When people walk past your store, you want to make a good impression right away. Your products need to be organized and stand out to the customers in an appealing manner. Understanding the basics of visual merchandising can help you to do this. Visual merchandising is a way of optimizing the visual presentation of your products in order to attract more customers and increase sales.
Visual merchandising is a bit more complicated than just putting your products in cardboard display boxes and putting a big ‘sale’ sign beside them.
But don’t worry. We’re here to lend a hand. To help you increase your sales and capture the attention of your customers, here are five basic principles of visual merchandising.
- Take advantage of your display windows
When it comes to brick-and-mortar stores, the window display is your hook.You need to make sure that you’re making a clear statement with your display windows. What’s your business theme? What makes your store unique? Who’s your target market?
Essentially, your window displays should tell the customer what your store is all about. It’s your opportunity to connect and relate to your specific target audience. Use colour, interesting shapes and simple buzzwords to attract as many people as possible.
You could also base your window display on the seasons and the holidays. For example, if you’re running a clothing store, you could display brown and orange clothing during the thanksgiving season. It doesn’t even have to be an official holiday. You could base your window display on the start of the school year, graduation season, or majoring in sporting events.
Use your to display your most in-demand, popular or appealing products to draw potential customers into the store.
- Plan your store layout
Where you place your products is also extremely important. A common tactic used by almost all businesses is to place their most appealing products towards the front of the store. Sometimes, you’ll even see shops display their products outside of the entrance. This entices the customers to browse the items as they’re walking by. The longer the customers browse, the more likely they are to the store.
Supermarkets also use this tactic to their advantage. Essentials like milk, bread and toilet paper are often placed far away from the entrance to entice the customers to browse other items in the store.
For your own store, you can use similar tactics. For example, if a product isn’t selling well, maybe you should place it near the entrance so that more people can see it when they enter. To do this, you can use dump bins or cardboard point of sale displays. Using attention grabbing colors is essential here.
- Place certain items together
Walking around can be tiring. This is especially true if customers are doing their holiday shopping and they’ve been walking around for hours. Because of this, it’s essential that you lay out your shelves, point of sale stands, and dump bins in a convenient and structured way.
For example, if you sell school supplies, make sure all the related items are in one area. This way, those who are looking for specific items can simply walk to one section of your store and find everything that they need. This way, they don’t have to walk back and forth to different areas of the store to find what they want.
Grouping certain products together is also a great marketing strategy. For instance, if you sell clothes, you might want to group garments that go well together. This will give the customer more outfit ideas which in turn might motivate them to buy more items.
- Keep up with your audience
No visual merchandising strategy is foolproof. To be successful, you need to be constantly studying your target audience. You need to know what type of products are popular, what aspect of social media culture is relevant and what kind of aesthetics are trending.
If you’re in the tech and entertainment business, this is especially important. Indeed, new products are coming out almost every day and technology is rapidly evolving. You need to adapt to this if you want to survive in the industry.
As an example, many feared that video games stores would eventually be phased out due to the rise of digital downloads. Because downloading a game online is cheaper and more accessible, the demand for physical video game stores lessened. To counteract this, some stores began displaying and selling collectibles based on video game culture. This gave video game stores a second life in the brick-and-mortar market.
- Keep things fresh
Lastly, it’s important to change things up occasionally. Even if you’ve found a successful formula, chances are, it will eventually peter out. This could be due to your audience simply losing interest, or it could be due to your competition coming up with better merchandising strategies.
To avoid this from happening, try to experiment as much as you can. Try different colors, layouts, products and so on. Additionally, you should absolutely ask for feedback from your regular customers. What would they like to see? What would they change? With this information, you will get a better understanding of where your store stands in terms of merchandising.
There you have it, five basic principles of visual merchandising. If you’re able to implement these principles, you’ll likely see an increase in sales and attract more customers. Of course, the quality of your product is paramount. If your product isn’t up to standard, no amount of visual merchandising will save it. As a business owner, it’s important to improve all aspects of your business from top to bottom.