1 - Switch it up
Whether it’s a promotional product drive, a change of seasons or a particular holiday, adjusting your displays to suit is your most logical step. Highlight new arrivals in your store layout first and foremost, and remember to play it smart with product grouping – you don’t want to miss the opportunity for an add-on sale.
2- What people want
Your visual merchandising efforts are best directed towards the sort of products that your customers want, as opposed to the ones they need. Someone might come to your store with the intention of buying any old version of the product they need, but it’s your job to highlight the more premium (and expensive) option. Put simply – don’t put the generic hand mixer on a pedestal when you could be spotlighting the KitchenAid.
3- The common link
While grouping your stock by product works in a grocery store or supermarket, things in other retail sectors require more nuance. Make sure your visual merchandising strategy includes some displays according to product use – for example, the on-sell opportunity of grouping a teapot, tea cosy, mugs, silverware and a platter. Displaying by colours can also create a dynamic and eye-catching effect.
4- See the signs
The importance of quality signage in your retail store cannot be overstated, especially in your visual merchandising strategy. Be diligent with your sign placements, paying attention to stock you want to highlight. Keep text clear, short, sharp and punchy – highlight key information and follow the vibe of your store when it comes to tone. Be mindful to use appropriate font sizes, especially if your store services the elderly or vision-impaired.
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression – so focusing your energy on the front of your store is paramount. Spotlight your newest and most expensive items, playing with height and levels to create visual interest. Be sure to leave enough space between products so that people can easily pick them up without disrupting the whole display. It’s also important to keep that shop front spick and span – greasy fingerprints and dust bunnies don’t take long to pile up, so be vigilant.
6- Take a picture
In the age of social media, having an Instagram-worthy display is basically opening yourself up to free advertising. Curate something that would look stunning in a quick snap, and even consider branding your mirrors with decals that would be clearly visible in a sneaky changing-room selfie.
7- Throw a curveball
It might sound silly, but putting something totally random in your front window display is actually a genius visual merchandising move. A cute stuffed cow amongst a sea of gardening tools or a bright pink cowboy hat on top of a pile of corn chips is going to make people stop and look – and that’s half the battle in a competitive retail market.
8- Illuminate it
One of the easiest ways to make your stock pop is with clever lighting – after all, they call it a spotlight for a reason! Make sure your best-sellers are always well lit and don’t be afraid to get a bit dramatic – adjust overhead lighting for extra oomph, invest in some fairy lights for additional softer glow, or even grab some strip lighting for an affordable illumination boost on your shelves.
9- Keep track
Every retail space and its demographic is different, so you need to pay attention to what your customers respond to (and what they couldn’t care less about). Monitor your stock levels carefully, paying attention to how you present your heavy-hitting items and if their position impacts sales. If a particular product isn’t taking off, try moving the same display elsewhere or experiment with different product placement before writing it off.
10- Awaken the senses
Sure, it’s called visual merchandising – but you also have four other perfectly good senses to engage when trying to entice your customers. Things like food tastings to appeal to taste or an artfully placed oil diffuser to create an atmospheric scent can actually be powerful tools for your business. Just be mindful that too much of a good thing can put people off – go easy on scents and music volume.