In today’s extremely competitive retail market, visual merchandising plays an essential role in attracting customers and increasing the store’s conversion rate. It’s often difficult to drag people away from their comfy couches and electronic devices to shop in a physical store. However, once they’ve arrived, the following visual merchandising techniques can help increase in-store sales.
- Window Displays Make First Impression – The front window display has the power to draw in target customers. A bland or disjointed display will be ignored and the passer-by will keep passing by. When designing the front window, displays with movement (or the illusion of movement) and/or a story can make the most impact. Use the same techniques in the front window as you do in-store when combining color, texture and lighting for something eye-catching.
- Appeal to Desires – Once you’ve drawn customers in, it’s essential to appeal to their desires versus just satisfying their needs. A front window display may artfully combine both needs and desires, but displays nearest the entrance should feature solely desires.
- Create a Connection – A customer is more likely to purchase an item if an emotional connection is made. Show how a scarf looks with the rest of the outfit or spotlight that pair of sparkling high heels like they’re just waiting to be slipped on by a princess. Shoppers also like to envision how products may fit into their home — from a fully made bed complete with decorative throw pillows to a “counter” displaying a high-end stand mixer plus baking trays and related accessories.
- Power of Cross-Merchandising – Grocery stores cross-merchandise with great success — placing a display of wine next to their gourmet cheese section or an end-cap cooler containing pre-packaged cookie dough and individual milk bottles. Seasonal displays are a great opportunity to use the power of cross-merchandising, but the technique can be used any time of year. What items in your store naturally complement one another? What items may surprise your shoppers when displayed together?
- Design With Rule of Three and Pyramid Principle – Group items in sets of three because the average person naturally is drawn to this. You may opt for three of the same item but in different colors or three related items (cross-merchandising). When working with the rule of three, don’t forget the pyramid principle. Also simple, yet effective, it can be used on its own or in conjunction with the rule of three. Think of a pyramid — larger at the base and smaller at the top. Arrange displays with the largest item at the center (the base) and the smaller ones at the outer edge. Or, place the tallest item in the center with shorter items on the outside to form the pyramid shape.
- Level-Up With Technology – Utilize technology in your visual merchandising to engage the shopper at the next level. Interactive displays and demonstrations that offer a chance to get involved with the product or to test it can help improve conversion rates.
- Pay Attention to Lighting –Lighting makes a difference. Spotlights on luxury products, accent lighting to create mood, and simulated daylight work effectively to attract customer attention.
- De-Clutter – Consider the adage, less is more. De-clutter displays, so the items you really want seen become the focus. Sometimes a simple display with a trio of items creates more of an impact than a shelf overflowing with the latest arrivals.
- Eliminate the Price Hunt – Shoppers don’t like to search for price tags and many will put a product back instead of asking an associate for its cost. Forcing customers on a price hunt is a quick way to lose sales.
- Keep It Fresh – On average, visual merchandising displays should be changed or rotated every two weeks. Play to the seasons, especially certain times of the year when specific products are in higher demand. Seasonal displays need to be changed when their holiday is over.
- Regularly Update POS Displays – Don’t forget to update your POS displays. Your regular customers will remember what’s on display as they check out and are more likely to grab an extra item if the display is fresh.
Effective visual merchandising has the power to attract new customers, engage shoppers in-store and help increase overall sales. Utilize the above tips and reap the benefits for your store today.
Roy Rochberg is Web Content Manager at UDIZINE, established in 1995 with the vision of creating a range of display fixtures that match functionality to retailers’ needs to produce display and signage products that not only perform but have a strong aesthetic appeal.