What Is Visual Merchandising?

Visual merchandising is a marketing tactic used in retail stores. It involves optimizing the store environment (layout, color, lighting, product presentation and technology) in ways that are attractive to customers. The purpose of visual merchandising is to increase sales.

Although visual merchandising is relatively straightforward as a marketing practice, it involves several components of a store’s presentation and includes many design and display strategies for attracting attention to merchandise. Visual merchandising is a collective term for all these strategies that engage shoppers. Learn about the techniques that allow a merchandiser to accentuate the best features of a product in a visually appealing way.

What Is a Visual Merchandiser?

A visual merchandiser works to enhance a store’s image to sell more products at a physical store. This work involves creating displays, decorating for seasons and updating the store’s layout. A visual merchandising expert simplifies the process of decorating and updating a store, which involves a lot of different components and sections.

In other words, a visual merchandiser is an interior designer specializing in retail stores, making a store look and function at its best. A visual merchandiser promotes your products with an expert creative presentation that customers will notice. A merchandiser can change the layout of the interior or exterior of a store, leading to new opportunities for sales and seasonal events.

A typical job involves combining extensive knowledge of marketing and retail with innovative creativity. Visual merchandisers use the space within a store to present the inventory to appeal to customers.

A store can task their professional visual merchandiser with installing these items and more:

  • Mannequins and styling
  • Window displays
  • Point-of-purchase (POP) displays
  • In-store displays
  • Interactive displays
  • Seasonal promotions
  • Posters and wall art
  • Shelf displays
  • Ticketing

What Are the Benefits of Visual Merchandising?

Visual merchandising helps you present your products to customers in ways that make the items look good and encourage sales. Good visual merchandising will organize a store so traffic flows well and revenue increases.

All stores can benefit from employing a visual merchandiser to decorate and arrange scenic designs. Some of the best advantages include how the visual merchandiser will:

1. Draw Shoppers’ Interest

A store with an attractive atmosphere will engage shoppers and create a good first impression of products. Displays help guide customers through a store and encourage them to return. Well-organized visual merchandising displays also make it easier for people to find your products.

You want customers to have a positive experience when they shop for your products. They will be more likely to notice certain products and return to buy more if they find the store’s layout helpful and the visuals interesting.

2. Make Your Brand Stand Out

Visual merchandising can have a theme that fits your brand. Displays can also focus on a specific brand to make products stand out among their competitors. A good display is appropriate for the store environment and upholds a consistent presentation for any brand, whether the display is for candy, apparel, seasonal décor or camping supplies.

3. Increase Your Profits

Since the primary goal of using visual merchandising is to increase sales revenue, an effective display is a profitable one. Displays draw customers to their preferred products and help them find new products. For example, if customers like the apparel displayed on a mannequin, they will shop for the outfit and accessories currently shown instead of the typical clothes they might usually shop for.

4. Optimizing the Value of Your Products

If your products are promoted well, you will maximize their sales. Marketing in stores is one of the easiest ways to capitalize on your product placement to drive results. A display makes products that shoppers typically ignore more noticeable.

What Are Examples of Visual Merchandising?

A visual merchandiser’s job is to present products in a way that makes customers want to buy them. Your visual merchandiser can accomplish this by using:

  • Sensory elements: Color, shape, light and sound go a long way with customers. You can mix these elements to create interactive displays that customers are more likely to remember. For example, a logo that lights up is even more eye-catching than a stationary sign that blends into the retail environment.
  • Innovative layouts: The canvas for a display can be located in a variety of locations to maximize impact by understanding relevancy and impact.
  • Window and entrance displays: You can attract customers to a group of products before or as they enter a store with a quality window or entrance display. These types of display are popular because customers will see it immediately as they pass a store’s windows, which might cause them to enter a store they normally would have passed.
  • Digital projection mapping: You can create a positive in-store experience for customers by using new technology like digitally projected images. This type of technology shows the best features of a product in a unique way that customers remember.

Why Is Visual Merchandising Important?

Visual merchandising works because it:

1. Is Competitive

Consumers experience a lot of visual and text-based advertising daily, so they learn to ignore most marketing. A visual merchandiser makes marketing interesting and gets customers’ attention in high-traffic areas where it is easier to net buyers. Visual merchandising is especially significant for marketing your products in brick-and-mortar stores, right at the moment of purchase, but it can also be used for online stores and markets.

2. Is Flexible

A visual merchandiser looks at the store’s architecture, website or app and determines the best ways to make the store and its products appeal more to its target audience. Then the visual merchandiser looks at the products’ best possible selling points and the brand’s message. The goal is to make the products as aesthetically pleasing as possible so the audience will see their value and enjoy the overall brand experience.

3. Is Impactful

Without a visual merchandiser, you might lose some of your most important potential customers without realizing why your marketing is less effective than you know it could be. You want to send customers a good message when they initially learn about your products, but using text only is less effective than it used to be.

4. Uses the Sales Funnel

Visual merchandising gives you an advantage by grabbing the customer’s attention, generating interest and attracting impulse buyers. It functions as classic marketing.

Our Retail Merchandising Case Studies

Great Northern Instore has been creating eye-catching and efficient displays for retail clients for decades. Through careful data collection and analysis, we have organized more than a dozen visual merchandising studies that garnered fantastic results.

Gatorade® Retail Case Study

We created custom floor merchandiser displays for Gatorade to attract shoppers’ attention and showcase a range of Gatorade products. The objective was to create retail displays with increased carrying capacity and flexibility at Dick’s Sporting Goods locations.

To accomplish our goal, we used highly visible brand colors to catch the attention of customers and implemented a design that enabled them to shop from multiple angles. This custom design also featured versatile signage and shelf configurations that allowed for flexible product changes and promotion additions. As a result, there was a significant increase in sales, resulting in frequent restocking. This success led Gatorade to consider purchasing additional units to carry more product.

Starbucks Visual Merchandising Case Study

For our Starbucks retail merchandising displays, the goal was to successfully launch the company’s new cold brew products. To do so, we built Starbucks retail displays with a wood-framed easel design and cantilevered shelves where the glass bottles could draw attention. We also incorporated the Starbucks logo, product graphics and a mock chalkboard panel to further entice passersbys.

Our retail display successfully attracted customers, while its durable design ensured sturdy activation, making it perfect for grocery store use. We were also able to maximize ROI for the client and get them into the market quickly with our domestic manufacturing and international sourcing for future orders.

Hot Wheels Retail Merchandising Case Study

The objective of our Hot Wheels retail display was to create a three-dimensional merchandiser display for Kroger that generated excitement for car racing with a dynamic track layout. We also wanted to convey the upbeat spirit of the Hot Wheels brand. We responded by designing a display with a creative dump bin, interactive track components and an iconic orange Hot Wheels track.

Our Hot Wheels display was a huge success among shoppers and employees alike. Kroger entered the retail display into a best display competition, where it collected many consumer votes for the most epic track display. The employee YouTube videos from the contest even generated additional traction for Kroger’s in-store campaign.

Order Product Displays With Great Northern Instore

At Great Northern Instore, we design product displays using the highest quality printing and materials available. Our display solutions cover many industries and have proven effectiveness. When you work with Great Northern Instore, you can rest assured we will meet your high expectations. Contact us by calling 262-681-5226 or filling out our online form.

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