How to Engage All Five Senses with Visual Merchandising

Can you recall the last store you visited where you smelled something, maybe just coffee or a herb? Now remember that one store you entered and found it visually appealing. Try to recall what was the factor that pleased you – the display, collection, or the placement of the products.

Now, imagine that this world is your store and your customers and its occupants. For how long would you be able to retain them in the store premises? It is time to reimagine this world. Welcome to the world of visual merchandising – a world that taps into the visual (sight), auditory (sound), olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste), and tactile (touch) senses to captivate your customers and increase footfalls in your store!

The importance of visual merchandising lies in the incredible, undeniable influence that the five senses have in our everyday lives. In addition to serving as compasses for humans to navigate the world around them, these senses also act as pathways to our minds and hearts, influencing some of our most significant decisions. And visual merchandising is an innovative and practical retail strategy to appeal to your first-time customers and retain the regular ones. Devising creative visual merchandising ideas helps retailers increase their sales turnovers through offline retail marketing strategies, even in the world of online advertising. Today, retailers can take their businesses to new levels by leveraging retail store visual merchandising to promote their products on the store premises. Here’s a glimpse of the five essential components of visual merchandising:

Touch – To Make Your Product Easy to Access

It is a basic instinct that a when a customer visits a store to purchase a product, they would want to touch it or hold it to see it more closely. It also makes it easier for them to make a choice whether they want to purchase that product or another in the same category.

One of the most significant aspects of the retail merchandising process is making products easily accessible to consumers. And in this case, offline marketing has the edge over online advertising as consumers can touch, feel and try the products before purchasing them. One way to appeal to your customers’ tactile sense is by placing products at accessible spots in the store. Another visual merchandising idea is to allow customers to feel the product’s texture.

Sight – Displays the Highlight of the Product

The first aspect likely to attract your customers towards your product is its visual appeal. However, it is the aesthetics of the product and its packaging and storage that comprises its visual appeal. Thus, a significant aspect of product merchandising is to package your products neatly with labels and stack them immaculately on the shelves and in provisions. Moreover, consider your target audience while brainstorming on customer engagement ideas for your store. For instance, a young and vibrant audience may be inclined towards bright, bold colours, while elderly customers may prefer subtle and more mellow shades.

Sound – To Improve the Customer’s Shopping Experience

When customers go to a store, whether they like it or not, they hear sounds in the background, perhaps of other customers, employees, staff, etc. 

Enhancing the auditory appeal of your store begins with the background music that you play. Thunderous and upbeat music can distract your customers in their shopping spree, while music that is too soft and slow may go unnoticed. The right customer engagement action plan is to strike the right balance by selecting a melodic track that is neither too loud nor too dragging. 

Taste – Way to Get Interested Customers to Your Business

Tapping into this sense is a breeze for food and beverage retailers, who can offer samples of their products to customers and help them make a purchase decision based on their taste buds. However, the taste can be an essential retail sales promotion strategy even for retailers belonging to other industries. Such retailers can provide refreshments such as a basket of toffees placed at the checkout counter, at the customers’ disposal. Incorporating the taste factor as a part of one’s retail merchandising ideas can prove highly beneficial to retailers.

Smell – Evokes a Sense to Increase Intent to Purchase

Remember the fragrance of that perfume that instantly elevated your mood or the aroma of freshly baked cookies removed from the oven? Yes, your customers also remember pleasant scents and are likely to revisit your store if it satisfies their olfactory senses. A unique way to increase sales and footfalls to your store is to spray mild yet exhilarating scents like vanilla. You may also spray seasonal scents that reflect the current mood perfectly. For instance, spraying fruity aromas on a warm, sunny day is a creative customer engagement idea.


Our bodies’ five senses define our perceptions of and interactions with the concrete and abstract aspects of the world. Thus, incorporating these five senses in your in-store sales strategies can help you attract your target group towards your product even with minimal or no online advertising. Leveraging the services of reputed merchandising solution providers can help retailers come up with dynamic, customized retail strategies to increase sales turnovers and retain customers.

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