The Art and Science of Visual Merchandising

When used properly and successfully, merchandising establishes a powerful and long-lasting experience between a brand and the consumer. Our merchandising team uses store planning and design to help our clients’ stores meet brand standards and ultimately be successful.

A store’s layout is one of the key strategies in its success. This is why a great deal of thought, time, effort, and manpower goes into the design. For instance, master chefs know it is not enough for food to be tasty and nourishing, it must also be pleasing to the eye. Parsley growers everywhere depend on presentation for survival! Parsley isn’t eaten by many, but is massively popular as a garnish on platters to provide a bit of color and enhance presentation.

For one of our client’s in-store merchandising, we use layout to influence customers’ behavior by designing the store’s flow, merchandise placement, and ambiance.

Predicts Consumer Behavior

The flow of a store’s layout is what determines how customers shop. The longer a customer is in a store, the more likely they are to make a purchase, making the goal to keep them shopping for an extended period.

The arrangement of fixtures and even the placement of sections affect the store’s traffic. For instance, food retailers put necessities such as eggs and milk in the back of the store, so the customer has to navigate through other merchandise to get to them.

Maximizes Square Footage

A retail space makes more money when it maximizes sales per square foot–and this can be predicted with the use of its layout. If a specific area is lacking in sales, the retailer can rearrange merchandise to meet sales goals. The purpose is to put as much merchandise on the floor with a mix of high- to low-priced goods and fast- to slow-selling goods. For example, a high-priced cordless drill will be merchandised with low-priced accessories.

 

Creates a Positive Shopping Experience

Most retailers want customers to feel at ease when shopping. The store’s layout design can determine what emotions are induced in the shopping experience. Factors such as merchandise arrangements, fixture colors, and aisle space affect whether a customer likes, and consequently frequents, a store.

It Pays to Be Attractive

Simply put, customers are more likely to pick up product from the shelves when a store looks visually appealing.

A store’s environment can have an effect on customer psychology. This practice has been studied extensively. There are many ways a customer is affected but mainly visually and with layout/product placement. First, visual elements such as lighting, color scheme, and design can and will affect customers emotionally. Once emotionally engaged, a customer will be more likely to make purchases because they associate meaning behind the products.

Second, layout and product placement can affect customers on an instructional level to make purchases without engrossing them in a meaningful story.

One or both of these elements are of great use to retailers especially those with tough competition from rival stores or whose products are more expensive. If a customer is truly engaged, they will be more likely to part with larger sums of money.

This is why premium brands like Apple provide such strict presentation rules to resellers that stock Apple products. Displaying products effectively stimulates an impulsion in potential customers to make a purchase.

For instance, if a female shopper sees a beautifully dressed mannequin she is likely to be attracted to the look and will be motivated to look the same. This positively affects sales.

 

 

First day of spring things via @stefasseiro. 👌 #UODisplay

A post shared by Urban Outfitters (@urbanoutfitters) on

 

Visual Merchandising Gets Product Sales

As discussed, visual merchandising makes the store look good and makes customers feel good when they are in it. Visual merchandising costs much less than paying human employees to man the sales floor or passing out flyers if not for the immaculate storefront, interior design and layout.

These are certainly benefits of visual merchandising and the ultimate reason this practice is so vital is that it gets products selling. And that, after all is what retail is about: sales.

Improves merchandising efforts

Kohl’s refreshed their product presentation and in-store experiences. For one thing, the retailer started to invest more in national brands, rather than just private labels. In 2014, it created “super-sized Nike areas” in its stores, and this resulted in a 20% jump in comparable sales for the brand.

Kohl’s also partnered up with fitness gadget FitBit, and prominently promoted its activity and fitness trackers in enticing store displays, which helped deliver sales that were four times higher than expected.

Additionally, the retailer launched beauty sections in several of its stores to better promote its cosmetic products, and this helped them generate additional sales.

Maintain a Branded Look

For instance, Nike stores have a well-known branded look complete with fixtures, colors, and design. Even if the familiar swoosh was to disappear, customers would still recognize walking into a Nike store. We want the same familiarity with our client’s branches.

We helped the merchandise department establish a branded look for each of their stores. The goal was to instantly display a branded look so that when customers come in, they know exactly where they are because it looks and feels the same in every location.

What is branding and who cares anyway? Your business does. Let us take care of your branding and your in-store displays while you focus on your business.