It’s no secret that shoppers are “impulsive.” Sure, they may enter a department store or designer shop with a must-have item in mind. But just as often, they end up buying not only the shirt or jacket they intended to buy, but also the entire look that was presented along with it.
But can we really say that these shoppers are being impulsive? Well, in fact, it’s their purchases are the result of an extremely well-calculated marketing strategy. The strategy is called visual merchandising and when done well, it leads to an increase in both cross-sales and increased revenue.
So for fashion brands and department stores, this is the key to a successful business. And with that in mind, we offer this useful advice on how to improve your brick and mortar merchandising.
When you’re developing your visual merchandising plan, describe your sales space—and the items you’ll sell in it—in detail. And don’t wait until the last minute to do it!
It takes time to create the perfect space; write down ideas and themes. Describe the ambiance, music, and scent you’re going for, and note your retail space’s entry and exit points.
Think like a designer
Be creative. Feel the volumes and shapes and sum them up on a mood board. Think up-sales and cross-sales. Present outfits and accessories as a journey into your customers’ imaginations.
This requires an understanding of the principles of design: unity, contrast, depth, balance, cadence, and coordination. These elements make your retail space pleasing and creates a memorable experience that your customers will want to repeat.
Realize the importance of themes
Collections are seasonal. Use your imagination and link the theme of holidays like Valentine’s Day and both local and global events to your product offerings.
Tell a story
It’s easier for your customers to process information when your theme is express through a story. And it creates an emotional connection between your customers and your brand.
Use your products and the sales space they occupy to focus on your customers. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask questions like these: Which occasion would I buy this dress for? A cocktail party, a celebration, a cruise holiday?
After you’ve answer thos questions for yourself, organize your display accordingly.
Inspire with color
Colors have many meanings and associations and they can stop people in their tracks. They inspire customers to investigate new outfits and accessories, and to mix and match different items.
Learn the essential visual merchandising techniques
Horizontal: products are placed horizontally in the customer’s line of sight
Vertical: products are displayed in vertical columns to give clientele more options
Pyramid: products are presented in a a pyramid display, which draws the customer’s eye from top to bottom
Live settings: products are incorporated into theatrical scene. (Think Formula 1 or Wimbledon. Strawberry and champagne, glasses, and homeware would be a perfect set up for this.)
Hero: a unique product is featured in a window display
Don’t overdo it
Simple is beautiful. Make your products the stars of their allocated area. Make them shine, desirable, and easy to pick up.
Discover and explore
Step outside of your store. Visit museums, galleries, and inspiring architecture. Take your imagination to the next level. Look at what your competition is doing. And if you can’t find the time, use Instagram and Pinterest to gather ideas.
Visual merchandising is an open invitation to purchase multiple items rather just one, and it results in larger sales and revenue growth. Make each and every customer’s experience memorable and enjoyable so that they visit you time and again.