Visual merchandising is an important part of your overall store success. Customer shopping journey is directly linked to making your retail space appealing to customers and ensuring they can feel comfortable. So what does this really mean for your shop? It’s simple. When you can establish an emotional connection between the environment where your products are and the customers, who actively engage with it, then you’re on the right path.
How can a good Visual Merchandising plan influence customer journey?
The importance of a visual merchandiser lies in the fact that they are able to embody the cultural values and the emotions of brands in your shop. This, in turn, leads to increased awareness and loyalty for brands. After all, the ultimate goal is to invite the customers into your shop where they can experience a connection with your products often based on emotional cues. This is based on the aesthetics of your shop, the environment and the displays used with the shop.
In short, without using any of the industry jargon, visual merchandising done right translates to creating the right experience that is able to inspire your customers, visit your shop again and keep on buying from you. This process is related to both the outside and the inside of your shop.
What are the elements of a good Visual Merchandising?
A visual merchandising plan done right includes all the areas of your shop – this means your windows as well. This is the first place that potential customers see and this is where their journey begins. Being able to grab their attention from the first moment means that there are more chances of them trying out your store.
By creating an initial emotional response from them or giving them an experience they can relate to allows the customers to establish a rapport with your store and as their curiosity peaks, they are more inclined to step inside. This is often achieved through incorporating different displays, installations and props, making use of lighting and video as well.
You could probably recall a very good example of storytelling in visual merchandising during the Christmas or summer holiday seasons where shop windows are decorated in a way that invites the customers to place themselves in the decor of the shop.
Just like the window displays, there’s a whole world when it comes to in-store displays too. The elements you combine play an equal role in assuring the overall in-store atmosphere contributes to the customers shopping journey. The layout of the store along with the product placements is an obvious one, but there are other elements contributing to a successful visual merchandising. Wall fixings, displays, clean aisles and pathways are also equally important. Taking into account where the newest products are placed, what promotions are running and what are the best selling products add into the mix.
Colours and Textures
Colours are a deal-breaker if they aren’t combined in the right way. Even if your visual display looks interesting and dynamic if you choose colours that are either too bland or too extreme, they might end up deferring your potential clients. Contracts work the best, along with monochromatic colours. Combined together they can achieve the right effect.
Themes are also an important aspect of your visual merchandising. After all, you should be thinking of this as a story-telling experience for your customers. Like a regular story, think of a central theme that you want to bring into your shop. It’s even been suggested in studies that having a theme allows your customers to relate to your shop and treat it as a comfortable space. Themes can accompany new product launches. They can also mark the beginning of a product rebranding. When it comes to choosing the right colours, ensure they work with the brand, the season and the overall look of the store. There should be synergy between the colours and undertones of the theme.
Keep it simple
You can easily get carried away with all the many aspects of visual merchandising but you have to remember that simplicity is key. Overwhelming your customers with too many displays has a negative impact. Messages would get lost in translation, customers get more confused and all the effort will be in vain. Focus on selecting certain products to be displayed an think about your target audience and what products they would want to shop for. Determine what products needs to be in the front and which at the back.
Is the online shopping experience going to take over?
We’ve seen how major incidents can reduce everyone to buy from online stores only. But real experiences are not the same as virtual ones. Wheres convenience and shopping from the comfort of your bed might be efficient, studies show that people prefer experiences that include tangible. You can see why building a retail store with cues that allow customers to develop a connection has a direct link to an increase in sales.
Visual merchandising plays a crucial role in facilitating. And if you think it’s going obsolete, the short answer is no.