Your “retail space” has to be your most productive salesperson and how you go about maximising the potential for it to create revenue is through the art and science of visual merchandising.
It is a discipline that requires creativity but there are also many tried and true methods that produce results which you can utilise when creating your own displays. Here we will be sharing with you some of our best tips for effective merchandising to not only catch your target customer’s attention, but get them to make that all important purchase as well.
Know your customer
Know your customer inside and out, beyond the demographic data such as age, income and education, by digging deeper into their psychology and behaviours. When you have a grasp on not just the individual but their lifestyles, it can help you tremendously when creating effective displays.
Engage the senses
Remember that People Have 5 Senses, Not 1. It can be really easy to only focus on the visual aesthetic of a display but the secret of super successful VM is to create an immersive multi-sensory experience or ‘sensory branding’. The music you play in a store has a meaningful yet subtle effect on customers behaviour and can be as simple as choosing a style to suit your chosen demographic. Touch is an easy to get right by ensuring you allow your customers opportunities to feel, try on etc the product. Retailers are catching onto a new science known as “scent marketing” with retailers targeting a sense which is strongly connected to emotion and memory. Taste is especially important if you are selling consumables, the equivalent of letting people try on clothes.
Show Don’t Tell
Designing a display so that people can identify with it and envision a product in their own homes or on themselves, is a highly effective merchandising tool. One way apparel retailers do this is by having their sales staff wear the clothing they’re selling but the easiest and most common example is of course the mannequin. Giving prospective customers an immediate point of reference to envision the product in practical use and it is selling itself.
The Rule of Three
Time and again, visual merchandisers refer to the rule of three, meaning that when creating a display try to work in sets of three. For example, when arranging a product using three side by side or in three different sizes. Our eyes are more likely to move around and keep looking when we see something asymmetrical. In much the same way the “Pyramid Principle,” where you step items down from the tallest article, forces the eye to look at the focal point and then work its way down.
Using lighting creatively can guide your customers to experience different moods and emotions based on your choices. Using spotlights to highlight certain products is also a guaranteed way to direct attention and make sure your top products receive attention.
Using these tips, go out and give them a try with your next merchandising display. The most important thing when trying to optimise you square footage for the most amount of sales is to think like a scientist; making a plan, executing the idea, testing for results and then trying it again until you find what works best. Happy visual merchandising!