Visual merchandising is connected with the idea that a customer develops about a certain product or service, the image of the business that in connected with that particular product/service and has the main result to draw the customer’s attention, interest, desire and action in order to purchase something. A successful retailing business should be based on a consistent image that has to be created in the customer’s mind about all the products and services available or about the potential that certain business can develop.
In all the cases, there has to be a story behind each thing we want to sell, and this is the reason why people develop marketing strategies, in order to create a perfect background for their products and services. People need to establish a correlation between a product and the way in which the company sells it, and this image that they get is the main point from which they decide whether to buy or start thinking of something else.
Visual merchandising is an important agent in the process of evaluating the success or the failure of a retail store and is only surpassed by the principles of effective customer relations. It is related to a series of strategies that concern the presentation of merchandise as well as other important features that create the store’s general atmosphere. It is well-known that around eighty percent of our impressions are created by sight and that one picture is worth a thousand words. This is one of the most important reasons for which we see so many retailers spending a lot when it comes to promoting their products.
Nowadays, we witness a situation that might seem weird, but it is totally relevant in this context of increasingly strategies of promoting / advertising products: some businesses keep a minimum staff to reduce costs, more important for them being the way in which the merchandise “sells itself”. This situation is, somehow, a result of the free market; people have the freedom to choose whatever they want. Being unable to try certain products first, we need to come up with a story that needs to synthesize everything about a product, everything that we want our customers to know about it. We don’t speak to people that know our products, but to those who don’t, to those who might be interested but are unable to get to what they actually want.
Crafting and maintaining a store’s visual merchandising plan is not that simple. It is necessary to continually determine what the customer is looking for. Here are some of the things you should know before starting to create a strategy for your store in order to ensure a proper visual merchandising:
Exterior presentation: the quality of a store front is vital. It is the first interaction of the customers with your business. The way in which a store welcomes customers has a lot to do with whether or not they enter the store.
When you think of your store’s exterior, make sure that you have already answered the following questions: How do customers locate the business? Is it safe and accessible? Are the exterior signs clear and easy to understand? Is it looking accurate so it won’t give someone the impression that you neglect your own merchandise? Are the window displays frequently changed? Do the window displays carry a readable message?
Exterior signs: each sign we use should be seen as a “silent salesperson”. The way in which we build the exterior sign says a lot. Elegant and expensive sign materials, for example, may suggest luxury goods and services. Design graphics should be appropriate for the nature of the business, and create a message that is clear and simple. When creating a logo, you should focus on one or two keywords to describe the business, a simple and within reach message bearing more impact. A store’s sign is a mark that is easily remembered and recognizable.
The use of banners: banners are used as a means of promotion, having the advantage that can easily be replaced when it’s necessary. Customers can easily identify a certain change in the aspects of the exterior signs, and will certainly be drawn into the store with the thought that something must have changed: prices, collection, discounts and so on. An overuse of the banners might not be a very good idea because shoppers will cease perceiving it as a true and convenient event. With each new banner, you should select a different size, shape and color from those previously used.