This is something I haven’t talked about the dreaded Merch display with its price tabs (that no one reads) the pins, clips some people use grids others foam boards (I like foam boards) body forms, lights, tables, table cloths etc etc. all these items are great and all and show that a Merch person…
I agree with some points made here. Having too many items is overwhelming for fans. If there’s 50 things to look, that’s more time people spend making a decision, less time they spend enjoying the show. The longer a fan has to mull over a choice, the more likely they are to buy less or buy nothing at all.
However, I disagree that the display is not important. Atleast for the level that I work at. We play large clubs and theaters. Ranging from 500-2000 seats, depending on the market. I do my best to have an interactive display. Meaning, I put out 5 copies of each CD, LP, and book on the table. If 3 people want to look at the tracklist of the latest release they can. If you want to compare two albums side by side, you can. If you want to thumb through the signed copy of his new book, you can. We have a songbook containing sheet music, guitar tabs, and lyrics to every song on Josh’s studio albums. People flip through them, see a handful of songs they love and buy it.
Having multiple copies of items on the table, unsecured raises the risk of theft. But it also gets the item in the fan’s hand with no extra work on my part. Any good sales person knows that your chance of making the sale skyrockets the second the person can get their hands on the item in question. And if you have ever sold merch at a show you know exactly how well people LOVE to touch everything. They have to feel the things beneath their fingertips. I think it’s a validation trigger. And it’s easy to tap into that by giving them things to touch and pick up and look at.
There’s also the self-reward model. If fans are walking past you heading for the theater, put higher dollar items (like hoodies) closer to where they first meet your table. They have to walk or look past those high dollar items to see everything else. Many fans aren’t interested in hoodies, they’re bulky and often pricey. But once they see the $20 shirt and $15 CD they think “Well I didn’t get the $40 hoodie, and the shirt is HALF the price, I can afford this.” Why do you think Sam’s Club and Costco put TVs and computers right inside the entrances to their stores? You reward yourself in smaller increments for not putting the cash down on one high dollar item.