Visual merchandising is a crucial retail strategy that maximises the aesthetics of a product with the intent to increase and maximise sales. A visual merchandiser plays a critical role in the look, feel and culture of a brand. If visual merchandising is done well, it can create awareness whilst simultaneously increasing brand loyalty. The most important function is to draw customers into the shop and close the sale, which is all dependant on the aesthetic quality of your retail display.
Possibly the single and most important reason to engage and inspire your customers is to encourage them to buy more of your products, increasing your sales, margin and return on space. This engagement process begins even before they have set foot in your store.
There are many factors that go into the success of visual merchandising, this includes the store’s appearance, including everything from:
- Signage and packaging
- Uniform and presentation
- Point of sale material and ticketing
- Colours, shapes and various textures
When these elements collectively come together to showcase a brand, it deepens the customer experience, leading to a positive shopping experience and increased sales.
Customers must be able to experience your brand through the visual components you choose to surround and enhance your product. For instance, if you are trying to promote a beauty product to a more youthful audience you may choose to display this product through vibrant, colourful displays with bold signage and edgy models. On the other hand, a cosmetic brand with a mature audience you may choose to use pastels, script writing and soft imagery. Adding these specific strategies to the brand will not only draw the demographic in but it will also open up the customer to the brand experience. Creating brand loyalty will increase the chances of a customer repurchasing in the future.
For many visual merchandisers, it is easy to be attracted to the latest product opportunities and be constantly adding to the range and choices you offer. If you are offering your customers too much you may risk making your business more complex and put you at risk of carrying excess stock. Getting the balance right between the number of products is critical, too little choice will put customers off while too much can confuse them.
Analyse your retail space to understand what the maximum number of products you can present at any given time is. Every product will be costing you money to stock, if it hasn’t earned the right to be there or it isn’t connected to the purchase of a high margin line then get rid of it and make way for products that will make you some money.
A great way for brands to better execute visual merchandising is to implement subject matters and themes into their displays. A theme tells a story which creates an urge for your customers to buy. Certain themes generally accompany a new product launch. Themes allow the brand to reinvent itself with new colours, layouts, fonts, imagery and design. Theme ideas can range anywhere from coordinating colours to grouping products to individual motifs. There are not any specific rules when it comes to themes but it is a good idea to consider the store, the season, a new product and the overall look and feel of the brand and how the theme will complement any other in-store promotions.
When promoting your brand it is important to keep consistency throughout all your marketing materials. This can also be referred to as your brand personality or voice. Within all existing marketing elements available you need to convey the look, feel and completeness of your brand. Visual merchandising must be consistent across all platforms including, in-store displays, websites and on any other third party websites and advertisements. This ensures customer brand loyalty and will also ensure the brand is going to deliver and the emotional connection a customer has with your brand is strengthened.
Buying with Confidence
When selecting your store’s signage you must ensure it is clear and concise. Too many signs or not enough will be sure to either confuse your customer. Keep it simple and in line with your existing store brand. Products need to be presented in a way the customer can understand exactly what the product does and how it will help them. This is where a good point of sale (POS) and merchandise displays really come into use.
If you are a visually creative individual who has a passion for all things fashion and retail, then our Diploma of Visual Merchandising qualification (SIR50212) can help you succeed in a creative career as a visual merchandiser. This Diploma will be taught at our Richmond campus, offering a boutique experience and facilities dedicated to everything fashion. Students will also get the incredible opportunity to participate in the annual Fashion parade and expose your designs to hundred of guests.
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