When you are looking to increase the sales of your store, visual merchandising should be the first ace in your sleeve. When people usually hear about visual merchandising, they don’t exactly know where to start or what to do. Sharp visual merchandising can have a huge impact on the customers that enter or walk past your store, so doing it right is paramount. To make sure you cover every aspect that adds to the story of your business, here are some tips to help you get started:
Create a Story
Customers often identify with the overall story of the brand more than with individual items. The overall image of the store needs to speak to the customers and help them identify with the brand image. Every element inside the location needs to add to the overall idea of your brand. When choosing the correct color for the walls, make sure it ties in together with the floor, to give the idea of connected space.
Shelves, display tables and racks need to work together. They don’t necessarily have to be the same colour, but make sure they fit together as a whole. You can play with the shades or even choose different colours for the shelves and shelving brackets, but make sure they complement each other. Or example, using black shelves with coloured brackets can play off nice and draw attention to the products. If you have a unique design in mind, you can always turn to a company that builds customizable shelves and shelving brackets.
Colour is Key
There is no need to emphasize the strong importance of colours included in visual displays. Even the most bizarre displays can have a strong effect on people if the colors are chosen right. Using contrasting colors, like black and white, green and red or orange and blue can help to create an eye-catching effect that will intrigue your customers. At the same time, grouping items by color can add to the cohesiveness of the store and offer an overall neater look. Colors have the power to stimulate emotions, due to the hyper-visual quality of our brains. Our brains tend to recognize colors more than shapes or forms and that can work to your advantage.
When creating the window display, take a look at your neighbors and, if you want to stand out, go with a contrasting color, to draw attention to your window. Using solid-color backgrounds can also act as a clean canvas for your display and help maintain the focus on the products.
Design a Focal Point
Studies show that hotspots increase sales by over 200%, so creating a focal point for the customers’ eye is paramount. Keep in mind that the focal point should be a certain product, not other elements used to create the story. If, for example, you use balloons and animals to create a display for the new kids’ collection, make sure they don’t distract the customers’ attention. Colour plays an important role here. You can use more faded colors for the other elements and contrasting, bolder colors for the actual items.
Pay Attention to Signage
Some customers need guidance when wandering through the store, so signs play an important role in the overall shopping experience. When no sales assistant is available, signs can be very helpful for customers. This will not only help clients but your sales team as well. By guiding customers through signs, you can avoid having your team assaulted with questions about where certain products are found, allowing them to focus on customers that need more assistance.
Signs don’ have to be boring! Play with shape, colors and graphics to add to the overall image of your store. Be careful not to overdo it and make sure the signs are easy to read. The general attention span for the human eye is 8 seconds, so make sure your customers have no trouble understanding them at first glance. Use signs to draw attention to special sales or certain key spots in your store, like changing rooms and checkout.
Play with Lighting
Same as signage, lighting can help draw attention to certain areas or items in your store and can help guide the shoppers to certain spots of your choice. A good idea is to use lighting to draw attention to certain areas of your store that will not normally catch the eyes of customers, like, for example, lower shelves. Playing with lighting can have a positive effect on your customers, with studies showing that people generally spend more time in places that have warmer lighting. There are three lighting techniques that can you can play with:
- Primary lighting: this is the main illumination of the store
- Accent lighting: used to catch the customers’ attention over certain areas or products
- Ambient lighting: the alternation of lighted and shadowed areas, to create a more dramatic effect
The key in visual merchandising is exposing customers to the maximum amount of product, without making them feel overwhelmed. This involves product grouping as well. Keeping the products grouped by their utility will attract customers’ attention and trigger their imagination. For example, if you run a beauty store, grouping bath products together will influence sales on all products in that category. A customer might walk in wanting to buy shampoo, but after seeing the shower gels right next to it, they might remember they will need that too. The key is to guide customers towards certain products, by focusing on their needs, rather than wants.
When grouping items together, don’t hesitate to throw in something that might seem slightly out of context, like for example a t-shirt with an intricate pattern, next to neuter colored coat. They can be worn together, but you wouldn’t typically place the next to each other. This will draw attention over the display and make customers stop and give it another look.
Take Advantage of Empty Areas
There are certain areas that may be overlooked by most store owners, like the space between the shelves and the ceiling, or the area behind the cashier. There are plenty of ways to make use of there areas. You can add décor pieces that add to the story of the shop, display signage or even hang or pin some items that you have in store to the walls. Displaying graphics or interesting facts is also a good idea to fill in these spaces and make the customers associate them with your products. Advertisement photos are another thing you can display on the walls, to catch the customers’ eyes.