More businesses are shifting their sales to digital alternatives, scared of what the future holds on the high street. But by taking advantage of visual merchandising, there’s no doubt that retailers can push past the struggle.
Visual and retail merchandising has been a great contributor to sales for many retail businesses. However, the problems dominating retail in 2018 make executing a successful visual merchandising strategy especially important if you want your retail brand to survive and prosper.
Together with Where The Trade Buys, life size cut outs supplier, we take a look at what you must consider for the new year to ensure greater customer rates and continued retention in a bid for financial satisfaction.
How visuals can encourage sales
For retail businesses, having an aesthetically pleasing store can lead to great success. Because of this, visual merchandising is much more than placing products where they fit — you want to create an experience that shoppers can immerse themselves in.
Those who work in visual merchandising understand the pressure it takes to make a store look good while creating an easy-flow visit for shoppers. There’s a science behind why certain presentations, structures and even colours deliver a better experience than alternative arrangements, and it’s been established that a strong visual display can raise turnover and strengthen your brand; even inspiring customer loyalty in the process.
“Visual merchandising is everything a shopper sees at your store that hopefully leads to a remarkable shopping experience. It is the unspoken language retailers use to communicate with their customers” was one comment from Bob Phibbs.
Did you know that global sales are expected to rise to $27.73 trillion by 2020? This opens up a lot of opportunities for retailers. What are your customers demanding from their experience with your store? A tip here is to go for what you think your customer wants — not needs. According to a study by Raj Raghunathan and Szu-Chi Huang, emotional responses are influential in our purchasing choices — which is why you should focus on giving the customer something to desire.
Placing your most recent products at the front of the store could be a good shout. You could also use banners alongside these displays to present promotional offers for luxury items that you want the consumer to take notice of — and buy!
Collectively grouping products
Commonly, retail businesses will group their products together. A recent report found that exposing your shopper to the maximum number of products is a tactical method when carrying out visual merchandising. However, don’t make your displays look crowded. Utilise different display furniture, such as mannequins, racks and shelves — whichever suits the product you’re merchandising — and bear in mind that focal points boost sales by a reported 229%, so ensure that you effectively direct your consumers when they enter your store.
Research into different methods of product positioning if you want to make your store floor a hit with shoppers. The Pyramid Principle dictates that you create a triangular display, with the biggest item in the middle and the smallest on the outside — which ensures that your display doesn’t look flat and boring. Instead, it will catch the eye, as the products seem to ‘fall’ down towards the viewer. Equally effective is the Rule of Three. Within this, you create attractive asymmetry that shoppers will find engaging. Apparently, humans see asymmetry as normal — which means they pay less attention. By placing product in groups of three, you can create a noticeable imbalance that forces the eye to take in each product individually, as opposed to the display in its entirety — excellent for effectively advertising each item.
The power of colour
Jessica Clarke, retail merchandiser and stylist stated: “Things that are easy to look at will be passed over, and things that are too outlandish will be offensive to the eye.” Contrasting colours at the opposite side of the colour wheel can help grab attention — think black and white or scarlet and jade — but creating a multi-coloured display of uncoordinated colours may turn people away.
More businesses are considering implementing a decompression zone for customers. This area of a shop is found just a few feet inside the main entrance and is believed by psychologists to elevate a shopper’s mood, acclimatise them to the store’s surroundings and get them ready for the shopping experience. An effective decompression zone will help transport your consumer from the hustle and bustle of outside to a calmer, more focused environment that encourages browsing. Here are decompression zone tips:
- Minimum of 10-15 feet.
- Based at shop entry with a full view of store.
- Created using contrasting furnishings and colours from outside area to signal new atmosphere.
- Use mannequins, attractive stands and specialised lighting to highlight your newest ranges.
Did you know that close to 100% of customers turn right when they enter a store? Why not use your decompression zone to create a ‘circulation route’ from the right side that leads around your store for a smoother customer journey? Or, try placing your best products at the right of your decompression zone, if this is the most likely route consumers take.
The power of the senses
You’ve created a great experience visually, but there are other senses that you should account for. Reportedly, 75% of emotions come from smell and our mood is meant to enhance 40% when we detect pleasant aromas. If you run a fragrance, soap or food retail establishment, are you harnessing the power of smell when it comes to merchandising?
Senses, such as smell, can help shoppers remember a certain experience. If you run a bakery and want to evoke a feeling of warmth, cosiness and home-cooking; ensure that your customers can distinctly smell your products baking from the kitchen by setting up the area to waft aromas into the main shop. Similarly, if your brand specialises in soaps and toiletries, place these strategically around your shop floor to avoid clashing aromas. For example, put all the citrus products together to evoke a sense of energy and rejuvenation and keep these far away from lavender and camomile scents, which are more relaxing.
Switching up your store
Being able to shuffle around your store floor on a regular basis is ideal, especially if you want to create a new experience each time a shopper enters your business. A major part of tactical visual merchandising is moving your presentations as new stock comes in. Don’t let customers get bored of visiting you — keep changing things up and you can make it look like you’re constantly replenishing your stock and bringing in new and wonderful items (even if you’re not).
That’s our roundup of why visual merchandising is crucial. With visual merchandising, you can ensure that your shop offers something engaging to keep consumers interested — so why not start planning out your shop’s next visual merchandising campaign today?