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Window displays: helping to lead the shopper to a remarkable shopping experience


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In the face of the apparent crumbling retail sector, executing a successful visual merchandising strategy is especially important for a brand to survive and prosper.

This visual merchandising guide for retail brands in 2018 is a step-by-step guide to planning and propelling an effective visual marketing procedure to support an image’s net revenue.

Why visual merchandising and retail go hand in hand

The procedure of visual promoting includes deliberately planning the design of a whole shop floor — including racks and item shows — to give an additionally captivating, energising and productive shopper encounter.

According to chief executive officer, Bob Phibbs, who runs The Retail Doctor retail consultancy firm in New York: “Visual merchandising is everything a shopper sees at your store that hopefully leads to a remarkable shopping experience. It is the unspoken language retailers use to communicate with their customers.”

In any case, there’s something else entirely to visual promoting than simply placing items in a specific place. There’s a science behind why certain presentations, structures and even colours deliver a better experience than alternative arrangements, and it’s been established that a strong visual display can raise turnover and strengthen a brand; even inspiring customer loyalty in the process.

So, how do maximise the potential of visual merchandising at your retail store and avoid falling into the difficulties that the likes of Toys R Us and Maplin have suffered?

Focus on the needs, not the wants

By 2020, global retail sales are anticipated to hit USD 27.73 trillion, so there’s clearly scope for your brand to maximise its profits and get a share of this growth in the next few years.

The first step to achieving effective visual merchandising is what products will be used to attract consumers. A tip here is to go for what the customer wants — not needs.

According to a study by Raj Raghunathan and Szu-Chi Huang, emotional responses are influential in our purchasing choices — which is why you should focus on giving the customer something to desire.

Place higher quality items in the visual merchandising strategy so that customers can see them first over other items when it comes to treating themselves. Also use something quirky like a personalised travel mug to showcase off an eye-catching product.

Group displays

Ideally, think about products that complement each other. A recent report found that exposing your shopper to the maximum number of products is a tactical method when carrying out visual merchandising.

However, don’t make your displays look crowded. Utilise different display furniture, such as mannequins, racks and shelves — whichever suits the product you’re merchandising — and bear in mind that focal points boost sales by a reported 229%, so ensure that you effectively direct your consumers when they enter your store.

You should also consider two proven marketing theories – the ‘Pyramid Principle’ or ‘Rule of Three’ method when it comes to throwing products together on a stand. The Pyramid Principle dictates that you create a triangular display, with the biggest item in the middle and the smallest on the outside — which ensures that your display doesn’t look flat and boring.

Instead, it will catch the eye, as the products seem to ‘fall’ down towards the viewer. Equally effective is the Rule of Three. Within this, you create attractive asymmetry that shoppers will find engaging. Apparently, humans see asymmetry as normal — which means they pay less attention. By placing product in groups of three, you can create a noticeable imbalance that forces the eye to take in each product individually, as opposed to the display in its entirety — excellent for effectively advertising each item.

Colours

Contrasting colours at the opposite side of the colour wheel can help grab attention — think black and white or scarlet and jade — but creating a multi-coloured display of uncoordinated colours may turn people away.

Featuring a decompression zone

This area of the shop is the first bit you come into and is believed by psychologists to elevate a shopper’s mood, acclimatise them to the store’s surroundings and get them ready for the shopping experience.

In order to help improve a customer’s experience, ensure that their mood can be calmed. An effective decompression zone will help transport your consumer from the hustle and bustle of outside to a calmer, more focused environment that encourages browsing. Here are decompression zone tips:

* Minimum of 10-15 feet.

* Based at shop entry with a full view of store.

* Created using contrasting furnishings and colours from outside area to signal new atmosphere.

* Use mannequins, attractive stands and specialised lighting to highlight your newest ranges.

A study found that 98% of customers will turn right upon entering a shop floor. Why not use your decompression zone to create a ‘circulation route’ from the right side that leads around your store for a smoother customer journey? Or, try placing your best products at the right of your decompression zone, if this is the most likely route consumers take.

Don’t just use the visual sense

Fail to forget the other sense and you’re already giving your competitors the advantage! Reportedly, 75% of emotions come from smell and our mood is meant to enhance 40% when we detect pleasant aromas. If you run a fragrance, soap or food retail establishment, are you harnessing the power of smell when it comes to merchandising?

The brain has the ability to link certain smells and tastes with certain memories and experiences, capitalise on this by linking the two together. If you run a bakery and want to evoke a feeling of warmth, cosiness and home-cooking; ensure that your customers can distinctly smell your products baking from the kitchen by setting up the area to waft aromas into the main shop.

Similarly, if your brand specialises in soaps and toiletries, place these strategically around your shop floor to avoid clashing aromas. For example, put all the citrus products together to evoke a sense of energy and rejuvenation and keep these far away from lavender and camomile scents, which are more relaxing.

Rotation and frequency

Even when you like the floor that you recently changed, you should be thinking about what the next stage could look like. A major part of tactical visual merchandising is moving your presentations as new stock comes in. Don’t let customers get bored of visiting you — keep changing things up and you can make it look like you’re constantly replenishing your stock and bringing in new and wonderful items (even if you’re not).

Promotions and seasonal goods have a time limit, so don’t fall behind and give your customers the impression you’re lazy. Change your visual merchandising displays every month and retain the perception of innovation.

According to predictions, shopping is expected to transform, leaning more towards ‘the experience’ rather than simply buying. With visual merchandising, you can ensure that your shop offers something engaging to keep consumers interested — so why not start planning out your shop’s next visual merchandising campaign today?

Sources:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/uk-retail-sector-sales-ms-house-fraser-trouble-online-amazon-business-rate-a8367081.html

https://www.indiaretailing.com/2018/07/16/retail/shop-windows-that-stop-the-art-of-visual-merchandising/

This article was supplied by Where The Trade Buys, retailers of outdoor signs.

It appears under the terms of the DB Direct service



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