Visual merchandising color strategies that work


Visual merchandising is a key component to building your retail store's brand and creating an environment that optimizes consumer sales. Think about colors as a key tool for visual merchandising. Different shades and hues can attract attention, pulling customers into your store, or they can evoke emotions, providing a storyline for shoppers to follow. In order to make the most out of your visual merchandising strategy, you have to know how to use colors effectively. Check out these tips for incorporating color into your store:

Choosing the appropriate color combinations
Depending on which colors you choose and how you use them, they can make or break a display. It's fun to mix and match, but it must be done in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. While you want the colors to speak to your retail store's unique brand, it's important that they make sense to the customers' eyes.

Joann Eckstut, an expert on color coordinating, explained at the Winter Institute 9 session "Creating Compelling In-Store Displays" that there are specific strategies to accomplishing this, according to the American Booksellers Association. Specifically, retailers must follow three main color schemes: monochromatic, analogous and complementary. The monochromatic color scheme uses different shades and hues of a single color, the analogous color schemes utilizes uses three colors side by side on the color wheel (such as light green, dark green and light blue), and complementary colors sit directly across from each other (such as green and red).

The impact of a backdrop
Whether you're organizing an in-store or window display, the background color can be used as a tool to highlight the actual merchandise. According to the Houston Chronicle, neutral colors such as white, beige and light hues of cool colors will put the attention on the products, while a loud, bold background can clash with the items' colors.

If you decide you want to go with more adventurous, fun colors for the backdrop, stick to a monochromatic color scheme. This way, the walls, ceilings, floors and backgrounds of displays can show off the retail store's personality but not distract customers from the products you're trying to sell.

Background colors can be achieved in more ways than a display backdrop or painted walls. Another option is to utilize colorful LED lights. This dual purpose investment will not only provide light for customers, but it can also contribute to your visual merchandising strategy if they are placed near displays.

Ask: Is it worth the investment?
The answer is always yes – if the color coordination is done correctly. Incorporating colors into your visual merchandising strategy is an investment that can boost your sales, but it requires an initial cost. Jonah Zimiles, a bookstore owner from New Jersey, experienced first hand the economic benefits of incorporating colors. An advertising agency provided services to Zimiles to develop his store's visual merchandising strategy.

"We've had double digit sales increases each of our five years that we've been in business, and we think that by keeping this consistent branding, it's been extremely helpful," said Zimiles at the Winter Institute 9 session, according to the ABA.

While advice on visual merchandising strategy might be free, the cost for paint and retail display fixtures is not. That being said, don't let the price tag of initial costs deter you from investing in visual merchandising strategies. It will pay off in the end.

With the right tips and tricks, you can easily incorporate colors into your visual merchandising strategy and reap the benefits. Remember to pick colors that not only coordinate with each other but also reflect your retail space's unique identity.


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