Visual merchandising is a dollar-driven art – master the craft of creating beautiful displays, both in-store and online, and you'll increase your revenue. But keep in mind that it's easy to inundate your customer with too much visual stimulus. A store display that catches the customer's eye without overwhelming it will win every time.
First impressions are everything
A good display can increase sales considerably. Think of your window display as your customer's introduction to your store and brand. Keep it clean and clutter-free. Spotlight what's new, include a variety of products, and showcase your bestsellers. Update your window once a month to keep new customers coming in.
Find your best angle
Don't place all of your products at the same height. This will bore the customer and make it difficult to see what's there. Positioning your displays at an angle to the customer makes it easier for them to pick up items for consideration – and touching an item is often the first step towards making a purchase. Visually guide customers through your store.
Tell a story
Group key products together to shape – and expand – a story around your customers' needs. Someone shopping for hiking boots might also need (or want) hiking socks along with a new fleece or windbreaker. A customer shopping for cookie cutters might be interested in a display platter or holiday tin. Get creative with your narrative.
Desire is key
Many of your customers enter your store with the intention of buying something that they need. Make them linger over other items by displaying the products they actually want at the front of the store.
Eco-friendly and Instagram-worthy
Match your customers' desire for environmentally friendly, sustainable options by incorporating LED lighting and using repurposed materials such as recycled wood or locally sourced items to build appealing displays that are also social-media friendly.
Tempt all the senses
You already know that visual appeal is important – complementary colors, balance, lighting – but don't neglect the others. Play music that will help customers slow down and browse, or select a station that your target audience likes. Make it easy for your customers to touch (or try on, or taste) your products.
Customers are drawn to digital signage. Use tablets to display product information or allow customers to participate in interactive how-tos. Flat-screen TVs can stream engaging graphics, information about your brand, or even YouTube videos that would appeal to your core audience.
Make it seamless
Create continuity between in-store and online. The visual design of your website should complement the aesthetics of your brick-and-mortar shop.
You have a mobile responsibility
Make sure your website incorporates mobile-responsive design for easy smartphone browsing and shopping. You should have an easily navigable check-out system in place too. If you're wondering whether your website is user-friendly, consider hiring a user-tester.
Go for quality photo and video
Use only high-resolution photographs that allow customers to zoom in on your products for greater detail. Think about adding videos to your site that greet customers on your landing page or provide insight into your products and brand.
Product descriptions are part of your pitch
While you need to include the essentials about your products – dimensions, materials, shipping costs – don't forget that product descriptions also serve to create an emotional response in your customer. Copywriters can add polish to your pitch.
Stories still count
Even if your online shop can't replace the tactile possibilities that in-store browsing offers, you can still entice your customers with product-pairings and layouts that contextualize your products and tell a story that can't be resisted.Effective visual merchandising may require just a few tweaks to your look, or a more serious overhaul – brand consultants can help with marketing and ecommerce. Either way, invest some time in your visual merchandising. It's worth your effort.
Are you a small business owner? What have been some of your best visual merchandising ideas? How does your strategy change for your online store? Tell us in the comments below!