There are times when products that were thought to be of high quality, that every market test and analysis concluded were going to be a hit with the market, failed miserably. When that happens, there is a tendency to either blame the producer, the market research company or even the economy. However, in many cases, it turns out that it is not just about the quality of the products; presentation of the product is also an essential component of the sales process.
Sales are dependent on good marketing. A huge part of retail marketing is visual merchandising. Those retail organizations and retail space owners that understand this concept are the most successful in the industry today. Retailers who fail to make the link between good visual merchandising displays and sales continue to struggle.
The most important element of visual merchandise displays is the psychology behind the process. People buy emotionally even though they justify their decision rationally. Consequently, it is imperative that the psychological aspect of visual merchandise display is given prime consideration in any retail organization.
What Is Visual Merchandising?
Visual merchandising displays are the presentation of products, packaging and pricing in a way that it appeals to a target market. It is a way of promoting the sale of products at a retail store incorporating the principles of: the right merchandise sold at the right place at the right season, at the right price, at the right time.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder however; we can influence shopper’s behaviour and predisposition to buy our products by the way in which it is displayed. It takes passion, creativity and dynamism to create an effective display that captivates the mind.
Merchandise displays must convey the goals, philosophy and brand of the retail organization. It also needs to tell a story that relates directly to the prospective buyer.
With so much merchandise available for consumers to choose from, every retailer must understand that the psychology of visual merchandise display is pertinent to them achieving their objectives of enticing the customers and persuading them to buy.
How to Implement an Effective Visual Display using psychology:
Below are steps to follow to create an effective visual merchandise display:
Step 1- Set a clear objective of the visual merchandise display. Is it for promotional purposes, or to create brand awareness?
Step 2- Identify your target audience: their age group, gender, profession etc. and create a display that appeals to that particular target audience.
Step 3- Make your display tell a story; the story of your brand and the products in your store.
Step 4- Ensure the display stand is accessible and never empty. The display must be neatly arranged however, it does not need to be so neat that the prospect feels that no one is buying it.
Step 5- There must be a balance between creativity and customer understanding of the display. If it is too designee it could end up confusing the prospect.
Step 6- The display must be refreshed frequently to give the feeling of newness to the look of the display. Ensure you use adjustable props that can be rearranged to look different.
Visual merchandising is the art of displaying merchandise in a manner that is appealing to the eyes. As the saying goes “First impressions last”, this is also true in the world of merchandising display.
Why is Technology Good For Merchandise Display?
Visual merchandising display technologies attract attention, stimulate customer’s senses and provide a wonderful shopping experience resulting in return purchases and customer loyalty.
The following are the most widely used merchandise technologies:
The planogram is a visual diagram or drawing that provides visual merchandisers with details of the location of every product to be displayed in a retail store. These schematics not only present a flow chart for the particular merchandise departments within a store layout but also instruct on the specific aisle and shelf an item is to be displayed.
Benefits that a retailer can gain from using planogram software –
1. Makes inventory work much easy.
2. Provides information on product location and quantity
3. Tells what should be stocked and the sizes/colours that works best for particular shelf.
4. Encourages customers to buy and help them to be sold on your products.
Light quality is vital for a retail store. LED lighting ensures products are seen in their actual colours and quality. LED lighting is not solely known for their energy saving and appealing ambiance but they also create a warm welcoming atmosphere.
Benefits that a retailer can gain from using LED Lighting –
1. LED lighting is digitally programmed to produce the exact colour light required in each area.
2. This gives the products a more emotional appeal to shoppers enhancing the freshness and glow.
3. It consumes less energy than fluorescent lighting.
4. It can be focused exactly where it is needed and in the right colour; enabling more sophisticated lighting set up.
5. Help retail businesses that are hinged on creating a harmonious mood with decor and lighting.
Used to display merchandise for sale in the store, window displays show potential customers items that are on sale inside the shop in a bid to attract customers and entice them to enter the store.
Below are tips for creating a good merchandise window display:
1. Create a simple but effective window display; less is more.
2. Ensure the products stand out.
3. Use good lighting to highlight products.
4. Arrange merchandise in a pyramid form or stack them.
5. Make creative use of mannequins.
6. Tell a story with your display.
7. The theme of the display needs to be clear to the customer.
8. Use visual effects to make the display more attractive.
9. Use display monitors and other window display technologies to enhance your display.
However, many business owners without sufficient time or expertise tend to have the misconception that the visual merchandising of their store is not that difficult to maintain. They argue that only an attractive atmosphere and environment is needed to increase their customers and the sales.
There are also a lot of traps associated with it as well. If the visual merchandising ideas and techniques are not used appropriately, they may actually have the opposite effect and put people off coming into the shop. Hence, it is imperative to study before you actually implement any or all of the above parameters to your retail store.