5 Visual Merchandising Tips to Boost Retail Performance

Talitha Loftus
Talitha Loftus
Marketing Manager

Effective merchandising displays capture shoppers’ attention and drive sales, and a handful of quick and easy-to-implement tips can make all the difference.

Visual merchandising is about presenting your retail space in a way that maximizes your sales. The power of visual appeal cannot be overstated in retail. From storytelling to playing with contrasting heights, there are many tricks of the trade that retailers can use to optimize their merchandising efforts.

Don’t miss out on these five must-try tips and tricks to boost your visual merchandising performance.

Define your target market and campaign goals

First things first, define your target market and profile your shoppers. Analyzing your shoppers inside and out will help tremendously when creating effective product displays. Dig deep and get to know the type of lifestyle your customers enjoy. Examine their hobbies, needs and interests by conducting on-site surveys and researching their LinkedIn and other social media profiles.  

Next step, take a few moments to define your campaign goals. They should be clear, realistic, specific and measurable. Is your goal to introduce new products, promote a sale or generate awareness for an upcoming event? Defining your brand goals and target market will help you in choosing the correct materials for your in-store displays.

Unleash the power of storytelling

Use stories to spark imagination, inspires new styles and trigger emotions. Retail storytelling is one of the most critical factors in creating a great experience for your shoppers. Stories that form an emotional connection with the customer can have a long-lasting effect on the in-store shopper journey. They give your brand a voice and move it away from being “just” a retail store. Giving your brand a personality ignites a human element and allows customers to connect on a more personal level.

A great place to start your offline storytelling is at your window displays. Often window displays are the first point of non-digital interaction with your brand. If you are looking for inspiration and creative ideas, don’t forget to use free online tools such as Pinterest. Consider setting up your product displays in a way that shoppers can envision your items in their own home (or wearing them, in the case of apparel). Examine your floor layout with a fresh set of eyes to see how you can utilize in-store branding and fixtures to communicate your message.

Fuel interaction with contrasting heights

Use contrasting heights and depths to grab customer interest. Varying heights can fuel interaction among shoppers and products. For example, put tall standing book shelves up against your wall, use low hanging lights and a coffee table to rest your products. This step-down effect allows for eye movement from one focal point to another, and will spark interest and give shoppers the opportunity to observe your products from different perspectives. If you find yourself struggling, try using the the pyramid principle for product placement ideas and visual hierarchy.  

Look at creating a clear focal point and position supporting products that cascade below it. Consider angling your displays at 90 degrees rather than laying them flat/horizontally. This makes it easier for the customer to interact and observe the product on display.

Emphasize effective retail signage

Drive exposure and ignite engagement by adding a few well-placed, well- worded signs inside and outside your store. Make sure they are short and easy to read. If your customers are mostly seniors, make it easy for them by using larger fonts. If you’re using handwritten signs, stay away from scribbled signs made with a marker. Rather use a chalkboard or on-brand stock paper. If you’re targeting children, try using chalkboard signs instead, as toddlers and other young adults can easily relate to this type of graphic.

If you have the extra cash, consider investing in digital signs. Digital signs allow retailers to quickly update in-store prices and product information. This can be useful when it comes to running flash sales and seasonal events. Another key tip is to consider researching the average height of your target market to better understand where you should place your signs.

Track it

Lastly with all the effort you’ve put into your visual merchandising displays, don’t forget to measure and track your hard work. Use interior analytics like dwells to determine effectiveness at engaging shoppers and converting, and if something really takes off, be prepared to respond immediately. And, If something doesn’t sell, try moving the same display to another location before giving up on it.

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