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The Definitive Guide To Retail Visual Merchandising Guide

Visual merchandising is important component of retail store sales. If retailers showcase their products in impactful ways, customers will buy. Learn how to visually merchandise your show floor!

The Definitive Guide To Retail Visual Merchandising Guide

  2. 2. Visual Merchandising is an important component of retail store success. How your products are displayed on your floor is what makes customers fall in love with them. This ultimately drives sales. VISUALS ARE EVERYTHING IN RETAIL
  3. 3. How your store looks is sometimes more important that what you are selling. Is your store entrance inviting? Are your fixtures and wall standards easy to get to? Are you telling a good visual story with your windows? All of these questions are key when you are attempting to create a space that customers want to spend their time and money in. In this guide, we will explore the basics of visual merchandising, as well as how to build a formula to keep your store fresh and exciting for all of your customers. APPEARANCE SPEAKS VOLUMES
  4. 4. According to DESIGN:RETAIL magazine: "Visual merchandising takes your consumer from the retail display to the cash register. Encouraging sales through creative color and commercial retail design is a key element to keeping a customer interested."
  5. 5. What does this mean for you as a store owner? It translates into these five simple goals: Create Excitement – You want your store to draw your customer into your world through the merchandise in it. Stimulate All Five Customer Senses – A great store plays to sensory perception. You want to attract not only with sight, but smells (subtle scents), touch, sound (complementary music) and taste. Create A Successful Floor Plan – Ask yourself, "What is the traffic flow in my store? Do I have enough merchandise to set a promotional display?" Set a clear image of your store layout in order to achieve your end result. 5 GOALS OF GREAT VISUAL MERCHANDISING
  6. 6. Know Your Shopper Demographics – Customer demographics are the who and what of the people coming into your store. Knowing who are you attracting and what they want you to sell to them is imperative. Be Inspired By Others – Visit other retailers and note the differerent environments they offer. What inspires you most about your competitors' stores will likely excite your customers, too. 5 GOALS OF GREAT VISUAL MERCHANDISING
  7. 7. It is also important to add some KAOS! to your store. This means: Kinetic – Your merchandising should depict motion, not just static imagery. Assortment – Your visual merchandising should show depth in your presentation of multiple product offerings. Over Communicate – Your store should carry a sales theme through the department or entire store. Make sure your associates are in the loop. Sale! – Your end result is to attract sales by leading the customer through the entire store. Make sure discount merchandise is in the back of your environment. VISUAL KAOS DRIVES SALES
  8. 8. Use Planograms To Develop Flow A planogram is a diagram that shows how and where specific retail products should be placed on shelves or displays in order to increase customer purchases. Planograms allow you to plan how and what you are merchandising. They help you decide what tools, fixtures or props will be needed. Your planogram should also include a blueprint of the entire store. Ask yourself the following questions Are there any dead spots or un-shoppable corners? What areas of the store will a display have the most impact? Do I have a shipment of product meant for display? If so, do I have enough?
  9. 9. Understand Traffic Flow As you study the traffic flow, put yourself in your customer's shoes and absorb what they see. Outside – Your windows facing the parking lot or walkway outside your entrance set the theme for the visit. Make sure the story you are telling with a display has clarity. Doorway – The first five feet into your store is the transition zone. Not much retail is done here, so there is no real need for merchandising in this area. Entrance – Beyond this area is the strike zone. Place a table presentation, gondola or fixture here with a good average price point. It is helpful to continue the theme from your windows or seasonal merchandise. Do you use KAOS in your visual merchandising? An expert explains» #retail 10:40 PM - 11 May 2015 ASD MarketWeek @ASDShow Follow
  10. 10. Sidewalls – The next stop is the inside wall to the right of the entrance. In western cultures, we tend to move to the right of an obstacle. Continue with the medium-priced product like a secondary promotion. Back of Store – The back of the store should be reserved for high-demand and higher-priced items. This makes your customer walk through the entire store to get to the good stuff. Make sure this area is visible from the front of the store. Walkways – Keep your aisles wide. Make sure you are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. This also helps your customers and staff move efficiently through your store. Point Of Sale – You need great visibility of the sales floor here, especially if you are asking a minimal sales force to police and protect your merchandise. Avoid clutter and keep an open countertop for your guests to place their purchases on. Neatly place add-on and impulse items here.
  11. 11. How To Leverage Fixtures Consider why you use fixtures. Are you fixturing for ease and speed or are you creating ambiance? Make a checklist since you will be looking for sturdy fixtures that offer the most flexibility to your store. Make sure the fixtures relate to your needs and you have the right hardware. Look at the return on your investment, as well. Do not buy an expensive fixture to display low-priced trinkets or onesie sales items. Keep round racks and straight bars for sale merchandise, and use four-ways for non-folded apparel and gondolas for accessories, and tables for folded presentations.
  12. 12. How To Leverage Fixtures continued For any retailer, it's important to remember you don't bog down your sales floor with a huge shelving unit, but also don't waste space by placing a fixture with little impact that may go unnoticed. Think outside the box with your fixture solutions. Furniture makes great displays. Also take advantage of your vendors' hospitality with any fixtures they offer, but don't overdo it when placing them on the sales floor. Too many different themes upset your floor balance and confuse your customer. Be sure to rotate your floor pattern often, especially if you have a repeat customer.
  13. 13. Understand The Use of Lighting How will your guests see the goods? Lighting of course! Lighting is key component in emphasizing your product and promotional displays. Lights fall into three classifications: General lighting – Usually fixed in place on the sales floor. Accent lighting – Used to highlight displays. Task lighting – Utilized for cash wraps, display counters and work spaces. Know about the types of light bulbs (fluorescent, incandescent, halogen and CFLs). Identify the potential cost and weigh your options. Think green here, in regards to both the environment and your wallet!
  14. 14. Strategically Use Signage You can communicate, educate and direct traffic with the help of signs. On the windows up front, promo decals offer a clean and colorful approach to letting your guests know what's inside. Develop a sign template to work from for consistency and to avoid confusing your guest. Invest in a laminating machine, too. Avoid handwritten signs at all cost since they don't look consistent.
  15. 15. Become A Display Expert Next, consider what your display is going to show. Here are the types: Similar product – This will educate your guest about the depth of product you carry in a particular category. Cross-Mix Product – Here, you will mix categories to show a breadth of merchandise. Branded – This will show a specific promotion, and usually offers a mix. Gather up the merchandise and consider props that can help tell your targeted story. Use large items if you can. Use thought-provoking placements, too. You can even create your own props.
  16. 16. How-To Set Up Displays When setting your promotion display tables or walls, follow a theme with your items. Remember the following for organization and arrangement: Light to Dark | Left to Right | Small to Large When placing tables, make a positive impact with your walls. Don't hide the walls. Instead, use your table displays to draw the eye and focus the attention on the wall. Just like table displays, remember to keep your walls full. You don't want blank, negative space. If you have a small area that just can't be merchandised, toss in a cool picture or frame a vendor's logo. Also use props around your forms on shelves.
  17. 17. Use Windows Wisely Leverage your windows with your vendors' marketing budgets. Windows can be used for promotional displays. Props can be helpful with storytelling. If you do go the display route with your window, remember to check it regularly for cleaning, refreshing and maintenance.
  18. 18. Conduct Regular Maintenance Create a maintenance schedule. This will help keep your store looking fresh at all times. Train your associates to reload and recover your displays and floor stock. Refold and resize your promotional displays to avoid confusion. This is an ongoing process. Take a snapshot of your wall sets, table displays and windows and post them, along with the planogram, behind the stockroom door or in a folder behind the counter. That way, your staff can refresh from the visual and make it perfect each time. Written By Steven Fisher Sr. Buyer Relations Manager for Surf Expo, veteran retailer with over 25 years experience in buying and merchandising

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Visual merchandising is important component of retail store sales. If retailers showcase their products in impactful ways, customers will buy. Learn how to visually merchandise your show floor!


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