#1) Expand Beyond The Visual Sense
Shoppers have five senses – touch, sight, sound, smell and taste – so don't focus your merchandising efforts strictly on what you can see. Dozens of Sony stores, for instance, feature large devices that spray scents of vanilla, mandarin, bourbon and other ingredients to make shoppers feel more comfortable buying their products.
Image provided by ThinkRetail via Flickr Creative Commons
#2) Follow The Rule of Three
Try to get into the habit of grouping products, mannequins, and props in threes. According to the e-commerce service provider Shopify, shoppers are more likely to stop when they see symmetrical or balanced designs. You can create such designs by grouping items in threes, encouraging shoppers to take notice of your products.
#3) Make it Relevant To Your Target Audience
Who is most likely to purchase your store's product? You should have a clear understanding of your store's target audience when creating a product display, using elements to which they can relate.
#4) Planograms... Use Them
If you aren't using planograms, you are missing out on one of the easiest ways to plan and structure your store's merchandise. As the name suggests, a “planogram” is a visual representation of a store's product layout, including helpful metrics like shelf height, product dimensions, UPC/SKU numbers, and more.
#5) Set The Mood
You can trigger visceral emotions in shoppers by setting the mood with your product displays. For instance, red is an excellent choice because it's associated with passion. Green, on the other hand, is associated with Eco-friendly.
#6) Tell a Story
If you look at some of the most effective product displays by the nation's largest retailers, you'll notice they all have one thing in common: they tell a story. Regardless of what you are trying to sell, you should present it by telling a story in your display.
#7) Keep it Simple
Contrary to what some retail store owners may believe, simple product designs usually trump their complex counterparts. If there's too much going on with your display, shoppers may overlook the product and its respective benefits. Keep your store's displays simple, concise and straight-to-the-point to boost shopper engagement.
#8) Identify a Focal Point
All retail product displays should have a central point of focus. This goes hand-in-hand with the “keep it simple” tip mentioned above. When shoppers are presented with a product display, their attention should naturally shift towards their focal point.
#9) Group Similar Products Together
Who says you have to limit yourself to using a single product in your store's displays? Try grouping similar products together to boost sales. Also known as cross-merchandising, this is a highly effective yet simple way to boost sales and overall shopper satisfaction.
#10) Lighting Matters
You can spend countless hours crafting the perfect display, but it's not going to have much of an effect unless shoppers are able to see it. Make sure your product and displays are illuminated to improve their visibility.
#11) Change It Up
Visual merchandising isn't something that you can set and forget. Shoppers grow tired of seeing the same display time after time, at which point it has little-to-no effect on them. Even if you have an effective display, you should still change it on regular basis, implementing new products and props.
#12) Keep It Clean
I know this probably sounds like common sense to most experienced retail store owners and visual merchandisers, but it's still worth mentioning that you should spend some time maintaining your product displays. If you notice dust or debris accumulating on a display, give it a quick cleaning.
#13) Make Product Displays Appealing From All Angles
Retail product displays should be created so they are appealing from all angles. Whether the customer is looking at it from the front, the side or even the back, it should encourage them to buy the product. After creating a new display, take a few minutes to walk around it, viewing it from all angles.
Signage is an invaluable tool in creating effective product and window displays in retail stores. When used correctly, it can capture the attention of shoppers while conveying key points of information like buy-one-get-one-free promotions, sales discounts, time-sensitive offers and more.
#15) Impulse Buys
What are impulse buys? Exactly what they sound like: spur-of-the-moment, unplanned purchases. You can place impulse buy products around your store's checkout lanes to boost sales.
#16) Go With The Seasons
If you can't seem to find the right theme for your store's product displays, you can always opt for a seasonal theme. Think about what elements are associated with the current season and implement them into your displays. A display for the summer season, for instance, may feature mannequins wearing bathing suits while holding beach towels and a beach bag.
#17) Ask For Help
Don't be afraid to ask product manufacturers and distributors for visual merchandising help. You have to remember that it's in their best interest for you to sell as many products as possible, which is why they'll often send props or even a representative to assist store owners who carry their products.
#18) Product Location
When choosing a location for your store's product, think about which area will yield the most sales. Most retail stores have sections defined by groups of product. An apparel store, for instance, may separate its sections based on gender, whereas an electronics store uses product-specific sections.
#19) Use Mannequins For Apparel
Sure, rolling racks and pegboards are useful for storing apparel products, but they lack the same visual appeal found in mannequins. If you really want to boost your store's sales (hint: you do), try presenting apparel on mannequins. This allows shoppers to see exactly how the item looks on the human figure, at which point they'll feel more comfortable buying it.
#20) Track Your Results
Pay close attention to how shoppers respond to your product displays. Are they buying more or less of the presented product? If it's the latter, you should try making small changes to your display to boost sales. Tracking the results of your products displays will allow you to see first-hand what's working and what's not.
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