Visual Merchandising
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Member Article

Framing the future: How to improve your visual merchandising

Did you know the average person’s attention span is less than 8 seconds? In an era of speedy gratification and social media selling, visual merchandisers have never had such a tough job.

(Image Source: Visual Retailing)

Visual merchandising is all about selling a product at first glance. For the few shoppers that still frequent the high street, branded window and in-store displays are the factors that drive a consumer to the till.

“When designing a store, we’re not merely designing a selling centre, but rather an experience,” claims Eric Feigenbaum, President of Embrace Design “Great visual merchandising will tell stories while transporting viewers to new places, new times, and new states of mind. Additionally, great visual merchandising will create moments, landmarks, and points of view.”

As consumer demands grow, visual merchandising has evolved. From technologically enhanced displays to embracing seasonal trends with a twist, here are five essential steps that should not be missed when creating a modern-day display.

Tell a Story With your Display

One of the key elements to consider when creating an in-store display is ‘Does this tell a story’? Consumers thrive off a narrative and seek emotional connection when interacting with a visual display.

According to Ace Deesigns’ CEO, Tracy Flynn, “It’s all about creating something visually stimulating to take the consumer from standing in your store to having an emotional connection with who they are, who they want to be, how they want to feel.”

Make sure you use your merchandising strategy to tell a story about who you are, your values, and what your potential shoppers can expect when they purchase from you.

Whether you show off your bold personality with bright colours or walk a consumer through a product-driven narrative from left to right, make sure you’re assigning meaning to your displays that showcase what your brand is all about.

Utilise Your Space

Nothing is worse than an empty store. One of the most effective ways to put your merchandising to practice is to utilise your space.

While it’s important to break up potential areas of clutter and create a walkway that is easy to navigate for all shoppers, ensure that your store isn’t full of unused space. The more time you spend maximising your lead’s potential exposure to your products, the more likely they are to purchase one.

Adding more options for your consumers to pick from boosts in-store engagement and could see them browsing for longer.

Prioritise Your POP Displays

Did you know that nearly 80% of all purchases are bought on impulse? If you’re looking to increase the sales of a particular product, it could be time to introduce more ‘point of purchase’ displays, otherwise known as POP displays, that draw attention to one particular item.

POP displays can help sell items at a much quicker pace. As a display dedicated to one particular niche, it can be well-detailed, including easy-to-read descriptions, reviews and even demonstrations of its snazzy features.

(Image Source: Cosmetics Designs Europe)

Better still, some POP displays have gone digital. Thanks to the introduction of augmented reality into the retail industry, Stores like Sephora now enhance their POP displays with ‘magic mirrors’ that help a consumer not only view the physical product but see the results on their face.

Embrace Seasonal Trends

Seasonal trends should not be overlooked when it comes to visual merchandising.

“The high street is at its busiest during events and holidays, and you can guarantee that having seasonal displays in-store will lead to more footfall,” claim experts at VKF-Renzel. “Customers will be out and about purposefully looking for season-specific items during these times, and if your store doesn’t have any, many will simply go elsewhere.”

Ensuring your store is on par with seasonal trends could give you a competitive edge in driving conversions during the holiday season. Whether you simply install a seasonal window display or create a dedicated product section for seasonal shoppers, making an effort truly pays off.

Also, consider relevancy when planning your seasonal merchandising campaign. The key here is to use a seasonal trend to your industry’s own advantage. For example, if you’re operating as a health and wellbeing store during the winter months, why not create a POP display for cold and flu medication?

Don’t Forget The Lighting

Last but not least, let’s not forget the lighting. While many merchandisers pour focus into their display designs, colours and narratives, one of the key missing elements is correct lighting.

Changing up your lighting technique can draw attention to your display and transform your merchandising strategy into a professional masterpiece. For example, if you’re displaying a new hot look from Alexander McQueen, you dont want it to be lost within a sea of dull lighting. Roll out spot lighting, accent effects and shadow framing if you want to make a statement with your display.

Whether you want to accentuate angular products with accent lighting or naturally set the ambience with whimsical hues, this one factor can make or break your visual merchandising strategy.

As we move into a technologically generated future of high-street shopping, there has never been a better time to step up your visual merchandising game. From AR-infused POP displays to adaptable lighting, the options for encapsulating merchandising continue to expand.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Dmytro Spilka .

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