We all know the role merchandising plays in enhancing the in-store experience of customers in retail. But it's one thing enhancing the customer-shopping experience. The merchandising strategies in place should end up driving the overall sales performance in the store considerably.
Visual Merchandising involves everything that the store uses to attract and lure customers, which includes signage, POS displays, retail window displays, etc.
Let's have a look at how visual merchandising should be deployed in order to elevate sales and the in-store experience of customers.
Optimize the Retail Space
Retailers have to incur the expenses of their valuable retail space, and for this reason should look to maximize their returns from it. Packing as many products per square metre may appear to be the popular choice for driving sales, but need not necessarily enhance the in-store experience of customers. In stores with high foot falls, too many products might lead to cramping up of browsing space. Customer movements in-store should not be hampered. Effective visual merchandising would involve the analysis of the different cost of fixtures, POS marketing, and the optimum amount of store merchandising required in terms of the amount of products to be packed per unit of space. This will help in delivering better margins by maximizing the available retail space without compromising on customer experience.
Think from the customer's shoes
It has to be understood that the best way to drive sales is by making the customer happy and meeting their expectations in-store. Hence, thinking from a customer's perspective makes it easier to understand what their wants and needs are exactly. This will further help in the understanding of what kind of merchandising displays will have an impact on them. The retailer should know what to promote depending on the kind of store it is, and the type of customer turnout that he expects. For instance, if the store is a high-end premium retailer, then the kind of customers that are likely to turn up will not be that bothered about what offers are available. In such a case, the brand story or the product should be promoted.
Changing Visual Merchandising Displays shouldn't alter Brand Identity
One of the ways to generate consistent sales is by maintaining a high degree of customer loyalty. Loyal customers keep coming back for more purchases because they are in sync with the existing brand identity. And it is the brand identity again that helps in creating an impression in the minds of the new shoppers. It should be ensured that the brand identity remains the same and perfectly complements the way products are presented during changing the visual merchandising displays. Any mismatch can prove to be detrimental to the way customers react and respond to the various merchandising initiatives.
Keep Innovating with Merchandising Designs to maintain sales
Customer expectations soar high in this day and age. They are always expecting something new when they decide to go back to a particular store. Retailers should come up with creative and innovative ideas of displaying products every now and then in order to keep up to the expectations of the customers. Creative merchandising designs always add to the overall in-store experience that the customer has. This eventually leads to customers making repeat purchases and thereby allows retailer to maintain the level of sales.
Resort to Balanced Merchandising with Store Planograms
A clear and concrete visual overview of the products in collection should be available to understand how to go about the merchandising part. A balanced product collection involves the analysis of the existing range of collection and the creation of one that can improve the key performance indicators within the store. The overview provided by store planograms will help in providing enough clarity to deliver the collection in the most informative way, so that the stores know what to put exactly and where. This will certainly aid customers when they walk into the store by enhancing their shopping experience and also increase the retailers' chance to score more conversions.
Increase Shopper Engagement with Visual Storytelling
Merchandising displays go a long way in capturing the customer's imagination. Visual storytelling through these displays can further increase the overall engagement levels of the customers. Storytelling can be done by incorporating the distinct elements of the 4Ws. They stand for who, what, why and where. 'Who' is attributed to the personality of the customers. 'What' and 'why' can be attributed to the products being sold and the reasons why one should be interested in them respectively. 'Where' accounts for the place of availability. These four elements can be combined to depict a visual story through merchandising. This will have a very powerful impact on the customers' mind and will definitely help in driving sale.