10 best tips and tricks for visual merchandising for retail stores and showrooms.
Did the thought of dropping sales of your business ever cross your mind? Have you contemplated on the reasons behind the same as a retailer? There can be many exogenous reasons behind this reduction in sales, but the problem starts when your competitor’s top line is shooting northwards and yours is nose-diving. This blog can help you to understand one of the vital aspects, which if implemented properly can help you turn around your business performance.
As Marty Neumeier once said, “Branding is the process of connecting a good strategy with good creativity.” Visual Merchandising is an ideal blend of these two things since it involves strategizing about ways to sell more by showcasing your creativity in your retail store. What customers can see is what they will buy, thus in a retail business, it becomes the primary responsibility of the owner or manager to show the customers what they are looking for. Putting the best of your products on display to lure customers to pay a visit to your store is the key. Half the battle is won if he enters your store, the other half depends on your products and sales skills. Here are 10 effective tips and tricks for visual merchandising:
- Know your customer: Customer is King is the first lesson taught in marketing and even today there is no shadow of doubt behind its veracity. As a retailer, you should be aware of your target segment and the customers in that segment. Customers these days have the luxury to order online with just a click and save time by not visiting a brick and mortar store. But still, he is visiting your store then per se insinuates that he wants to have a touch and feel of the product, try different sizes for best fit, etc. Thus, you need to add value to his buying journey by knowing upfront what he wants and pitch him the same. Now the obvious question arises, how to better know your customers? The one-size-fits-all answer to that is just by interacting with him and getting to know his liking.
- Products on display: Now that you know your customers, place your products on display based on their interests. The dummy wearing clothes at your store’s entry is the first thing a customer observes in a store and if that entices him, he will surely walk into the store. Try and put your best-sellers right in front of the customers’ sight. This display becomes very crucial in this entire exercise of visual merchandising to attract more footfall and boost sales. Also, you should change your display regularly and try out new combinations based on your customer segmentation.
- Store layout should be perfect: This is another thing that catches the eye of a buyer. The placement of your merchandise, use of the store space, the furniture and fittings, the billing counter, and almost everything that gets noticed. Planograms, which is a visual merchandising tool, can be used for optimum space utilization and encouraging sales. There should be enough free space in the store for personalized attention to each customer and his needs. This is one of the best and time-tested practices in visual merchandising all over the world for an immersive shopping experience.
- Premium shelf space: This is one of the key issues with retailers and the companies, Planogram can be used for this purpose as well. You walk into a supermarket for groceries; you will only focus on what there is in your visibility on the shelf in front of you. Customers do not like to bend to the bottom row to see a product or go on his toes to check the product on the topmost shelf. A study was done by the University of Chicago which says that moving juice bottles from the worst visibility location to the best location increased its sales by 79%. This premium placement can be done by being in good terms with the retailer and asking for premium spots even by paying some extra dollars.
- Bundling is important: Figure out what goes best with your offerings. Make combinations of denim and shirts that complement each other or try putting cheesy dips with chips, etc. which saves customers’ time and incentivize him to buy more from you. This is another key merchandising technique to sell more both in terms of volume and value. You can also create some categories of your own from the past sales data.
- It is show time: Good lighting in the store, the color of the décor, and soothing music that is not loud impress customers. It enhances the credibility of the store in more than one way and music in the background subconsciously keeps the customer engaged. Using spotlights which are focusing on the best sellers or new arrivals drive customers to have a glance on these products. The pictures in the collage below show two contrasting themes when it comes to lighting your retail outlet to effectively implement visual merchandising.
- Change is the only constant: Remember this saying? This is an essential lesson of life that is commensurately pertinent in the retail space. Experimenting is the key to keep riding on the juggernaut of success in any business. Here, you can play with what is on the display replacing it with new inventory, keep changing the dummy’s attire, tweak your store layout, switch the music genres, change the light setting by adjusting its brightness levels. These are some of the things which you can change to expect better results and internally track your sales performance after every change.
- Product specifications: You would not want the customer to keep searching for the price tag on the product he is looking at. And then he calls one of your employees to apprise him of the price of that product with other specifications. If possible, attach a note citing the product’s specifications with other important information. The devil lies in the detail and to build and nurture your relationship with the customer, inform him about all the necessary details. This is another less talked about facet of visual merchandising.
- Avoid stock-outs: This is the last thing you would ever want as a retail business owner. A customer liked something which is not available in the store, or his size is out of stock. In such a scenario, your customer will turn to your competing brand or store. This is one of those situations which retail consulting will ask you to be cautious about.
- Strike the right balance: There are other visual merchandising techniques apart from these which the retailer can try. But this goes with a caveat that not every strategy will work perfectly for your business. There will be some which will create magic and some others which will fail to show its impact in your context. Thus, you should strike the right balance with all the merchandising tricks to create the perfect synergy which will work wonders for your business.
These were our 10 best tricks for visual merchandising for you and your business to be future-ready in this much-hyped VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world we live in. There are some other visual merchandising techniques as well to drive your sales, but we chose the best of the lot to help you with your retail business keeping in mind the best practices in visual merchandising.
Your Retail Coach (YRC) is a retail consulting and outsourcing company in India offering a wide range of services in retail offline, retail eCommerce and retail omnichannel catering to a multitude of industries.