Blog Article

Three Key Elements of
Visual Merchandising

Attract Attention and Engage Customers
JENNA WORRELL, MARKETING MANAGER — PRODUCT AND VERTICAL MARKETING

If you think visual merchandising only applies to displays, think again. A retailer’s front window display should attract attention and entice consumers to enter. But visual merchandising includes product displays and interior store design as well. The same principles can be applied to how you present your brand at events, fairs and trade shows, too.

Did you know? The visual display of products in store windows actually started way back in the nineteenth century, when Marshall Field & Co. (later Marshall Field’s) shifted their business from wholesale to retail.

Let’s review the basics. Visual merchandising is defined as the retail practice of developing floor plans and three-dimensional displays in order to maximize sales. Products are displayed to highlight their features and benefits, motivating consumers to make purchases.

Because visual merchandising is a major tool for retail promotion and store branding, you should understand the key elements and how to apply them to your business. Consider these three best practices:

  1. Brand: Ensure your brand’s personality and essential characteristics are reflected in both your in-store and online shopping experiences through visual elements such as signage and images, respectively. This is one of the critical ways you’ll differentiate yourself from competitors and build brand loyalty. It might even make it possible to charge a premium price for a product.
  1. Senses: One reason why brick-and-mortar retail stores still exist is because many consumers still find value in shopping in person. Make it an immersive experience that can’t be duplicated online by engaging all five senses. Tactics to consider include:
      • Interactive installations to engage shoppers
      • Music that appeals to your customer base
      • Creative lighting that creates dramatic effects
      • Eye-catching visuals that draw people in
      • Colors that enhance the atmosphere
      • Scents that are unique to your store
  1. Displays: Retail has come a long way from relying on run-of-the-mill mannequins to sell products. These days, you’re more likely to find digital screens and three-dimensional displays that once were reserved for trade shows and special occasions. Advances in color printing — coupled with the use of flexible, durable materials — allow retailers to utilize displays like they would props that can be changed out for different promotions and seasonal events.