Visual merchandising tips


You might be able to talk the talk of retail sales, but what about the rest of your store? Visual merchandising is an effective tool for maximizing sales if it is done effectively. Let your store speak for itself by following these simple tips.

Make the first impression count
Small retail businesses sometimes overlook the importance of arranging products in front of the window, but you need something to pull customers into your store. Make sure you have an eye-catching window display, especially if your store is not always immediately noticed. The Retail Doctor, Bob Phibbs, recommends putting a somewhat random object in your window display – something that's not a product you sell – to attract the attention of people walking by your shop. He provides the example of a giant, stuffed toy pig among kitchen merchandise. While the point of using this object is to stir enough interest for people to walk into your store, you should pick something that color coordinates with your display so it doesn't look completely misplaced.

The idea of a first impression is not limited to just attracting shoppers from outside. Patrons should also be greeted by a spark of color and creativity with an attractive store-front display once inside the establishment. To do this, present merchandise on a retail display fixture, preferably a table or cart. Add complementing props and decor that not only catch your customers' attention but help to pull the theme together. The location of this display provides the perfect opportunity to feature new products, which should generally be placed in the front of the store.

Customers have a tendency to look left when first entering a store according to Brian Dyches, a chief experience officer of retail branding firm Ikonic Tonic. He suggests that retailers attempt to pull shoppers to the right side of the store to balance this out. Put your visually stimulating products on the right side, or have your employees greet customers from that direction to shift shopper focus.

Alignment and spacing
If you have aisles of clothes racks or shelving units, place them at an angle that shakes up the monotony of horizontal lines. Additionally, include breaks within the rows of product. The shopping hypnosis caused by long aisles prevents patrons from noticing all of your merchandise.

Embrace change
A sure way to capitalize on visual merchandising is to switch it up regularly. Avoid waiting for holidays to change the scenery or else you won't be doing it frequently enough. About once a month, swap the location of your clothes racks for your mannequin stands, pull your new product to the front of the store and revamp your window display.

Visual merchandising can be effective if you arrange your store's layout with the customer in mind. Continue to research what's trending in retail and update your store accordingly.


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