In the business of retail, visual merchandising is the first form of selling. Before a customer enters a store’s premises, your window displays will sell your product. And once you convince them with your window displays and they enter your store, before your sales representative talks to them, your in-store layout will determine if they will stay or walk out.
That’s how important visual merchandising is. It increases your brand’s visibility, expresses your brand story, and enhances brand loyalty. Without it, retail will reach its end. It will go back to its archaic ways of selling—only displaying the product to tell the customers they are open for business. Imagine how traders do it with their makeshift stalls. Retail will lose its art and business. Without visual merchandising, retail will not evolve.
Recently, you probably hear the phrase: retail is dead. Because of the rise of e-commerce, there is a vast disruption in retail. And you probably heard the news about Forever 21—one of the biggest retailers in the world—filing for bankruptcy. Somehow, it confirms that phrase; we question ourselves if retail is really dead. Is there a point to invest in brick and mortar? Is there a point to do visual merchandising displays?
But the truth behind that phrase, retail is not dead. Boring retail is.
According to a study by Geoblink, 68% of retailers planned to open more establishments this year. Even with the increase of retail stores reported a closing, this study proves the importance of physical stores in driving sales for retailers. This and the case of Forever 21 proves that mediocre customer experience and uninspiring visual merchandising displays are getting crushed. Now, it is not enough to look good. Entertaining visual merchandising displays that impact customer experience define modern visual merchandising.
If executed properly and done with innovation and creativity, retailers will reap the benefits of visual merchandising.
So let’s have a round-up of these benefits to inspire you to be more innovative and creative on your visual merchandising techniques:
Benefits of Visual Merchandising in Retail
As a retailer, you need to communicate your unique brand story to your customers. This will determine your relevance as a brand. In a saturated industry, this will make you stand out. And visual merchandising is a form of storytelling.
With all the types of visual merchandising, you can express how you want to be perceived by your customers. This will also help them to identify if you are the brand that can help them solve their pain points as a consumer. With visual merchandising, you will be able to communicate with your customers without pitching a boring sales talk.
2. Increased customers and sales
No doubt, visual merchandising is the ultimate retail bait. It can attract new customers by simply creating mesmerizing window displays, then it can increase your store’s foot traffic. It can increase the number of loyal customers in your store. And if they enter your premises and experience a great time within your in-store visual, from product placement to sale signage and floor plans, they will surely make a purchase that will help to boost your sales.
3. Adds product value
Based on history, visual merchandising has always been about adding value to your product. A product with low demand can be strategically highlighted with the right visual merchandising techniques. You can sell these products without reducing its retail price. It is a way of being strategic on how to market your products to your customers.
4. Improve the shopping experience
Visual merchandising is one of the marketing factors responsible for defining your customer experience. It can manipulate how your store’s ambiance and overall look can affect their shopping experience. Hence, you must utilize visual merchandising to get this benefit that recently becomes more important as customers become wiser and practical.
Creative and innovate visual merchandising techniques are effective. Learn from how Forever 21’s mistake and go beyond the box. Aside from basic techniques of well-stocked shelves or prominent sale signs, think how visual merchandising can improve your customer’s shopping experience that will have a positive effect on your retail sales.
Visual merchandising is your innate expression of advertising. As a retailer, it gives you different ways to advertise your product to your customers. Those promotional signages are a type of visual merchandising. You can think of it as free advertising. If you have other brands or selling channels, like e-commerce, you can use visual merchandising to promote it. Think of high-tech platforms integrating your digital assets on your brick and mortar or fixtures that can help you interactively express sales and promotions.
Follow us on LinkedIn to get a daily insight about visual merchandising.