Visual Merchandising is the fine art of displaying goods in a visually appealing, decorative and aesthetically pleasing manner with the intention of making a sale. In short, you display clothes, accessories or home decor products in a visually inviting way which entices the customer to buy that product or good.
Photo Credit: Sharona Gott
There are no hard and fast rules for visual merchandising techniques and absolutely no limits. The only criteria is to capture the customer’s attention in the time frame of 3-4 seconds that he may spend looking at your display, such that he is absolutely impressed and would want to buy the product even if there is no need for him to.
Benefits for the shopper
Visual merchandising highlights the latest fashion trends. It makes it easier for the shopper to find goods as per category. It helps the shopper to co-ordinate various goods and accessories. Visual merchandising helps the shopper visualize how the product will look on him or how the particular home decor product can be displayed in his home. It educates the customers about the products and services offered creatively and effectively.
Visual Merchandising – Tips and Tricks
Clever and creative use of flooring, wall finishes, accessories and mannequins is a must. The merchandise must be the point of focus. Products can be showcased using mannequins, window displays, static POP displays, signs etc.
The overall department store or retail store may be demarcated into zones and separate methods can be used to make each zone appealing :
- Store front – Signs, Marquees and Window displays can be used
- Store Interior – Appropriate use of light fixtures, floor & wall covers, colors and display cases can be done.
- Overall store layout – can be divided into– selling area, merchandising area and customer area.
- Interior Display – use mannequins and props to showcase different products in this section.
Digital, Solvent, Eco-solvent printing and Posters, Blowups, Banner Stands, Glow signs, Scrollers, Canopies, Dispensers & Roadsigns can also be used for visual merchandising.
Visual Merchandising -Top Ideas
- Pick up a theme after brainstorming about current trends, what products to be showcased etc. Different products like apparel, books, lamps,furniture, fashion accessories etc, all resonating the same theme, are displayed together in a room setting.
- Think of a color-combination ideally suited to your theme.
For example, a modern theme display would require black, gray or pastel color scheme. A display of baby accessories can use light shades of pink and blue colors. A Christmas display may have colors of red and green. A royal theme can have rich colors of maroon, gold, bronze and may be used for displaying jewellery.
- Put merchandise together according to categories like price, size, sex(men’s clothing or women’s clothing), type(home appliances or home decor) etc.
- Use appropriate lighting fixtures to create mood and enhance the display.
- Develop effective POS(Point-of-sales) & POP(Point of purchase) solutions, seasonal events and promotions to stimulate shopping behavior.
- Make use of good store design, space planning and presentation expertise.
- Use accent lighting to highlight a product. This makes the product shine and draws the customer’s attention immediately.
- Make it a point to display a few related products near the main group of products. For example, it is a good idea to arrange colorful coffee mugs near coffee tins. This is sure to result in more sales.
- Change your displays weekly. Customers want variety with novelty. More often than not, buying trends change, fashion changes, newer products come into the market. It is important to change your product display accordingly.
Visual Merchandising can be extended to products beyond clothing and home decor, to effectively showcase food products, baby products, cosmetics, home furnishings, electronics, wall decor, lighting and the like. It is practiced at retail stores, exhibitions, fashion shows, boutiques, museums etc. A proper mix of fashion design, interior design, architecture, lighting and music can be used for added effect.