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Window Dresser Extraordinaire

The latest news and trends from the wonderful world of visual merchandising. Jano Dawes and her team share their passion for VM.

5 Tips for Retail Success

The world of retail is big and crowded. How does one stand out from the rest, develop lasting relationships with customers, sell their product and create a beautiful space all at the same time? From a creative perspective, we’ve put together our five top tips for retail success.


1. Create an experience in your shopping centre through memorable activations.

Design interactions

Allow visitors to play with and experience a product. From pop-up activations and champagne bars, to school holiday workshops and personal styling sessions, there are many ways to interact with your customers to create an engaging space with a point of difference.

Energize your precinct

Engage and evoke emotions and creating relationships. School holiday activations and workshops invite families to extend their stay in the centre as well as create repeat trips to your shopping precinct. Design a late night shopping experience with a glamorous pop-up bar for friends to catch up at, or lay down some vibrant green artificial turf for a secret garden themed space with pallet furniture and tepee tents. With zones brought to life, customers will be inclined to increase their dwell time. Unexpected areas such as workshop pop-ups with greenery and colour strike interest and evoke emotion of wanting to be included in the activation.

Disrupt, adapt, react and innovate. (WGSN)

Activate stagnant zones by encouraging involvement and inviting interaction with customers. Encourage retailers to become involved in activating a space by instructing a demo therefore leading to sales. Inspire people to photograph and share your space onto social media for advertising and publicity. Add some signage with a hashtag and watch it spread throughout social media.


2. Imaginative windows and themed displays


Innovative window displays are more memorable and the customer is more likely to return to the store due to unforgettable visuals. Create a dynamic display by adding backdrops and layering merchandise. Remember the space doesn’t need to be lived in, so if you are using a table, layer up items and angle them in ways that aren’t meant to be used (such as glasses stacked and tipped over). Drawers of dressers can be opened with items spilling out and cushions stacked for a layered effect. The balance of the display can be achieved through symmetry (or asymmetry) and colour. For example, light colors appear lighter in weight than dark colors or bright colors visually weigh more than neutral colors in the same areas. Balance is not achieved through an actual physical weighing process, but through visual judgment on the part of the observer.

Theme or Story

Draw customers into your store through vivid window displays that relate to your product through a unique theme or balanced display. Use props to intensify and boost your selling item, design and tell a story in the window to connect to customers. A starting point could be a season such as Autumn or Christmas. A theme will carry your ideas, either subtly with snowflakes, or create an Autumn-scape with leaves and crates. Tuck your product among your seasonally inspired props and wait for the customers to be drawn into your display.


Utilize lighting and keep it clean and fresh with no clutter but focus on the main elements you want to sell. Spotlighting can be very effective for one off pieces of merchandise at a higher price point. Ensure your window is well lit to show off detail in your items.


Keep your signage to a minimum with one key message, so people passing at speed can read your message in one glance without needing to stop and read. Too many signs can confuse a customer. You want to have one clear message indicating new stock, a sale or seasonal trends for example. Your signage might lead back into the theme or story you are telling the consumer.




3. Sell your brand – not your product


No matter how amazing your product is that you are selling, it is your brand that establishes a memory and creates a returning customer. With personalization, your company will sell the product through company values and morals. Meet your customer’s needs more effectively and efficiently. Make interactions faster and easier and increase customer satisfaction and the likelihood of repeat visits. Stores that require details on a purchase can custom create a profile for their customers to tailor purchases to their interests and guide shoppers to the best future purchases

Product promotion

Advertise through your store through events, window displays and through social media. Create intensives and loyalty programs. Maintain a theme and colour – design is your first immediate form of communication. Create a maintainable look for your store, whether it’s colour or minimalism , your store should be recognizable as your individual brand when a customer walks in.



4. Change with the seasons


Trends and fashion change every few weeks, and new jumpers and coats come arrive in store long before we feel the temperature change. It is important for your store to reflect the change of seasons through displays and visual merchandising.

Brand Identity

Trends come and go, but your brand identity must remain. How do you stay true to your brand and current trends? Ensure your product is moving with the seasons, even before it is cold out, start people thinking about the cooler weather with window displays filled with coats and boots. People love changing their wardrobe and get in early with displays of the next season. Cosmetic brand? Think about how the weather impacts skin and market your hydrating products. Outdoor supplier? Instead of marketing swimwear and surfboards, focus your market onto land sports such as cycling and rock climbing.

Visual merchandising

Tweak daily, weekly and do a complete overhaul each month as stock starts to change. By changing your merchandising everyday and every week, people who walk past your store often will notice your attention to detail, the value you hold on making sure your products aren’t stagnant but you are aware of evolving to capture new eyes with various products.



5. Customers, Customers, Customers

Memorable customer service (the good kind).

With each visit to your retailer, you want your customers to leave feeling rejuvenated and valued. Take on board feedback and be willing to insert it into your company. Without change and growth is how companies become sterile. You need to work with your market, not against them. Think about up marketing to your customers in a caring way, to ensure you have their best interests at heart and you want them to leave the store knowing you have explored all options for them, even if they did not purchase, they will be more willing to try again next time.

Target market

Be aware of your market and who exactly you’re aiming to target. Is it teenagers, young professionals or families your product is for? Identify clearly who you are marketing to and tailor your marketing to them specifically. If your message is clear, your brand will have credibility by not hiding behind something it’s not.

Get social

Balance frequency and reach. Tap into your audience with a curated social media feed that reflects your product. This might also include inspirational images; with Instagram you have the freedom to include unrelated images as along as they match your colour scheme, message, brand identity and target audience. Don’t overwhelm your audience with constant feed, focus into your insights that are available and read when your audience is on your platform. Schedule your posts to match these times, be original and be creative. “If your brand is confident in who they are and what they stand for, your followers will have that same confidence and commitment to you.”


Planograms are “A schematic drawing or plan for displaying merchandise in a store so as to maximize sales.” Impact purchase behavior layout planning and product placement to increase sales, spontaneous purchases and focus on high traffic areas. As soon as your customer walks into your store, dictate their movements through a well planned store layout. If you want your customers to make it to the register, manipulate the store layout and the product to get them there.


Talk to us today to find out how we can integrate these ideas into your shopping precinct with our expertise!

Call us on (07) 3217 4500 or email vm@vmplus.com.au



Interested in learning about visual merchandising? Contact one of our stylists today at vm@vmplus.com.au or call (07) 3217 4500 to talk about our VM Training.

We offer opportunities for corporate or individual training.

Learn more about our visual merchandising training course here. Still need convincing? Read our blog on Why you should study VM.




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Qld 4102
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