Your physical store is a place to sell more than just merchandise, it’s the place to tell your band’s vision. Modern consumers, (especially millennials) crave experiences centered around a story or a feeling, meaning the visual merchandising in today’s store is no longer the sole communicator of the brand’s story.
In order to communicate your story and vision properly, your merchandising must be consistent, whether you have one store or a hundred, it will require a large investment in both time and resources, however, it will be crucial to your success as a store. Retailers that use the visual merchandising as an element of the overall experience that aims to “wow” customers will win.
Presented with the opportunity to design an experience for your customers, you might ask, where do I start?
1.) START OUTSIDE
Your storefronts display window is the beginning of your customers journey with your brand. Your windows are a massive opportunity to catch the eyes of people walking by and draw them into your store. This is your store's first impression - what do you want it to say?
Often retailers make the mistake of cramming far too much merchandise in the window to try to say “we have everything you need”, which can be confusing for passers-by, instead think about your target customer and the type of “lifestyle” that would pique their curiosity. Customers are looking for a story, keep it focused, simple and thematically consistent with your brand.
Here are a few retailers we think are doing a great job with window displays:
2.) PRODUCT GROUPING:
The way you group products on display can attract customer attention and even jumpstart their imagination with ideas on how they can be used. Don’t be afraid to guide your customer’s journey through your store with products.
Product groupings can be based on similar categories, color schemes, etc., however, the goal of your product layout should be to continue the conversation you started with your window display - find ways to peak interest in every corner of your store.
You’re more likely to capture a customer’s gaze if there is some imbalance - don’t be afraid to make a customer look twice at an object on display that might seem odd or out of place. While symmetry and balance are important characteristics to recognize, visually it can be boring. Your displays risk fading into the horizon when you present all of them at a uniform height. Slight deviations in what would generally be a symmetrical display can be eye-catching; consult some of the larger merchandising principles like the “Rule of Three” and “The Pyramid Principle” as a starting point for your layout.
Here are some brands doing product groupings well:
3.) LET THE LIGHT IN:
We often speak of creating instagrammable spaces in your retail store - lighting is arguably the most crucial aspect of creating these digital moments for your customers. A recent field study looked at lighting’s impact on customer behavior. The research found that customers spent more time in areas of the store that had warmer lighting and that the average sales per customer increased by 1.93% when a dynamic lighting installation was introduced. This study also showed that customers have a strong preference for lights which increase the saturation of reds, blues, and pinks and make whites appear ‘cleaner’.
Proper lighting should help guide the shopper to areas of the store you wish to highlight. Take into account different lighting composition, playing around with primary lighting, accent lighting, and ambient lighting.
Here are some retailers, playing well with light: