Boosting revenue with visual merchandising
Regardless of recent retail closures — including Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser — there is still opportunity for retail stores to maximise their sales revenue.
Visual merchandising has been an important strategy for some time. However, the problems dominating retail in 2018 make executing a successful visual merchandising strategy especially important if you want your retail brand to survive and prosper.
To help, this visual merchandising guide brought to you by Where The Trade Buys, experts in foam board printing for retail brands in 2018 is your step-by-step guide to designing and launching a successful visual merchandising strategy to boost your brand’s profit margin and help you sail through the tough times ahead for the industry…
Why the retail sector benefits from visual merchandising
The process of visual merchandising involves strategically designing the layout of an entire shop floor — including shelves and product displays — to provide a more engaging, exciting and ultimately profitable consumer experience.
Visual merchandising goes beyond just making the interior of a shop look good. There’s a science behind why certain presentations, structures and even colours deliver a better experience than alternative arrangements, and it’s been established that a strong visual display can raise turnover and strengthen your brand; even inspiring customer loyalty in the process.
So, how do maximise the potential of visual merchandising at your retail store and avoid falling into the difficulties that the likes of Toys R Us and Maplin have suffered?
Highlight the wants, not the needs
By 2020, global retail sales are anticipated to hit USD 27.73 trillion, so there’s clearly scope for your brand to maximise its profits and get a share of this growth in the next few years.
Place you newest, most high-end products in your focal visual merchandising displays to attract the customer looking for a treat purchase and enhance your chances of high-cost conversions.
Ensuring products that complementing each other is wise if you want your strategy to succeed. A recent report found that exposing your shopper to the maximum number of products is a tactical method when carrying out visual merchandising. However, don’t make your displays look crowded. Utilise different display furniture, such as mannequins, racks and shelves — whichever suits the product you’re merchandising — and bear in mind that focal points boost sales by a reported 229%, so ensure that you effectively direct your consumers when they enter your store.
Is the Rule of Three. Within this, you create attractive asymmetry that shoppers will find engaging. Apparently, humans see asymmetry as normal — which means they pay less attention. By placing product in groups of three, you can create a noticeable imbalance that forces the eye to take in each product individually, as opposed to the display in its entirety — excellent for effectively advertising each item. You should also incorporate the ‘Pyramid Principle’ or method when grouping products for a display. The Pyramid Principle dictates that you create a triangular display, with the biggest item in the middle and the smallest on the outside — which ensures that your display doesn’t look flat and boring. Instead, it will catch the eye, as the products seem to ‘fall’ down towards the viewer.
According to Jessica Clarke, a retail merchandiser and stylist: “Things that are easy to look at will be passed over, and things that are too outlandish will be offensive to the eye.” And this goes for colour. Contrasting colours at the opposite side of the colour wheel can help grab attention — think black and white or scarlet and jade — but creating a multi-coloured display of uncoordinated colours may turn people away.
Creating a ‘decompression zone’
Another tip for creating an pleasant buying experience for your visiting customers is to deliver the perfect decompression zone. This area of a shop is found just a few feet inside the main entrance and is believed by psychologists to elevate a shopper’s mood, acclimatise them to the store’s surroundings and get them ready for the shopping experience.
Nobody wants to shop when they feel distressed or down. An effective decompression zone will help transport your consumer from the hustle and bustle of outside to a calmer, more focused environment that encourages browsing. Here are decompression zone tips:
- Minimum of 10-15 feet.
- Use mannequins, attractive stands and specialised lighting to highlight your newest ranges.
- Based at shop entry with a full view of store.
- Created using contrasting furnishings and colours from outside area to signal new atmosphere.
Did you know only 2% of people turn left when they first enter a shop? Why not use your decompression zone to create a ‘circulation route’ from the right side that leads around your store for a smoother customer journey? Or, try placing your best products at the right of your decompression zone, if this is the most likely route consumers take.
Target all five senses
Take advantage of the other senses. Reportedly, 75% of emotions come from smell and our mood is meant to enhance 40% when we detect pleasant aromas. If you run a fragrance, soap or food retail establishment, are you harnessing the power of smell when it comes to merchandising?
Memories and emotions can be triggered by certain smells. If you run a bakery and want to evoke a feeling of warmth, cosiness and home-cooking; ensure that your customers can distinctly smell your products baking from the kitchen by setting up the area to waft aromas into the main shop. Similarly, if your brand specialises in soaps and toiletries, place these strategically around your shop floor to avoid clashing aromas. For example, put all the citrus products together to evoke a sense of energy and rejuvenation and keep these far away from lavender and camomile scents, which are more relaxing.
Frequency and rotation
Don’t be afraid to mix up your shop floor. A major part of tactical visual merchandising is moving your presentations as new stock comes in. Don’t let customers get bored of visiting you — keep changing things up and you can make it look like you’re constantly replenishing your stock and bringing in new and wonderful items (even if you’re not).
Change your visual merchandising displays every month and retain the perception of innovation.
With visual merchandising, you can ensure that your shop offers something engaging to keep consumers interested — so why not start planning out your shop’s next visual merchandising campaign today? According to predictions, shopping is expected to transform, leaning more towards ‘the experience’ rather than simply buying.