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 you can use:
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 seven 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.
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.