When used in the context of retail merchandising, visual merchandising is the activity of presenting products in a manner that encourages sales. Any apparel store owners can toss up a rolling rack filled with garments, but it takes a keen eye for design to display such garments in a way that boosts sales. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the importance of visual merchandising in retail stores.
It's downright frustrating when you visit a store with the goal of purchasing a particular product, only to spend 10-15 minutes walking around in search of the product. Well, visual merchandising helps shoppers locate product more easily. When a product is properly displayed, it will catch shoppers' attention, guiding them towards it. For instance, displaying a new bathing suit on a mannequin will obviously help shoppers find it, as the mannequin will catch their attention more so than a rolling rack.
Need to clear some of your store's current inventory for a new line of products? With the help of visual merchandising, you can move products faster. If you have a surplus of a particular shirt in stock and need it gone, try displaying it on a couple of mannequins near the front of your store. You can further encourage shoppers to buy the product with prominent "FOR SALE" signs next to the mannequins.
Let's face it, visual merchandising makes stores more enjoyable for shoppers. By displaying and promoting your products in a manner that encourages higher sales, you will subsequently create a more enjoyable shopping experience. Shoppers will appreciate the attention to detail that goes into your window displays and other visual merchandising material, because it's the small things such as this that will make your store stand out from the rest.
Planning to add a new type of product to your store but afraid that customers won't understand how it works? Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that not many people will buy a product if they don't understand how it works. Sure, some may purchase it simply out of curiosity, but the majority will choose to pass. Through visual merchandising, however, you can help explain new products to shoppers.
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