Visual merchandising is the practice of displaying products to help customers find what they want and encourage larger purchases. Far more than simply setting up shelves, visual merchandising actually helps you find the optimal store layout and determine exactly where to place products. Visual merchandising as a science explains how customers behave in a store and how your placement of products can provide them with an optimal shopping experience.
Independent retailers don’t have to worry about breaking the bank to make their stores more attractive and appealing to customers. Follow these points for retail success:
6 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR VISUAL MERCHANDISING
- START AT THE DOOR
Take advantage of visual merchandising possibilities closest to the front door and put your newest and most expensive items in the spotlight. Make sure that you have enough products and several levels of height so your customer can pick up and touch all products that they may want to purchase easily without having to dismantle parts of your display.
- SHOW OFF ‘WANTS’ NOT ‘NEEDS’
Choose to highlight products that customers want and not what they already need. Your customers will buy what they need anyway but promoting their “wants” will lead to a bigger basket size.
- CREATE CLEARLY DEFINED AREAS
Make use of visual cues for your customers. You do not want your customers to wander around aimlessly until they find something they want, or even worse, until they have to ask for assistance in finding a product. Clear store signage is essential and for an optimal and enjoyable shopping experience. Ensure that enough space is given to your merchandise displays so that all items are easy to see and customers feel free to explore your store.
- KEEP CUSTOMERS INTERESTED WITH NEW ARRIVALS
Feature new arrivals often as customers are curious and are more likely to try out new products out of curiosity. Seasonal items only last so long and promotional items also have a short shelf life. New arrivals will keep your customers interested on an ongoing basis.
- ROTATE, ROTATE, ROTATE
Don’t bore your customers with the same old display. Move existing displays around the sales floor when new merchandise comes in to keep your store looking fresh. A rule of thumb is to switch your displays every two weeks and make a habit of rotating the front-of-store displays with the back-of-store displays.
- ADHERE TO SHELF PLANNING PRINCIPLES
A few recommended shelf planning principles include:
- Merchandising your products from premium to economy and left to right
- Merchandising your products by sub-category first and then by brand
- Placing your house brand next to the brand leader
- Ensuring your best-selling products and profit generators are at eye level.
If you follow these tips, you’ll have happier customers who enjoy shopping at your store.