Don’t judge a book by its cover. Well, here you got to!
People are certainly judgemental about how things are ‘showcased’ in your store, regardless of how much they cost. Not always, but quality and variants are things your customers would prioritize; pricing stays tertiary. Visual merchandising increases sales. Safe to say, if your product is well displayed, its selling probability gets doubled.
Visual merchandising directly affects your status symbol, and indirectly your business. Talking about retail stores, your conventional customers are well-aware of the sections that might interest them. So, a change in the visual merchandising ideas for retail stores might throw a negative impact, but an innovation or creativity in your interior might work wonders. So, I came up with some interesting visual merchandising ideas for retail that you can make to your store’s and products’ appearance that can have a huge impact on your sales, and ultimately lead to faster movement of your inventory.
Window to the World
Your window display is the brand ambassador of your physical store. It speaks to customers who are passing by and draws them inside the store.
Your window display should be so intriguing that it compels customers to give it a second look. Treat your window display like a stage where your brand has a chance to perform, showcase bestsellers, new stock, and products on sale.
Hotspots are key focal places in a store that generate the most footfall and where stores usually feature the latest promotions.
A few simple yet effective tips for window displays could be:
- Select a theme– it could be a season or a color. Displaying bestsellers and related products in a theme captures the attention of customers and also gives them a context to drive their purchase decision. For example, for the winter season, create a ‘snow’ themed scene and exhibit products like chunky boots, over-coats, knitted caps, leather gloves, thick wool jumpers and the like.
- Keep updating– shuffle and display a variety of products to offer customers something different each time. Refresh every month. Present your latest inventory right in the front to lure in repeat customers into the store.
- Keep seasonal items upfront– especially during the holiday season, keep seasonal items in the center along with some older merchandise. This way customers will have a chance to look at both your seasonal inventory and out-of-stock items.
When it comes to your e-commerce site, treat your homepage as your store window. Your landing page may not drive customer buying decisions directly, but it sure is the hub for navigation. What you display on your homepage will motivate the visitor to venture deeper into the site. Quick tips for homepage visual merchandising are-
- Show products or offers front and center– Merchandise a single offer or product as the hero in your homepage.
- Display individual products, personalize shopping experience– emphasize a single product or product category. you can also personalize the homepage for individual visitors. For instance, show products according to the recent activity of visitors.
Together let’s tell a story
Grouping similar products can kickstart the imagination of customers, giving them ideas on how to use them and tempting them to buy more from you. For instance, place a delicate tea set with napkins and tea cake platters imitating an evening tea party, to appeal to a homemaker’s heart. You can group similar products with the same use, price, color, etc.
From a more utilitarian perspective, grouping like products can save customers’ time so that they don’t have to go around your store scouting for products to match with their purchase.
You can apply the following tips to group similar products in the best possible way-
- The Rule of Three– this rule is given quite a bit of deference across many fields, from literature to trade. The reason being, our eyes are likely to wander if we see something asymmetrical. Observe for yourself, you are more likely to keep looking at a display if it allows you to form a pattern. Here three being the smallest number that allows us to form a pattern becomes important. In visual merchandising, you can set products in various ways in threes, like height-wise, use the formula, ‘small, medium, tall.’
- Something out-of-place– a sure shot way to capture customers’ attention is by placing something unrelated or slightly out-of-place.
Creating themed displays on your web store fulfills the same concept as grouping products together in the brick-and-mortar store. Group products together according to season or theme. Create a colorful design or layout around them.
Believe in the Signs
Signs are extremely important when it comes to visual merchandising for retail. They provide information about products, offers, and promotions and they also help customers navigate their way through your store. You can think of signs as visual cues to strategically guide customers to where you want them to go.
Quick tips to get the most out of your signs-
- Be short and specific- the human attention span is regarded as quite short. So try to be very minimalistic with your retail signage, adding only enough words that an average person can read and understand in a matter of 5-6 seconds.
- Make them talk- Use a conversational tone in your signage, words like ‘you’, ‘your’ work well. This kind of illusion of being spoken to directly, helps customers imagine themselves using your products. They buy more when they feel a personal connection.
- Be bold and clear- use clean fonts, without too many curves. Size them properly to make them legible even from a distance. Signs that are neat with a no-fuss quality, attract customers’ attention and gravitates it toward your products.
Make your Products come Alive
If you want to be super innovative with your visual merchandising, then you can take some inspiration from Abercrombie and Fitch. Utilizing real people as their models instead of mannequins they have turned conventional visual merchandising over its head. When customers pass by their store they see their own selves manifested in these models.
Well, not everyone is Abercrombie and Fitch, so if you don’t have the liberty to hire models, then a quick tip for you. You can have your employees and on-floor sales reps wear the latest apparel so customers can see for themselves.
Product photography and styling will enliven your products in your store. Think of your model products as your shop mannequins and sales reps combined. The way you picture your products on the site should encourage purchases and speak for your brand.
In case of apparel, hire models and photograph them wearing outfits. You can also display complimentary products to drive buying decisions of customers. To make the best out of your products you can try these tricks-
- Picture products from many angles– since customers cannot feel products in their hands online. To compensate for this, e-commerce retailers should photograph products from multiple angles to give a sufficient idea about their look and feel.
- Demo videos– offline store sales representatives can give product demos on the spot especially with appliances and gadgets. Alternatively, online stores can give product videos showing the functions of the item. When it comes to fashion, you have short 10 second videos of models ramp-walking wearing the different outfits.
Turn on the Lights!
More often than not, lighting can become just an afterthought, an additional expense for retailers when it comes to creating alluring store displays. However, lighting can have a crucial effect in bringing out the best of your display to make customers stop and look.
Lighting contributes to the overall atmosphere of your store. It positively impacts your visual merchandising efforts. It acts as a guide to push customers toward a particular display or areas of the store you want to highlight.
Lighting can also have an impact on customer behavior. Research shows that customers tend to spend a greater amount of time in store sections with warmer lighting and that the average sales per customer increased by 1.93% with the introduction of dynamic lighting.
Colors speak Louder than Words
The color scheme you select for your store, displays or signage can affect your sales and entice customers to buy. There’s a simple psyche behind colors- our brains being hyper-visual can associate certain colors with certain emotions. Most often customers recall a color over a product. You can use colors in these ways-
- Red to capture attention– when we see the color red our brains are conditioned to feel danger, or take quick action. Try using red color in your signs, window display, and store interior to create a sense of urgency for customers.
The background color is important too– if a background color is too bright and clashes with the main color of the of the product display, it can divert the attention of customers. Neutral colors such as beige, white, pastel colors can help customers focus their attention solely on the product.
A study by Kissmetrics says increases brand recognition by 80% and that 52% of shoppers don’t return to a website due to its overall aesthetic. Take the example of Lipton. Their website flaunts a bright yellow color to correspond with their brand image and product. Yellow means fun, outdoors, activity, the sun.. and that’s when you imagine yourself doing, sipping chilled ice tea on a warm sunny day right?
Color psychology is the hot topic in the e-commerce world, especially when it comes to website color schemes. Some of the ways you can use the power of color psychology for your web store are-
- Know your target audience– make sure your products match with your audience and color becomes an essential dimension in shaping your brand character. Customers definitely take into account whether your product fits branding; the color palettes you select must coincide with your brand personality.
- Red trumps green– an interesting study by Hubspot found that while A/B testing call-to-action buttons, red buttons outperformed green ones by a mighty 21%. This could simply be because red excites and green relaxes. Thus, each color has certain characteristics associated with it.
- Culture consideration- cultural color perception is very important to consider. For example, in western cultures yellow represents happiness, optimism, joy, and hope, whereas in Germany its the color of envy.
Let your Sales Reports Guide you
Visual merchandising for both your offline and online retail store is one aspect to acquire customers and increase sales. However, before you fully immerse yourself in making your store visually attractive, take a close look at your sales reports and inventory levels, preferably weekly. To do that you can utilize the talents of an inventory management system.
A right inventory management system will give you real-time updates regarding your stock count, the status of your purchase orders and most importantly, an insight into your bestselling and less selling inventory. Armed with this information, you can modify your visual merchandising efforts at your store, keeping the showstoppers up front and slow stock at the back, and update your displays accordingly.
Every retailer loves the sound of customer feet coming in. Visual merchandising in your store can have a huge impact on boosting sales and accelerating the movement of inventory. The key is to make your store do the talking. Creating a pleasant atmosphere for customers by adding these personal touches can greatly help in giving your store a unique personality. Engage the senses of your customers in the best way and they will surely keep coming back for more.