Mastering Visual Merchandising
Here at Visual Merchandiser, we understand that retail is a competitive business. You may think your store has the edge because the products you sell are one of a kind. Perhaps you sell vintage clothing and feel that your products are unique and individual and this is what makes you stand out from the crowd. However, what if another vintage clothing company moves near your store? How can you guarantee that your customers stay with your shop and do not move their shopping trips to the other vintage shop? The key to customers revisiting a store and buying your products time after time is visual merchandising. Most people are unsure about what the term visual merchandising actually means. At a simple level, visual merchandising simply means ‘the display of products which makes them appealing, attractive, accessible, engaging and enticing to shoppers in a retail store.’ Being a visual merchandiser can mean you are responsible for ‘utilizing the display’s colour, lighting, smells, sounds, digital technology and interactive elements to catch the customers’ attention and persuade them to make purchases. Visual merchandising helps convey the image of the brand and reflects the personality of the target markets that the retail store wants to attract.’
So what can a visual merchandiser do to catch the customer’s attention? Take the example of the vintage shop. If you manage to source the very best vintage clothing but leave all the garments in piles around the store, then there is a good chance that your customers will not want to return to sort through piles and piles of clothes. If you have a fantastic store interior but have a window display which is not eye catching, then customers will probably bypass your store in favour of a store which is brightly lit, has professional signs and a creative window display. In order to create a store which will have customers returning time and time again, you must first invest in quality equipment which will be useful for all your visual merchandising needs. In order to create an eye catching window display, the first item a visual merchandiser will need is an excellent quality fashion mannequin. Mannequins may not seem important when you first think about what to include in your store, however, a mannequin (or several mannequins) in your window and interior store display can add life to your products. In the example of the vintage store, take the clothes that were simply scattered around the floor in piles and instead place the clothes on mannequins in a well-lit window to see them transformed. Put a dress that looks shapeless in the pile on a mannequin, add accessories and see the shapeless dress be transformed into a fantastic outfit. As a mannequin can carry several items of clothing at once, you are also actively promoting, for example, five items at once instead of one creased dress found in a pile on the floor. This active promotion ensures the customer sees what other items compliment the dress and entices them to buy more than one item.
Once you have an eye catching window display, then please consider bespoke retail displays. By designing retail displays yourself, you can really optimise the selling space in your store. These retail displays can ensure that all the clothes in the store are presented in an organised manner. The clothes can be seen by all customers and customers can simply flick through the clothing available and make a decision about what they would like to purchase.