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Visual Merchandising: How to make maximum impact for minimum investment – Part 2

This part of the feature considers what can be done for maximum impact and for minimum investment to really engage and inspire shoppers, to encourage them to buy more of the products you want them to, increasing your sales, margin and return on space… and there are a number of things you can do to make significant impact for little cost.

Written By:
Kelly Molson
  • 12/11/2011
  • 5 Mins to Read
  • By: Kelly Molson
  • Share

1. Make the interior (and exterior) of your store as inviting as you can…

  • A tidy store is a must. De-clutter! Remove anything that isn’t adding to your brand.
  • Keep the decor, floors and windows clean. Ensure the flooring is suitable for you target customers. Try out different fragrances to keep the store smelling fresh.
  • Make the most of the space you have but allow plenty of room for movement, remember your customers may have large trolleys or buggies with them. Don’t make them feel claustrophobic – sometimes there is commercial benefit to having empty space!
  • Ensure you have good lighting that helps the customers navigate the store and highlights key promotions. Use lighting to draw them into the store, don’t have any dark corners!
  • Use music to enhance the atmosphere – unless you are running a library a little background noise makes customers more comfortable to have conversations as they feel they are less easily overheard. Ensure your choice of music is relevant to your target customer AND make sure you’re not in breach of any public performance rights!

A tidy store is a must. De-clutter! Remove anything that isn’t adding to your brand.

2. Present your products clearly, full shelves, clearly and correctly labelled.

  • Products must be clearly and correctly labelled, with more product information available as required. Pricing and offers must be understandable
  • Shelves should be well stocked but not over full and cramped as this will not only look bad but detract from the product itself. The last thing you need is for a customer to attempt to take a product off the shelf and cause an avalanche – they will be embarrassed and your product may well get damaged!
  • Allow the customer more information about a product but not too much that the offer and pricing is misunderstood.
  • Packaging should be not only informative but ideally part of the overall merchandising appeal
  • Some products can be purchased pre-merchandised within an attractive free standing display unit – but beware – too many of these can over crowd the store!

3. Analyse everything… know the commercial basis for every decision you make – because after all, you are running a business…

  • Know the cash margins every product contributes, the volumes you sell and determine what value each product has in your range. Don’t forget to consider the value-add of certain products e.g. tend to be purchased with other key items…
  • Define the maximum SKU count your store(s) can accommodate and stick to that. If you want to list a new item ask yourself what it replaces… consider the impact on your profitability as well as your aesthetics and product presentation when making a range
  • Trial changes to find out what impact they have – try different layouts, new products, different promotions. Ask customers what they think and also measure the sales and margin impact. You’ll only know if a change improves things if you try it – and keep an eye on your KPIs!

Summing up – Why you need to really focus on your visual merchandising…

Visual merchandising can make a good retail outlet great. Investing a little time and effort in giving your store a facelift can make a world of difference. Engaging some professional services to help with your branding, your window displays or your in store signage can make you really stand out from the crowd. Ruthlessly looking at your products profitability in the context of what presence on the display space you give them could give you competitive advantage… in a crowded market you need to pull out all the stops to give your customer the shopping experience they really want – but you can expect to reap the rewards when you get it right.

Visual merchandising can make a good retail outlet great.