At a time when more high street stores than ever are closing their doors, and shoppers are turning to online retailers, visual merchandising is crucial for the survival of fashion retailers. The fashion industry is worth billions and more and more customers are turning their backs on fast fashion. If you own a fashion boutique, now is the perfect time to capitalise on this captive audience.
What is visual merchandising?
Visual merchandising is a vital retail strategy that maximises the aesthetics of a product with the intent to increase and maximise sales. If visual merchandising is done well, it can create awareness whilst simultaneously increasing brand loyalty. The most important function is to draw customers into the shop and close the sale, which is heavily dependant on the aesthetic quality of your retail display.
Possibly the single and most important reason to engage and inspire your customers is to encourage them to buy more of your products, increasing your sales, margin and return on space. This engagement process begins even before they have set foot in your store.
How can visual merchandising help?
Visual merchandising is all about how customers perceive your business, and this perception can bring a multitude of benefits to your business, including:
Inspires brand loyalty and recognition
Customers must be able to experience your brand through the visual components you choose to surround and enhance your product. Creating brand loyalty will increase the chances of a customer repurchasing in the future.
Helps customers buy with confidence
When selecting your store’s signage you must ensure it is clear and concise. Too many signs or not enough will be sure to either confuse your customer. Keep it simple and in line with your existing store brand. If you are going BIG, eg for instance in a stadium you will need to attract people’s attention with proper stadium signage, but for smaller spaces, products need to be presented in a way the customer can understand exactly what the product does and how it will help them. This is where good point of sale (POS) and merchandise displays really come into use.
Visual merchandising can help you plan the layout of your space and will highlight any items that have been on the shop floor for a long time and aren’t selling and can also showcase areas that are selling well. Strategically planning out where your displays will go and how they’ll look can create a great flow through your store and avoid it becoming overwhelming for the customers.
Tips to try out
Visual merchandising helps entice people into your shop and maximises the aesthetics of your products. There are many factors that go into the success of visual merchandising, including the store’s appearance, such as:
Lighting – Lighting can help set the mood for your store and can help entice the right clientele. Making sure your store is well lit is essential for maximising sales.
Signage – Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they have knowledge of all the different variables, like price and where they need to go to pay, which makes clear signage an essential part of your VM. Businesses with bright coloured and stylish signs always attract attention, and project an inviting and fun sensibility to their customers.
Packaging – Another important element to think about is your packaging, which can actually say a lot about your brand. Add a small sticker with your logo on and this vastly improves your packaging’s aesthetic without costing too much time or money.