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Visual Merchandising – 8 Essential Tips

Visual Merchandising is, most of the times, forgotten by Retailers and considered a dispensable tool to achieve the results they are looking for. We can find endless Brands without dedicated teams to do it, without the proper planning, without thinking Visual Merchandising when designing the collections or even doing it store by store as the product reaches our commercial spaces.

We can think of VM as the way of making our stores look good, and it is, but not only. Looking at VM in such a diminishing way will do nothing for our crusade of achieving the results we want.

We need to think of it as the best way to create a strong identity for our Brand and the ultimate tool to drive our sales performance to the place we aim them to be.

Here you have 8 basic tips that should help you essentially improve your looks, but also, the performance of your retail locations:

1) Plan your Space

There are no infinite locations (even though some retailers think so and flood the stores with stock)! When planning your collections, make sure you imagine the place you are displaying it and NEVER lose track of how much space you have to display everything.

Planning where to put the product, how much of it fits in that particular space, what’s the rotation you expect and how much stock you need to send to each location will improve, not only the looks of your store, but also the efficiency of your staff.

2) Start close to the door

Your shop begins on your door, and the first impact is whatever the client sees first! Don’t forget about that and make sure every client entering your store wants to stay there because taking the decision to turn around and leave is much easier to take when we are just one step in.

Start displaying the Newest items on the entrance and go from there to the essentials in the bottom (the ones everyone usually buys like cheap, basic items/accessories).

3) Change Displays Regularly

Product Life cycle exists exactly because they are not meant to be eternal! However, if we change the displays on a regular basis, even if the product mix doesn’t change completely, our clients can come back to the stores and skip that “Dejá vu” feeling of having been there before.

The important part here is to keep in mind that the product meant to be together, should be together, regardless of the changes we make on the display. Product should tell a story together and no matter what, we need to make sure our client sees it.

4) Show off Wants

It’s pointless to highlight products that we know clients are looking for when they come into our shop, we need to show them the ones they Want to have but are not sure about taking them.

Imagine yourself in a Supermarket, you don’t have to showcase the cheapest Water in the place, you know clients are mostly turning into that. You need to showcase the “Perrier” bottle and try to turn some sales into this product!

5) Tag Well

The importance of the Tag on the product is most of the times underestimated but it shows, not only how professional you are when doing it, but also how much you care about your client, putting the effort to tag your products carefully enough so they don’t show wrong prices.

Also the place where you tag your product, especially if we are talking about clothing, should be carefully decided. In the end we don’t want to be facing damaged items because we didn’t give ourselves the time to standardize tagging processes and allow our staff to do it anywhere and anyway they want.

6) Lights are your Heroes

It doesn’t matter how good your product is, how well they look together or how careful you are when displaying it, if your lights are low or wrongly located.

Lights make your product Pop! Make sure you adjust the lights properly and showcase the items on your display, the same way you make sure to replace a broken light in your shop and show you definitely care and are not ashamed of the product you are showing!

7) Communicate Well

Adding some random yet well placed words between your products may be the trigger to an indecisive client buying one more unite than they were looking for.

Make sure you do it professionally and well integrated with your Brand image, lettering and philosophy. NEVER allow your staff to use a simple A4 paper and handwrite a random advice.

Despite of being more common than it should, it shows how poorly commited your Brand is to quality standards and to your Brand concept.

Besides that, NEVER write messages like “DO NOT TOUCH”, it’s the same as telling clients “DO NOT BUY”!

8) Tell Stories

Collections are stories based in themes and specific ideas, so don’t be afraid to use them! Your clients will visit your store mostly knowing already what you are offering and seeing your Facebook ads and publicity, so they know what your product is all about and the themes you used to get inspired. Make sure you reflect all of that on the way you do you VM, make your clients feel like they are part of your story.

Nuno Malheiro

CEO & Co-founder - EXPEGY

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