Great visual merchandising draws customers in, keeps customers in your store for longer and drives purchases. When we step foot inside a retail store, there are plenty of products and signs competing for our attention. The key to good visual merchandising is creating a seamless, aesthetically pleasing presentation for your products and in-store advertising.
With visual merchandising, store owners have a responsibility to draw a shopper to key products, move customers through the store, encourage customers to interact with merchandise on display and, at the point of purchase, showcase products that are highly compatible with impulse purchases. Of course, all these efforts are to be done without inducing sensory overload for the customer.
Undeniably, visual merchandising is a challenging, creative and rewarding task. If you’re looking to up your retail store’s visual merchandising game, check out our round-up of 6 ways retailers can improve their visual merchandising.
Avoid loading product displays with too many products
Have you ever seen a visual merchandising display jam-packed with so many items that you can barely distinguish them from each other? Unfortunately, loading product displays with too many products are counter-intuitive to what visual merchandising should achieve. Instead of letting key products shine, the products blur into one overwhelming visual.
While it can be tempting to add another product here and there, resist this urge! Less is more in this case. You may have several products available within a product line – but that does not mean every single one needs to be highlighted in your visual merchandising display. Instead, select a few key items that encapsulate your brand or current product launch. Pair this with some beautifully designed signage placed within or nearby the display. This will direct your customers to your display and to complementary products.
Only merchandise items available for purchase
An easy way to disappoint customers is to display a product that isn’t available to purchase. Instead of the dangling carrots without following through, only display products that are available to purchase. If you must display a product that can’t be purchased, be prepared to present your customer with a very good reason as to why they cannot purchase the product. Follow this through with an estimated time they can get their hands on this product, and tell them how you will communicate to them when it becomes available.
Considering around 30% of retail customers identify stockouts as a key reason their shopping experience was unsatisfactory, its best to avoid stock issues as much as possible.
Make your visual displays informative
To retail store owners and their employees, the key benefits of your products are obvious. However, that is not always the case for your customers. And, assuming your customers are aware of your products’ value is a mistake visual merchandisers should avoid.
So, choose to make your displays informative. They can communicate anything about the product you think the customer would like to know. This could be its sustainability, unique materials, durability – anything that is relevant and will resonate with your target market. Do this in an aesthetically pleasing way – to inform your customers, and also encourage them to buy more. Plus, if there is any further information required, such as how to use your product, include this information through your visual merchandising. Your customers will be hard-pressed to purchase a product that they do not understand.
Merchandise items across a variety of price points
Showing off your most expensive products will drive big-ticket purchases, right? Sure, we all want to show off the more expensive items in our store. Having higher price averages for your transactions is generally a good KPI to aim for. But visual merchandisers need to keep in mind that consumers venture into retail stores for a vast array of reasons. Some will head in to pass time, some to get a gift, or to score a great sale – you get the gist. Products highlighted across your visual merchandising need to appeal to all your customers. Choosing not to include products across a variety of price points in your visual merchandising can harshly impact your sales.
Within your visual displays, try to group together a variety of complementary items that cover a range of price points. Position displays near store entry and exists, arrange tempting displays at the point of sale, and also where your employees will commonly interact with staff.
Leave some breathing room within the retail space
You want your customers to move through your store freely and easily. That’s not going to happen if the space is cluttered with clunky visual merchandising. Ensure you include open floor space to give your customers, and employees, some breathing room. To have a sensory product experience, customers require adequate space. For example, if you have items merchandised on the walls, there needs to be enough space for your customers to step back from the item and adequately view it. If you have displays positioned on tabletops, these table tops need to be positioned so your customers and employees won’t trip over them. Perhaps most importantly, make sure you don’t stack your items too high within the retail space. A customer won’t exactly feel at ease in your store if they have bumped a display and it collapses on them.
Tidy your store regularly throughout the day
Leaving your tidying to the end of the retail day is never a good idea. Not only does it make for an arduous task, it means you have let the store get progressively messy across the day, which is not a good look for your brand. Your visual merchandising should capture your customer’s attention for all the right reasons, not because it looks like it desperately needs some TLC.
When customers pick items up and place them back down, stumble past product displays, and leave fingerprints on display cabinets, your store can get messy pretty quickly. To avoid an unsightly mess, ensure one employee is tidying the space at regular intervals across the day. Considering a messy store is the driving reason customers report a negative retail experience, it’s best to keep your store tidy all day long. Also, keeping an employee on the floor tidying the space is a great opportunity for them to engage any customer in a sale.
Create the ultimate sensory customer experience through visual merchandising
Through strategic visual merchandising, you can create the ultimate sensory customer experience for your retail store. Understanding the needs and motivators of our customers is crucial to the success of virtually any business. At Ronin Marketing, we merge marketing research with thorough client data gathers to gain a complete understanding of the target markets we engage with. Our team of website designers, graphic designers, copywriters and digital marketing strategists are well versed in appealing to a wide range of target audiences. If you are keen to work with the Ronin Marketing team, get in touch with us today.