What Is Visual Merchandising?

Do you own a food, entertainment, or sports establishment? Want to learn how to attract more visitors to your premises? Visual merchandising is a fantastic way to advertise your products and services as well as draw in more potential customers.

Here we look at what exactly visual merchandising is and how it can benefit your business.

what is visual merchandising

What Is Visual Merchandising?

Visual merchandising is when colors, lighting in a store, displays, floor plans, and other elements online or in store are used to entice and attract a customer’s attention.

The sole purpose of visual merchandising is to generate more sales and attract more shoppers.

Visual merchandising is a very creative practice in comparison to other marketing strategies and many people will study degrees to fully master this complex marketing practice.

While the focus is mostly on visual attractions, visual merchandisers also study human behavior to understand what colors, displays, or other elements create positive interactions or attract a person’s attention which adds a level of depth to this practice.

Examples Of Visual Merchandising

To give you a better understanding of what visual merchandising can look like, below are some examples of frequently used elements that visual merchandisers often use. 

Themed Window Displays

Window displays are the best way to attract customers and the attention of passersby for any store. Stores will frequently theme their windows per season or public holidays.

They may also follow a theme, for example a clothing store may create a summer window display themed around summer holidays, featuring sunglasses, beach bags, and beachwear.

Vehicle Wrapping

Company cars are often wrapped in company branding to catch people’s attention.

Most fast food chains will have some aspect of branding on delivery vehicles, someone could see this and they might be influenced to buy a take away from that establishment later that day, purely because they saw the wrapped vehicle.

Most physical stores will not be as reliant on vehicle wrapping,this strategy would mostly be used by food establishments or eCommerce stores that don’t have a physical presence in a place. 

Lighting And Digital Arrangements

The lighting in an establishment is also used to attract eyelines to specific points. This may be an in store display, a sale sign, or where the tills are. 

Digital arrangements would include any projections or interactive advertisements placed around the store. These again are a fantastic way to direct a customer’s eyeline to specific points around the store. 

These digital advertisements could show the products in store being used, or being worn so that customers can then also imagine themselves in the models position and using or wearing the products.

Mixed Elements

Mixed elements would be when a number of different things are used usually to create signage that translates well between day and night.

It may be having lights behind the sign that illuminate it at night or the use of different color lighting that would make the store stand out, for example the darker lighting used in many clothing stores directed towards a younger clientele across America.

Each of the above elements of visual merchandising are used to highlight not only the appearance of products or services, but also the benefits of them.  

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Importance Of Visual Merchandising

As a business owner, regardless of whether you have a food establishment, store, or a service based establishment visual merchandising is worth investing in.

While it can be a costly service, depending on what you wish to achieve, you can see a monetary benefit to this investment.

As well as reaping financial awards, you will also notice a difference in the amount of people that enter or enquire about your establishment and the customer traffic will likely grow also. 

The customer will also have a better experience in your store as visual merchandising can be used to guide them along their journey when entering your establishment, right from entering to payment and leaving.

This will help to enhance customer loyalty as customers will know what to expect when they enter your establishment.

Further Benefits Of Visual Merchandising

There are a number of benefits associated with visual merchandising, other than what has been mentioned already. 

Visual merchandising can be used to influence potential customers, helping you to improve sales on a product that is maybe not being highlighted or spotted in store.

By adding a new display, or redirecting the lighting you can help to draw attention to such a  product and boost sales.

You can also use visual merchandising to influence people without having them even need to see your online or physical presence.

Attractive interactive adverts and vehicle wrapping can draw people to check out your establishment without needing to walk past or stumble upon your digital presence online.

One final benefit associated with visual merchandising is that it can be used to tell a story. People love to be entertained and if you can provide a story within window displays you will relate to more people. 

You can even use it to tell the story of your brand, making your establishment seem more approachable. Utilizing visual merchandising to offer an experience will ultimately increase footfall and over time more sales. 

Disadvantages Of Visual Merchandising

Like everything, there can be drawbacks for some people regarding visual merchandising but depending on your establishment and your budget then these may not affect you.

Visual merchandising can often limit the way you can utilize the floor plan in your store as certain displays need to always be in place and this can be a point of frustration for some.

As mentioned previously, it can be expensive but depending on your situation this investment may help bring new growth to your company and you will earn back your investment within a year.

Final Thoughts 

Visual merchandising is a great way of making a first impression that hopefully ends in a transaction, as well as creating a loyal customer base.

Attracting attention and enticing potential customers or clients is the real benefit of utilizing visual merchandising across your establishment.

Justin Shaw
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