Most professionals in the merchandising industry are aware of the importance of retail store visual merchandising. It is a skill you should master if you’re a brand with a tangible product you want to sell in retail stores because it helps you catch the attention of your target audience and improve your sales numbers.
It is through retail store visual merchandising that you can ensure that your target customer notices your products when it is perched comfortably on the shelf of an aisle in a supermarket. Visual Merchandising is essential and in this blog, we will cover the A-Z of visual merchandising.
Visual Merchandising Definition: What is it?
Seasoned store owners may struggle with the question – What is visual merchandising. It is a retail practice that includes the planning and execution of in-store product displays. It is executed to attract customer attention and increase sales.
The packaging of your product and the way it is displayed on shelves are factors that form an integral part of retail store visual merchandising. It involves anything and everything that impacts the visual perception of your product by consumers and how they interact with your product in a retail setting.
Additionally, visual merchandising in retail also includes an analysis of merchandising data, product organisation on display shelves, in-store merchandising, and execution of promotional displays.
Who does Visual Merchandising?
Two types of professionals engage in retail store visual merchandising:
- Some brands plan and execute in-house visual merchandising campaigns. Be it a merchandiser or a brand representative – anyone can be responsible for this task.
- Some retailers also engage in visual merchandising. Since retailers own their stores, know what works and doesn’t, what type of products perform better, or what kind of display arrangement results in maximum sales, they engage in their visual merchandising practice.
An important thing to note here is that although both retailers and brands conduct visual merchandising, they both have a different intent. For example, when brand reps execute visual merchandising, they do so to generate sales for their unique product.
In contrast, when retailers engage in visual merchandising practices, they do so to increase the sales for all products in their store, not one product in particular. They do not have a preference for one product over the other. As such, their visual merchandising activity is dictated by the desire to expand the retail store’s overall profits, whatever the product may be.
Visual Merchandising Techniques that Drive Sale
Fuelled with the desire to expedite sales, different brands and retail businesses might engage in one or a combination of these different types of visual merchandising and tactics. Here’s a compilation of the six most common retail store visual merchandising practices that is practised today:
One of the most conventional visual merchandising techniques and tactics is the window display. It is as relevant today as it was in the 1900s. What makes a window display truly special is its potential to attract the attention of people who have not even stepped foot in a retail store. For all we know, placing your products on a window display might be the only reason why a potential customer is stepping into the store.
So if you’re a brand who has the budget for investing in window displays, go for it! You can also experiment with playful lighting and signboards to attract the attention of potential customers!
Interactive displays are one of the most interactive retail fashion merchandising display techniques. It has the potential to capture audience attention and get them hooked to your brand. Simple tactics such as placing standalone displays or an advertising screen right next to your product can do wonders to attract people’s attention to it.
The goal is to make the most of your budget. If you have the budget for it, and if your market research shows that this can help you boost sales exponentially, go for interactive displays!
Placing merchandise that complements each other next to each other is called cross-merchandising. It is a visual merchandising tactic that is tried & tested. Some examples of cross-merchandising includes placing bread next to butter, shoes next to socks, mustard next to hot dog buns, etc.
Another visual merchandising technique that has worked time and again is the incorporation of art in your VM practice. Doing this will help you stand out and help you become a brand that is unique and innovative in their marketing approach.
You can hire artists to design artsy product packaging for you. Incorporate art in your visual merchandising in retail effort by organising products in a unique way. Designing eye-catching posters and signage is another tactic you can explore to capture customer attention.
Point of Purchase (POP) Displays
Point of Purchase (POP) Displays is a visual merchandising activity that relies on a shopper’s shopping impulse. They generally refer to digital or printed displays that are placed strategically near advertised items and where customers make purchasing decisions. POP displays elevate a customer’s in-store experience by driving attention to your brand.
Rule of Three
The rule of three is an exemplary retail fashion merchandising practice where three products are grouped together. It helps you catch customer attention and appealingly present your product. Many brands and retail businesses engage in the ‘rule of three’ practice of visual merchandising to offer discounts to those customers purchasing a group of 3 products in one go.
Importance Of Visual Merchandising in Retail
Visual merchandising is a crucial aspect of retail as it helps create an attractive and visually appealing environment. Effective visual merchandising captures the attention of your targeted customers, and this makes them more likely to increase your store visits. With eye-catching displays, lighting and signage, make your store stand out. Visual merchandising helps establish and reinforce a store’s brand identity. By using consistent colors, themes and messaging, creating a recognizable and memorable brand image is easy.
Elements Of Visual Merchandising
visual merchandising meaning includes a range of different elements. Here are some of them:
The layout of a store is an important element of visual merchandising, as it creates a flow of customer traffic and helps them explore products.
The window display is one of the most important elements of visual merchandising. It gets consumers the first impression of the store.
Lighting is a crucial element as it sets the mood of the store. With the right lighting, you can highlight specific products.
Signage helps customers navigate through the store. With proper signage they can find specific products without any hassle. Effective signage has easy-to-read fonts and colors with consistent store branding.
Color is a powerful tool in visual merchandising as it impacts customer behavior. So consider the psychology of color when designing the store display.
Overall, successful visual merchandising requires a careful consideration of all the above elements for an immersive and engaging store environment.
Benefits Of A Good Visual Merchandising Retail Strategy
A good visual merchandising strategy can have numerous benefits for retailers. Here are some of the key benefits:
One of the most significant benefits of a good visual merchandising strategy is increased sales. Displays that showcase products in the best possible light attract more customers and increase sales.
Improved Brand Image:
A good visual merchandising strategy reinforces a retailer’s brand identity and creates a positive image among customers. By creating a consistent and visually appealing store, you can build a positive environment for customers.
Enhanced Customer Experience:
An effective visual merchandising strategy can help you create an enjoyable and immersive shopping experience. Lighting, music, and other sensory elements help create a welcoming and engaging store environment. With this, you can encourage customers to stay longer in the store and they return in the future.
A well-executed visual merchandising strategy can attract more footfall to a store by creating an eye-catching and memorable storefront. This way, you can increase the customer base and attract new shoppers to the store.
Visual Merchandising Examples
Visual merchandising is an important aspect of retail and there are many different ways that one can use it to create an attractive and engaging store environment. For instance, Window Displays:
Window displays are one of the most visible and important elements of visual merchandising. Effective window displays use creative themes, colors, and props to showcase the store’s products and brand identity. For example, a fashion retailer may use mannequins to showcase the latest clothing styles or accessories.
Overall, a good visual merchandising strategy is essential.
In this blog, we have given a comprehensive overview of the different elements of visual merchandising while showing you how to approach it. We hope that this blog was instrumental in helping you see the advantages that come with visual merchandising while also understanding its meaning and definition.