Visual merchandising is the practice of developing floor plans and three-dimensional displays with the goal of maximizing sales in the retail industry. The main purpose of visual merchandising is to attract, engage and promote the customer to buy something.
Over the years, visual merchandising has become a crucial component of the retail industry, particularly to remain competitive. Some may have heard of it, while others may be entirely new to the concept. Regardless, it’s important to understand what visual merchandising is so that you can use it to your advantage.
1. Focal Point
Any good banner stand or visual display should have a focal point where the viewer focuses their attention. Without a focal point, the viewer can become confused about where to look which will divert their attention to something else, ultimately away from your store. In fact, having a focal point increases sales by 229%, that’s an increase you don’t want to miss!
Before finalizing you work, take a look at your display as if you were the customer. The “hotspots” should be easy to see and identify for customers. Also, the focal point should be your product as opposed to a supporting visual element. For example, if you are using fake snow and wintery trees for your display of winter clothing, the clothing should be the focal point, not the decorations.
Big statements can be made with colour, if it’s done right your display will absolutely shine. Consider using contrasting colours and monochromatic colours for your display. Examples of contrasting colours are black and white or yellow and blue. Monochromatic colours are colours of one single hue that are extended using shades, tones and tints.
Be sure that when you play with colour nothing is too overwhelming to look at, your display should be exciting and eye-catching, yet soothing. Remember, where the eyes go, the feet follow.
3. Maximize Merchandise Exposure
The best visual merchandising displays present and expose the customer to as much merchandise as possible without creating a distracting, chaotic mess. Every customer is different, the more merchandise they’re exposed to, the more likely it is they’ll see something they like and make a purchase.
Circular store layouts are quite common for merchandise exposure because it presents much more products than traditional aisle styled stores do. Regardless of a store’s overall style, be sure to use as many displays as possible without making the store too overwhelming.
4. Accompanying Stories
To make the customer understand the benefit of purchasing your product, present a couple bullet points that inform your customers about the specific advantages to your merchandise. Also, you can include a headline in your presentation too, supported by the bullet points.
By using a headline and bullet points, you’re telling customers a story which helps them understand the product and promote a buying decision. In addition, a picture is worth a thousand words, visuals can be used to tell a story too.
5. Make the Most of Empty Space
Every store has empty space that is underutilized. Specifically, the space between the display and the ceiling is the most underused. To maximize your visual merchandising, start using this space.
There are many ways you can use this space such as displaying customer testimonials equipped with the customer’s name and picture, profiles of the designer or supplier, or signage providing information about products or brands.
If you have any empty floor space, you can use lifestyle graphics to help the customer make associations with the products. For example, a furniture store could create a cozy seating area with complimentary beverages to create a homey feeling which is related back to the store’s brand.