If you own a retail business, you’ll likely have devised ways to draw attention to your product displays. Indeed, having your best products front and center is an excellent starting point. However, you’ll be missing out on more customers and sales without tweaking the visual elements of your displays.
This is where visual merchandising in your store comes in. Visual merchandising allows you to create a customer experience that starts with how you display items. With a visual merchandising strategy, you’ll help customers spot items in your store easier and, as a result, entice customers to make a purchase.
Great visual merchandising can add traffic to an empty space and decide between a purchased and a non-purchased product. However, what is visual merchandising, and how does it create a positive shopping experience? We answer these questions and more.
Read on to learn the ins and outs of visual merchandising and how it can help your retail business rake in more customers and retail sales.
Store Visual Merchandising: What Does it Comprise of?
Visual merchandising is a marketing practice that encompasses several design elements and disciplines, from customer behavior to art. Overall, creating compelling visual merchandising is all about creating product displays to attract customer attention and create a positive first impression of a product.
For the best results, effective visual merchandising must target all the senses. However, the most salient sense to appeal to is sight. Window and in-store displays will initiate the customer experience.
Displaying Products With Window Displays
Retail store owners can begin drawing customers’ attention with window displays. A window display can make products visually appealing to attract potential customers outside a store.
Of course, drawing attention is only the beginning. After curious customers enter a retail space, displays must be in-store to provide continuity to the customer experience.
Creating Eye-Catching Product Displays for the Sales Floor
In-store product displays are often consistent with what the window displays show. However, to lengthen the in-store experience, retailers can give more emphasis to the in-store displays.
There are several things a visual merchandiser can do to display products effectively in the sales area. Owners must ensure that the in-store displays are in sync with the store layout. Besides this, store owners can incorporate contrasting colors by arranging products by color and against backdrops.
Promoting the Main Products With a Focal Point
A store layout may feature several product displays. However, the layout will lack direction without visual cues that lead customers to bigger-ticket products. As a result, customers may leave without buying something.
This is where focal points come in. Focal point displays to highlight products promoted by a retail store. The products featured in these displays will often be in high demand.
A focal product display’s placement depends on the store layout. In most cases, the featured displays will be far from the window displays to keep customers inside the store.
Going Beyond Visual Appeal
Visual merchandising reaches peak effect with the addition of non-visual stimuli. Non-visual stimuli like soft music or the tactile sensation of featured products complete the customer experience. As a result, customers can develop a deeper connection with a brand or product — and the connection can be the deciding factor for a purchase.
Why is Visual Merchandising Needed?
What makes visual merchandising important is how it affects customers. A visual merchandising strategy can affect how customers behave around products when it’s executed well. Visual merchandising also draws attention to specific products and promotions that can boost sales in a retail store.
Let’s talk about the importance of visual merchandising in greater detail.
Draw Attention From Shoppers/Buyers
Customers need to see products before they buy them. By making products visible, retailers improve customers’ likelihood of purchasing. Achieving visibility is straightforward in an environment with little to no competitors. However, more visibility is necessary if a store competes with other establishments for customer traffic.
Visual merchandising helps improve the visibility of products to attract customers. With more customers drawn to a product, the chances of completed purchases will increase.
Allow Products and Brands to Stand Out Easily in a Store
Visual merchandisers can manipulate product placement to draw the gaze to a promoted product or brand. The manipulation of placement establishes a visual hierarchy that makes products or brands the center of attention.
A visual merchandiser helps customers make fewer decisions about which product or brand to buy by using visual displays to promote specific brands or products. As a result, customers can easily navigate a store to determine which item is worth purchasing.
Enables All Discounts and Special Sales to Stand Out
Product and brand promotion is the purpose of visual merchandising. However, this isn’t always the case. At times, visual merchandisers would want to fix the customer’s gaze on offers like sales or discounted items.
Drawing focus on sales and discounts is another use case of visual merchandising. With signages and media directing customers to a promotional space, more attention can go to items that a store owner would want to sell quickly.
Used this way, visual merchandising not only results in more sales but also in less wasted inventory. This is especially important for stores that sell perishable items or for apparel retailers that want to equalize sales.
What Does This Mean for the Business?
Now that we’ve covered the importance of visual merchandising, you might wonder how it can benefit a retail business like yours.
Here are some of the benefits conferred by a well-executed visual merchandising strategy.
The most salient advantage of hiring a visual merchandiser is profit potential. As mentioned earlier, visual merchandising can help stores bring in more customers. As a retail space experiences more traffic, a store sells more products, driving profits.
This ties in with the first benefit of hiring a visual merchandiser. Visual merchandising can help retail stores increase sales by enticing more customers to purchase products.
As more customers visit a store stand or product display, the potential for completed sales increases. Also, by giving customers more direction in what to buy, merchandisers eliminate any buying friction, like prolonged decision-making.
Word of Mouth and More Recognition
Visual merchandising has two functions in a business. Mostly, it has a promotional role, drawing customers’ attention toward a product or offer. However, visual merchandising is also effective as a marketing tactic. It’s a strategy that helps store owners and brands develop their image via word-of-mouth.
On the part of store owners, displays like store fixtures can create a lasting impression on customers. Customers can recognize a store based on the unique arrangement and creation of displays. Over time, customers will associate a store with its attractive displays. This can do wonders for a store’s public image.
Brands can also reap the benefits of effectively executed visual merchandising strategies. Besides associating products with the stores that sell them, customers will also recall the brand of featured products. The brand’s image improves and becomes more recognizable due to better visibility.
There are many great examples of this phenomenon in the retail industry. Furniture stores like IKEA do their best to display their furniture in a way that entices customers and promotes their image.
Apparel companies that have their store have also executed good visual merchandising and store design by displaying a complete outfit on mannequins.
Visual merchandising can also attract new customers to a store. With product placement on windows, stores can entice people outside a retail space. If the display is attractive enough, people will enter a store intrigued and excited about what it offers.
If a person buys something, that person becomes a customer who will likely come back for another purchase.
Great Track Record/History/Reputation
Eye-catching product displays leave a lasting impression on customers. Over time, the image created becomes part of a store’s reputation. As a result, more people will take notice of a brand’s visual merchandising and equate the store’s products with quality service.
Get the Best Store Visual Merchandising Today!
If we had to summarize the process behind good visual merchandising, we’d say this — first, leave a lasting impression with eye-catching product displays and store layouts. Second, sustain the image.
On paper, this seems like a straightforward strategy to execute. However, note that a lot goes into creating a good impression and sustaining it. You’ll need more than a visual merchandiser; you need one that knows a thing or two about hooking your target customer in.
Boasting 75 years of total marketing experience, FELBRO Displays can help you develop and implement a high-converting visual merchandising strategy.
Call us at (800) 7-FELBRO or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach out today for custom in-store marketing experiences that increase your ROI and make your products the star of the show.