Visual merchandising is the science and art of designing floor plans and displays to maximize sales and revenue. Think of it this way: The layout of your retail store isn't just about square footage. It's about various opportunities to help your business make you more money. It doesn't take any extra training or a fancy degree to make visual merchandising work for your store.
5 Actionable Tips you Can Easily Implement
1. Use signage for well-defined areas.
clearly directs customers where to find something and what a section of a store is about. Too often, people are wrongly encouraged to meander without being given visual cues to help them find something quickly. Signage solves this problem immediately by creating well-defined areas where similarly themed products are grouped together.
Think of the various sections or departments in a store: camping, clothing, sports, appliances, hardware, etc. These clearly marked areas create order out of confusion and quickly guide shoppers to find what they're looking for. To help you understand your store's layout and how to most efficiently arrange the elements across its area, you need a well-defined floor plan. Even a rough sketch of your store's floor plan won't provide you with nearly enough reliable information to make the best choices. Getting a
2D or 3D floor plan
of your store designed is the best way to ensure that your visual-merchandising decisions are based on accurate data.
2. Light up your store.
Using lighting is another key visual-merchandising technique because it illuminates displays, products, and areas for your customers. It helps guide your shoppers to find products more easily – basically, it's like signage without typography. Studies have shown that when a dynamic lighting installation is implemented in a supermarket, basket sales increase. Shoppers also spend more time in places with warmer lighting rather than cooler lighting.
3. Choose focal points.
All displays should have just one primary focal point where your customers' attention naturally settles. This also ensures that your displays are minimalistic – when you keep things simple, you avoid cluttering up your displays with several things competing for your customers' attention. Examples of focal points include:
- High-end suitcases illuminated by floor lighting inside of a display case, in the luggage section
- A striking dining room ensemble in the middle of your store's furniture area
- The latest button-down cardigan sweaters neatly folded on risers in the middle of your clothing store's prep section.
4. Take advantage of hotspots.
Hotspots are areas in your store where customers naturally direct their attention or traffic. Examples include:
- Designer clothing displayed very close to a store's dressing rooms
- Mannequins sporting the latest fashions in store display windows
- Products stacked on aisle ends in supermarkets.
Hotspots are known to boost sales, so make sure you place items you want to sell quickly in these spots.
5. Get window displays right.
Passers-by walking past your store will wander in on the strength of an eye-catching window display. This is the first impression many people will have of your store. This limited, physical space is a great opportunity to let your shoppers know several important pieces of information right away, including:
- New products
- On-sale items
Consider your window display to be a stage where you can entice potential customers to come in and shop. Visual merchandising is a fancy term for excellent, in-store marketing. It involves the arranging of your layouts and displays in such a way to increase customer attention and boost sales. You don't need a lot of marketing or retail knowhow to execute this strategy well.
You just have to understand how customers move throughout your store. With these winning tips, you can turn any retail space into a store that sees higher sales and revenue.
How well do you know how customers shop in your store? Have you experimented with visual merchandising? Tell us in the comments below!