Have you ever gone shopping in a store or supermarket? How much time did you take to identify your favorite brand of coffee or clothing?
In most cases, you will spot them in a matter of seconds. Well, that’s what is known as visual merchandising.
The objective of merchandising is to grasp the attention of the consumer and draw them to your product through proper engagement and interaction with the product.
Proper merchandising is not only about knowing what the consumer is looking for. It is also about understanding the product and how it is displayed in a store.
Merchandising is intended to increase the number of sales per square footage in a store and help a business grow. To understand more about merchandising, it would be important to look at various elements or sections.
Before starting to look into factors such as design, branding aspects, and layout for visual merchandising, it is important for store owners to first consider their target audiences.
Who is the target of the visual merchandising efforts? Do they know them? What are their preferences? How about their needs?
The best way to understand customers is by asking questions. For example try to find out what type of products the customer already knows, what are their feelings about the product? What challenges are they facing? What music do they listen to? What is their socio-income status?
The point here is to avoid guesswork and conduct thorough research. The good news is that this type of information or data can be found online. You can learn about your target customers by studying your existing customers.
From In-house surveillance systems to data from point of sale machines, check every detail that you can find about your current customers. Information from such sources will assist you in identifying similarities between past and present customers.
Product and Packaging
After properly understanding your customers, the next focus should be on product development and packaging.
What is product development?
Product development is not the same as marketing parse. Although it makes marketing easy, product development goes deeper and needs a lot of creativity and inspiration. But where do you get the inspiration to come up with an excellent product package?
There is a lot of information on the internet. All you need is to identify your niche and look for blogs talking about packaging for similar products.
Preparing the buyer’s journey
Now that you already have a perfect product together with a great packaging system, it’s time to get into actual visual merchandising.
This involves things such as the layout of the store, window display, and front design of the store among other things. Note that this is only to attract customers to come to your store and not to sell.
After managing to attract customers into your store, it is vital to start working on their senses. Different people have different moods. This means they also have different senses that control their moods.
As a visual merchandiser, your work is to find out the type of environment and moods that particular senses can trigger.
For example, if your aim is to lighten up the mood of your customers, then you should use bright colors in your shop, nice and soft music and scents that will trigger happy feelings.
Aesthetics rules & Accessorizing
Visual merchandising is also about aesthetics. You have to follow certain aesthetic rules to create an appealing and attractive atmosphere for customers. For example, you should know which products should sit next to others in terms of color.
Doing so will help you to judge if they contrast or complement each other. The aesthetic rule of thumb demands that you group items in 3’s – to bring out the most stimulating visual effects to customers.
After that, you should accessorize products properly. Accessorizing is the arrangement of products into smaller groups adjacent to bigger and popular products.
Just like in any other marketing strategy, the last step is to know whether the visual merchandising strategy is working or not.