Points of Difference: How Visual Merchandising Can Make or Break a Sale
In a marketplace saturated with similar products being sold by various brands, points of difference are becoming increasingly essential when it comes to completing transactions and finalizing sales. One of the most effective areas to make your brand stand out from the crowd is visual merchandising. We live in a generation that is highly motivated by aesthetics and visual communication is key when it comes to luring customers away from your competitors and into your business’ open arms.
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Think about it. Nowadays almost everyone curates every aspect of their being. We choose our clothes based on their style and fit over other more practical factors such as their comfort. We choose our holidays on the basis of how the locations are depicted on others’ social media feeds, as opposed to rooting out information from travel agents. We even take photos of our meals before devouring them.
As a society, we have reached a point where the visual dominates our lives. So, it’s necessary for your company to capitalize on this. Here’s everything you need to know to generate a profit through effective visual merchandising.
What Is Visual Merchandising?
First of all, we need to understand what visual merchandising actually entails. Visual merchandising relates to anything that a customer can see related to your store. In the past, this was generally confined to your physical store space (inside and out). Different aspects included (and still include) store layout and fixtures, signage, displays, and decoration. The overall aim of the endeavor is to entice customers into the store, encouraging them to browse stock and make purchases.
Brick and Mortar Commerce
Brick and mortar stores are tangible business spaces where customers enter commercial premises to browse products and purchase goods. It is the most traditional way to engage with customers and holds endless opportunity for creative and effective visual merchandising.
Believe it or not, there is an optimum way to layout your retail store. Various studies have analyzed how consumers think and react to products upon entering a store. These tend to find that there is a “decompression zone”. Avoid placing your stock in these areas. It has been found that upon entering a store, most customers tend to turn right. You should place your stock bearing this in mind: situate prioritized collections or prize products in this zone.
Effectively Displaying Your Stock
Your displays will vary significantly depending on the type of products that you are selling. Clothing stores have some of the most simple means of showcasing their products. Store fronts can easily be filled with mannequins sporting your brand’s latest collections. For other products, visual merchandisers have to get a little more creative. Smaller items, such as jewelry can be more difficult to display. Especially if you want customers to be able to see their full potential. If you are specializing in this area, you might like to check out Retail Jewelry Displays | How to Create a Jewelry Display That Sells. Jewelry display has come along leaps and bounds, with innovative designs allowing sellers to showcase their goods perfectly.
Various fixtures can really add to the atmosphere that your store exudes. Lighting is a brilliant example. While natural lighting is preferable for most products, many stores are unable to make the most of this, due to their location (many are situated inside malls or complexes) and the safety concerns that arise with windows (they are an easy route for thieves to make their way into your store out of hours). However, not to worry. You can use artificial lighting to your advantage. Ambient lighting can be used to illuminate your store in general. If you have large quantities of stock or are selling convenience items, consider using bright lighting throughout your store space. This gives a good field of vision and allows your customer to find their desired products quickly and hassle-free. If you are selling individual, high-end or luxurious products, you might prefer a lower ambient light complemented with accent lighting on featured pieces. This highlights products that you believe to be worthy of extra attention. If you have valued items stored in locked cases, you still want consumers to be able to view them effectively. This is when you will need to invest in case lighting, which focuses bright lights on the product at hand.
E-commerce is one of the most rapidly expanding areas in the consumer market, so it’s not surprising that more and more business owners are focusing on new techniques for merchandising their stock in an online setting.
Your web layout is essentially your storefront and store’s interior all in one. So it’s absolutely essential that you get it right and invest both time and cash into its creation. Work alongside an experienced web designer who will be able to make your web page attractive and functional at the same time. Simple navigation should be combined with eye catching layouts and design to give your potential customers the best experience possible. You want browsing and transactions to be efficient and hassle-free. You should also ensure that your design is consistent, with all pages employing the same color scheme, typeface, and general layout.
Effectively Showcasing Your Stock
Customers can’t see your stock in person, so it’s paramount that you give them the best idea of how it looks through your product photography. Images that are taken on a smartphone camera just aren’t going to cut it. Collaborate with a professional photographer with experience in taking high-quality images of stock products. A safe bet is to have your items photographed against a white or neutral toned background with good lighting. This will allow your customers to zoom in on your products, reassuring themselves of its great quality and finish. You can also try out 360-degree product photography. This allows people to view your product from all angles (quite literally).
By using your understanding of customers to your advantage, you can utilize these specific visual merchandising techniques to encourage sales which will, in turn, generate profit for your brand.