influenced shopper and showrooming, consumers are now demanding a more convenient, seamless and enhanced shopping experience.

Today’s consumers approach the buying process more knowledgeable than ever, and with more available options at their fingertips. So, not only are retailers struggling to get consumers to choose their products, but mall and exhibition managers are finding it more difficult to win over traffic.

How the market has tried to solve the problem

Whether in-store retailers like it or not, technology is here to stay. In fact, as Smartphone usage grows, it’s only going to increase. So, how is the market trying to solve the problem?

Some responses have included examining price strategy, launching apps or mobile sites, providing free Wi-Fi, price matching, social media engagement, improving the efficiency of sales staff, and offering unique services that online retailers can’t replicate. While these strategies may work in the short term, the market has proven that they are far from great long term strategies.

What’s the solution?

Disruptive technology has taken a firm grip on just about every industry and has had a deep and lasting effect on retail. Yet, while consumers continue to live in a smartphone world, many retailers seem to be stuck in the past.

This makes “change” the need of the hour. Disruptors have forced retailers and mall managers to become locked into a ‘survival of the fittest’ contest, where only those who innovate, get creative and offer a lifestyle experience will flourish.

So what’s the solution? When disruption happens, not only does it generate threats, but it also generates opportunities for those who can catch them. Using customer behaviours, desires and needs to stimulate transformational change, the solution is to spend less time selling and more time delivering excellent customer experiences.

Top ways to optimise the in-store experience

Less about transactions and more about the consumer relationship, sales productivity has become more customer-focused than it ever was in the past. Today, retail is all about pleasing customers and getting them to return.

But in a volatile landscape where consumers are savvy and well-informed, which can also make them unpredictable and demanding, keeping pace with what they want, is harder than ever before. While many recognise that the best way to attract and retain customers is to enrich their in-store experience, this is not always straightforward.

So how can retailers create an in-person shopping experience that keeps customers coming back? In addition to treating consumers like rock stars, here are some powerful ways to increase sales productivity by optimising in-store displays.

a) Stories stick and stories sell

In today’s visually stimulated world, where competition for the customer’s attention and money has become fierce, discounts and price-matching may move sales up in the short term, but they’ll also move profits down in the long term. Customers will leave with products, but not much more.

To better sales performance, retailers need to create a shopping experience that sets their brand apart from the rest, and an effective way to do this is to sell a story through their display. Storytelling is a very powerful tactic when it comes to engaging. Considering that retailers control their customer’s experience, they should use it to their advantage. And remember, it’s more effective to show a story, not tell it.

Displays are a way to excite the imagination. A tight visual concept (your story) can give a potential customer inspiration for a certain style and can trigger desires and wants. Simply put, stories – about success, fame, love, prestige, a revelation, you name it – help people connect emotionally to what they are seeing. It is all about communicating a story through the way products are presented.

b) Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication

You can have the best merchandise in the world but if you don’t display it properly customers will pass it by. A common mistake many retailers make is displaying too many products at once. Crowding is a symbol of inferiority – if you keep an expensive item in a crowd, the human brain perceives it to be of lower value. Anything that is high value deserves a lot of space around it.

Good visual merchandising is a mix of art, inspiration and science. By following the principle of KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetheart), a retail display is guaranteed to keep customers interested. While great visuals can sell a lousy product, poor visuals can do nothing for great merchandise, so keep displays simple and keep them uncluttered.

c) Use colour to grab attention and influence

Visual impact is a huge component of retail merchandising. Customers entering a store are greatly influenced by the visual information they gather in the first split-second. One simple visual element, such as colour, can catch a shopper’s attention and also greatly affect their mood.

Colour isn’t just a powerful medium for creating emphasis and commanding attention, but it also tends to stir up emotions in people, which can affect how they spend. While red is used to excite consumers and make them act on impulse, black is used to market extravagant products, blue is used to create an impression of trust, and yellow is the colour of choice to showcase a youthful and positive retail space. Find your colour and use it strategically.

d) Light up your display with LEDs

Your retail display is your brand so make sure your display is highlighted with LEDs that improve the overall visual experience for customers. Whether you’re using LED lightboxes, accent lighting, glowboxes or illuminated sign holders (one of the most important aspects of in-store design), LEDs not only enhance the aesthetic beauty of a display, but bright and bold lighting attracts the eye and serves as a kind of spotlight, helping graphics stand out in crowded areas and drawing customers to the display.

Using at least 75% less energy and lasting 35 times longer than incandescent lighting, LEDs are the perfect solution due to their long life, directional lighting features, uniform brightness, and illumination.

A market opportunity that comes with many benefits

85% of consumers still prefer to shop in-store store and handle the physical products before purchasing.
73% of consumers would expand their purchases if they had a positive customer experience.
89% of consumers would switch to a competitor due to a negative customer experience.

An effective and powerful retail display can have a significant effect on ROI.

Bringing brands and stores to life, Scan Retail offers an affordable marketing opportunity for retail companies looking to expand, or for small entrepreneurs just getting started. Pairing strategic tools with beautiful design solutions to help brands stand out, Scan Retail delivers cutting-edge, energy-efficient retail display architecture for temporary, semi-permanent and permanent retail displays. These include retail displays, retail kiosks, glow boxes and light boxes, and exhibition display stands.

Scan Retails’ unrivalled marketing tools offer many possibilities designed for exhibitions, trade shows, malls and retail environments. Firstly, setting up a retail store is notoriously expensive. Not only are mall leases steep, but shopfitting and set up costs, can be prohibitive for new retailers trying to set up shop. Our in-store retail displays are a great alternative to get your new retail business set up and running quickly and cost-effectively with more flexibility for shorter leases to test the market.

While these are just cost-saving opportunities, these marketing superstars can be a significant contributor to overall sales results. Our sleek, cost-effective and interactive retail displays are ideal for exclusive modern showrooms that bridge the online and offline gap. These marketing superstars have the power to draw attention from crowds; enhance customer buying experience through personal interaction; increase brand loyalty; test new products or concepts; encourage spontaneous purchase of merchandise; increase customer base and brand extension; market merchandise around a season, sale or holiday; facilitate the collection of leads, feedback and loyalty programs; generate brand exposure; and ultimately, boost higher sales.

Scan Retail offers a market opportunity that is fuelling the South African retail revolution. With many retailers and malls jumping on board, our in-store retail displays have proven to be a key factor in their success.


With retailers no longer in the driver’s seat and consumers calling the shots, modern retail is a whole new playing field. Whether in-store retailers like it or not, the retail landscape is changing fast. To thrive and survive in the new age of retail, retailers and mall managers need to make a difference to the customer journey or get left behind. Simply put: with 5 out of 7 retailers failing within the first three years, if you don’t evolve with the evolving retail landscape, you can pretty much kiss your brand goodbye.

Fortunately, with in-store retail intelligence, retailers now have the tools to succeed. By optimising the in-store experience with display architecture from Scan Retail, the opportunity to make sales increases.

Retail is no longer just about selling. It’s all about how you sell. Scan Retail offers retailers and mall managers’ ingenious tools to create a unique customer experience, elevate your brand and ultimately, increase sales. We offer a short-term investment for what could be a long-term gain. In today’s cut-throat world of retail, don’t become another statistic. Make the intelligent choice and get in touch with Scan Retail today.

To find out more about how we can help you improve your retail displays, please contact us.

Why Your Business Needs to Go Guerrilla!

In a volatile economic climate, where up to 80% of small businesses fail each year (https://www.moneyweb.co.za/mybusiness/why-do-70-to-80-of-small-businesses-fail-within-five-years/), businesses need a lot more than just an amazing product, service and online presence to compete with bigger brands and stay alive. They need to be innovative, and this is where guerrilla marketing hits the ball right out of the park.

When conventional strategies don’t deliver… you send in the guerrillas

Conjuring up images of guerrilla warfare, the word “guerrilla” seems ominous and threatening. But, put it next to the word “marketing” and you’ve got yourself an unconventional form of marketing that implements killer strategies to defeat the enemy and get your brand noticed and remembered. Guerrilla marketing is all about implementing unique, interesting and creative marketing strategies that rely on time, energy and imagination, rather than a big marketing budget.

How to go, Guerrilla!

While the main goal behind guerrilla marketing is to take people by surprise, make a great impression, create social buzz and boost revenue, to go, guerrilla, you need to be bold, be assertive and not be afraid to take risks. That’s right. If you want to move up the food chain and get your name out on the streets, take a leap.

Thriving on original thinking and creativity, where imagination and ingenuity beat out big budgets, guerrilla marketing is all about taking a traditional marketing form that people are accustomed to, and turning it on its head, and out-store and in-store poster stands are a great example of this.

Working best in urban spaces with prevalent foot traffic, or dense, slow-moving automobile traffic, by creating a shocking, whimsical, or beautiful change to space with a captivating poster stand, you can gain the attention and “own” the eyes of passersby. But remember, in order for your guerrilla marketing campaign to be effective, it has to be humorous, shocking, or mysterious. The more creative and unorthodox, the most effective and memorable it will be!

The benefits…

Crucial to the success of any business, especially new and smaller brands that can’t compete with bigger budgets, guerrilla marketing is a niche, risky, disruptive, and a mesmerizing marketing strategy that has gained traction with organisations of all shapes and sizes.

A fun, innovative and exciting form of marketing for those who want to bootstrap their business without breaking the bank, not only is guerrilla marketing cheap, but it can be far more memorable than traditional marketing. Last but not least, guerrilla marketing works. If you do your research, plan your campaign and stick with it, you will end up with a better and more profitable business.

So where do you start?

If you’re a small business ready to go wild on your competition and grow your business, then the team at Scan Retail can assist you. We bring brands to life. Allow us to help you stretch your imagination and save your business with our bespoke in-store and out-store displays and poster stands.

Valentine Shopfront Display Ideas for the Entire Month of Love!

Now that your small kiosk business has recovered from the manic Christmas-New-Year’s season, are you ready for the most romantic month of the year? Representing a celebration of love and affection, the month of February offers retailers an opportunity to kick it into high-gear and rocket their sales. But if you don’t have a marketing campaign planned for the most romantic month of the year, here are some ideas to enhance your Shopfront display… not only on Valentine’s Day but for the whole month of love.

#1 Be a beacon of love and light up your kiosk with a lightbox

Your Shopfront display is your brand and since there are so many marketing dollars vying for your customers’ attention, your campaign will need to outshine your competitors. And a brilliant way to do this is to light up your kiosk with a lightbox. A marketing superstar that can be ceiling mounted, wall mounted, freestanding or positioned to best fit your mall kiosk – whether you’re selling books, clothing, tools, fragrances, chocolates or jewellery – a lightbox is an excellent way to be creative and show your naughty or playful side.

#2 Put Cupid to work with a “We Love Our Customers” promotion

All businesses love their customers (well, most of them anyway), but for customers to believe you care, your efforts must come out of authenticity. So show them how much they mean to you by doing something extra unique this month. Whether you dress an employee as Cupid, offer a special service like gift wrapping, give your customers a gift with every purchase or hand out candy or chocolates, your customers won’t forget how you made this month extra special for them.

#3 Sell Your Brand with a story

Amidst all the cupid-fuelled chaos, be super creative and authentic to get noticed, and if you want to make your customers fall in love with your brand, then sell your brand with a story. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas or any other special event, many retailers believe cramming their kiosk with loads of items offers a choice. But what they really offer is the opportunity for shoppers to get overwhelmed and leave. Rather keep your Shopfront display clean and simple by engaging the imagination of your customers with both a theme that showcases your personal identity and the occasion. Whether you want to keep your Shopfront display playful, cute or naughty, an emotive display that tells a story can easily invite curiosity and appeal to your target market.

#4 Don’t forget about your employees

Behind every successful business, you will always find happy employees that love what they do – and we all know that happy employees lead to happy customers. Your customers are much more likely to feel ‘loved’ by your business when your employees do, too. But this doesn’t just happen by chance, you need to show your appreciation, and there is no better way to put a smile on everyone’s face than by spoiling your employees too.

Your brand is everything and in today’s aggressive and competitive marketplace, small business owners need to pull out all the stops – and a great place to start is with your mall kiosk Shopfront display. While these ideas may be Valentine-centric – with a few tweaks here and there, you can use them for just about any special occasion!

8 Ways a Retail Kiosk can Boost Revenue and Build Buzz for Your Brand

Today, running any retail business is tough, and while branding strategies have evolved over the years, two things that haven’t changed are competition and brand awareness. Yes, your brand is your biggest selling point, which is why it needs as much exposure as it can get, and whether you’re a small, start-up trying to get your brand out on the streets, a large retailer desperately trying to market new products or a mall trying to attract shoppers and boost revenue – it’s time you embraced the future of retail with modular retail kiosks.

A unique, sophisticated and intelligent hybrid marketing genius

A hybrid marketing genius that is unique, sophisticated and intelligent, retail kiosks have become a booming trend that has revolutionized the typical brick and mortar shopping experience. A Shopfront display that has grown beyond fashion to encompass food, makeup, books, and art – enabling hundreds of small businesses to get off the ground – these modern retail & shopping kiosks are the future of retail.

A one-stop shop that blends retail with event marketing, the role of retail kiosks is not new, with brands and retailers utilising them in increasingly innovative ways. A fully flexible, modular option for in-line retail activities that boasts full-colour interchangeable lightweight prints, LCD screens, hanging solutions, shelves, and digital tablet enclosures, these popular marketing superstars come in all standard configurations and can be added to, or broken up into sections, to suit your mall-space or tenant needs. Here are 8 ways a retail kiosk can boost revenue and build buzz for your brand.

#1 Markets merchandise around a season, sale, or holiday
#2 Tests new products or concepts
#3 Enhances customer buying experience through personal interaction
#4 Encourages the spontaneous purchase of merchandise
#5 Increases customer base and brand extension
#6 Generates brand exposure and boosts sales
#7 Facilitates the collection of leads, feedback, and loyalty programs
#8 Cost effective with low overheads

A ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ temporary to permanent kiosk – creating unique, memorable 3D experiences aligned with the brand’s values – a retail kiosk is a short-term investment for what could be a long-term gain. The newest trend in guerrilla marketing to hit the streets nationwide, a modular retail kiosk has proven to be an effective prizewinning marketing tool that can be strategically placed just about anywhere.

Mimicking exclusive modern showrooms that bridge the online and offline gap, not only do these master showrooms have the power to draw attention from the crowds, generate brand buzz, create opportunities for marketers, and ultimately, boost higher sales, but these sleek, simple, portable, cost-effective and interactive marketing superstars are also the perfect avenue to take any business on the road and make flash appearances.

Tried and Tested Event Branding Ideas To Get Your Brand Noticed

Looking for some tried and tested event branding ideas to get your brand noticed and remembered for all the right reasons? Event branding plays a vital role in building brand image and it’s also a great way to promote products, services, and interact with new and existing clients, so when putting one together you need to make sure it’s a brilliant one.

Create a photo booth

Photo booths are all the rage these days and guests are far more likely to share images involving an original or exciting photo op on social media, increasing brand exposure. You can be guaranteed that those pictures will be on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram within minutes after taken.

Social media # marketing

Don’t just inform customers before the event, also let them see it or read about it via # marketing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Creating a # campaign is an excellent opportunity to generate buzz, create awareness and get your event out on the streets, during and after the event. Send # tweets or share # pictures during the event.

Vehicle branding

Vehicle branding has become the first choice of marketing for many brands worldwide. With conventional marketing practices taking the back seat, many are choosing vehicle branding because of its much wider reach. Not only can a quality vinyl wrap emphasize your brand and identity to those attending the event, but it also creates an unforgettable marketing opportunity.

Create a pop-up bar or kiosk

While e-commerce might be a huge part of the future of retail, pop-ups are shaking up the retail world, fast and furiously. Once considered as a low-key tactic to sell products and meet new customers, pop-ups have exploded into a huge money spinner and a fantastic branding opportunity. A master selling tool that works as a three-dimensional branded billboard, pop-ups have huge potential to generate the attention required to capture and engage an

Branded giveaways

Who doesn’t love gifts? While it’s true that branding strategies have evolved over the years, there are still two golden rules for marketing: get your brand noticed and get it out on the streets. Branded giveaways offer a brilliant opportunity to keep your brand fresh in the minds of potential customers. So send your employees and loyal customer’s home with a branded gift they can use at work or at home like pens, coffee mugs, fridge magnets, notepads, and the list goes on.

Your brand is your biggest selling point and it needs as much exposure as it can get. Whether you’re a start-up or a business looking to reinvent your image, it’s imperative you come up with creative ways to develop brand awareness – and event branding never fails.

A Guide To Choosing Promotional Clothing for Your Advertising Giveaways

You don’t have to be an advertising guru to appreciate the effects of promotional clothing. It’s a very competitive world out there, and if you’re looking for a strategic way to advertise your business, then promotional clothing is the way. Think about it, what is the easiest, cheapest and most effective way to create brand awareness and advertise your business? By getting your employees and your customers to wear your branded clothing!

Promotional clothing is a great way to get your logo or message literally out on the street. I mean, it’s hard not to notice when a bright T-shirt with a loud print walks by. Anyone that wears a great looking branded T-shirt, polo shirt, cap, track top or other items printed with a company logo is like a FREE walking billboard that will be seen by the public wherever it goes, especially when on the train or bus, in the bank, mall, grocery store, gym, coffee shop and in the street. You can’t find a better medium to advertise your brand for FREE than promotional clothing. However, in order for you to make the most of this dynamic marketing tool you need to be smart about a few things.

Identify your target market

Before you begin any advertising and marketing campaign, always research your target market, otherwise, you will set yourself up for failure. Are they male or female? Are they young or old? What are their income and interests? By identifying your audience, you will determine what clothing will work best for you. Let’s assume your market is in the IT sector – then hooded track tops, shirts and caps will work perfectly. If your target market is the upmarket financial sector, then embroidered polo shirts, ties and jackets will be more appropriate.

Opt for high quality

The quality of the clothing you choose speaks volumes about your standards and strengths as a business. Skimping out on good quality will do more damage than good in terms of the perception of your brand. Opting for high-quality promotional clothing will create a positive impression about your services and products. A rule of thumb on this one is to ask yourself: Would you wear it? Would you allow your staff to wear them?

Get the branding right

With the branding process you need to give full attention to detail, so make sure you include your web address so people can learn more about your product or service, and if you have space use a catch line that can quickly grab their attention. Remember, the quality of your branding is vital to ensure maximum exposure of your logo. If the branding looks clean, smart and stylish, it will leave a positive impression, if the branding is poor, it can be a real turn off.


2 Reasons to Market Your Business With Promotional Gifts

Every business owner knows how challenging it can be to market their business, especially in these difficult times. If you want to outrival your competitors and attract new customers, then you need to do more than just provide an excellent product or service. You need to pull out all the stops – and one successful way to do this is with promotional gifts.

Greater extended brand exposure

There are many reasons businesses provide promotional gifts to their existing customers and potential clients. Promotional gifts are one of the most useful and successful marketing tools. They are an effective means of promotion, offering a unique opportunity to show your business strengths and standards and get your name out on the streets. Unlike traditional advertising, such as newspapers, magazines, flyers, billboards, radio spots and television commercials, they are hard to miss and have a longer life, giving your business greater extended brand exposure.

The best gifts are useful, high quality and practical

If you’re new to giving out promotional gifts, you may be unsure of what to give? Well, because, the best promotional gifts are those that are useful, high quality and practical. The gifts you give to your existing clients and potential customers should be those that you would want to own yourself. You want to make sure you are not gifting items that are too cheap as this can harm your image. It’s a fact that consumer’s love gifts, it’s also a fact that consumers are not very forgiving. Make the mistake of gifting them with a cheap, low-grade gift that has no real practical value to them, and you can bet your bottom dollar they will dislike you for it and will definitely not choose your services next time they need it. Would you?

Whatever your reasons for using promotional gifts, it is important to ensure that you use the most appropriate ones that suit your business requirements. If chosen well, promotional gifts will have the power to take your company far, therefore, keeping customers loyal and attracting new ones.