Nowadays, retailers invest a lot in promoting their products and this is caused primarily by the free market, whose simple existence led to an increase of the importance of strategies that are meant to direct the attention towards the entire imagery that surrounds a product, rather than towards the product as a random item. An article is no longer seen as something that people consume, sometimes it functions as a piece that renders a certain “personality” to the customers that choose it. The simple fact of purchasing an item, and not another, is socially rendering an image to the person that chose it. We are now perceived by the things that surround us: gadgets, clothes, car and so on.
Because we live in a world that shows an important amount of interest in looks and aspect, people understand that this desire for visually appealing stuff can be exploited with profitable outcome for both, the customers and retailers. For customers, the principles of this visual merchandising that everyone is talking about can lead to an increase of the desire to purchase, and for retailers this is translated into a boost of sales.
So this whole thing about promoting your products can be sum up in a simple sentence: invest in your displays! This investment shouldn’t be seen as a cost, but more as a benefit, for the main reason that sometimes it is required only imagination and a good knowledge of some marketing strategies. There is a lot of information to be found about these aspects, but we made it simple for you and compiled them in this article that is going to sum up some general stuff about the way in which harmony and rhythm can be exploited in creating the best displays (some of the information can be found in a book called Visual Merchandising. A Guide for Small Retailers, printed at Iowa State University).
Rhythm or flow is connected to the way in which people perceive a display. The foremost aspect that a display should render is that of being set in such a way that it leads the viewer’s eye from the dominant object(s) to the subordinated object(s), and this is to be seen in the arrangement of accessories or alternate parts of the display. When deciding to use certain elements to improve the view, make sure you relate it correctly to the merchandise. Customers might have the feeling that you didn’t give so much attention on the display and on the entire process of selling.
Harmony works as an “umbrella” principle that can cover the entire way in which the display is settled. Any other ideas that you use in your displays must be subordinated to this general idea of harmony. Harmony is agreement in feeling and consistency in mood. Your display has to create the feeling that all parts of it are related to each other and to the whole display. Without harmony, the observer feels uncomfortable and will not be enticed to purchase anything.
Harmonious Visual Merchandising Best Practices
In order to produce a harmonious and rhythmical display, you should consider the following:
- There are things that simply don’t fit together. Not everything that draws attention is necessarily good to be used. You should be careful when using strong contrast and loud colors. It simply breaks the entire “law” of harmony and flow!
- Be careful about confining strong contrasts to small accessories! Small things are meant to be highlighted, not hidden. If you draw the interest to a strong contrast background or items that you use in the display, you’ll lose that particular item.
- The use of poorly or badly matched colors is another thing that can spoil the harmony. Take a closer look to a color chart, where you can see what colors can be used together (the book mentioned above has a lot of information about the use of colors in apparel stores).
- When props and merchandise are not connected in terms of size or weight, the principle of proportion is absent. Try not to display small items with large items unless you use a continuous graduation of size from small to large. If you still choose to do this, arrange them at different distances from the viewer.
- If your store has a front middle entrance surrounded by display windows, make sure that you use this equability in your advantage. Try to keep the same theme, props in each side.
Ideally, if you display clothes for man and women, don’t gather them in different areas if your store isn’t divided properly in two distinctive areas for this particular purpose. If your store is specialized in selling more female clothes, then equability is no longer necessary.