Trend Alert: What to Expect
in Visual Merchandising

High-touch Convenience in High-tech World

Today, a more immersive consumer experience that delivers high-touch convenience in a high-tech world is evolving in the world of visual merchandising. In this blog post, we highlight six trends with staying power.

  1. Bring the natural environment inside

Top photo companies like Adobe Stock and Getty/iStock predict a visual trend that includes an abundance of natural subjects. This is likely due to concerns over global warming and climate change. It might also reflect our collective desire to lessen the hold that technology has on so many aspects of modern life.

  1. Involve all of the senses

Physical retail stores have a significant advantage over online shopping sites because they can engage more senses than just sight. This year, retailers will continue to push the boundaries of how to engage their customers’ hearing, touch, smell and taste. From store layout to display fixtures, look for more innovations that will entice and attract shoppers and encourage them to stay in your store longer.

  1. Make everything more experiential

Sometimes, it’s not all about the product, it’s about the experience. This year, we expect to see retailers introduce more initiatives that deliver sensory experiences that consumers will want to share via social media channels. The more limited and exclusive, the better — as we’ve seen with the “pop-up shop” and “flash” retailing trend.

Marketing to millennials? Ensure you reflect care for the environment
and represent equality when depicting gender, race and ethnicity.

  1. Move beyond “sale” signs to informational guidance

Retail can sometimes get stuck in a rut, like posting only traditional “sale” signs to draw attention. However, there’s a new trend toward informational signage to drive shopper interaction and engagement. These signs are much more creative and communicate things like product recommendations or potential uses for an item.

  1. Blend brick-and-mortar with online

Internet shopping has certainly had an impact on malls and independent stores, but it’s becoming increasingly more common for the lines between these channels to blur. The biggest factors influencing this trend are rising shipping costs and consumer preferences for easier returns.

  1. Implement artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality

Although we haven’t quite achieved the level of technology envisioned in the movie Minority Report, we’ve certainly made advances. And that trend shows no signs of slowing down. More and more, user experiences are being shaped by AI and data-driven algorithms. For example, retail websites are using virtual reality to help consumers envision products in a more personalized way.