It’s September, which means we’re about to rush headlong into the three month sugar-fueled shopping frenzy that is the holiday season. Even now, customers are breaking out their good credit cards and replacing their blood with pumpkin spice in preparation for the season. They’re coming for your store. How do you make sure your shop enables these fearless hunters, these deal-savvy sharks in cute scarves and sweaters to buy even more?
“I prefer mocha and blazers, but by all means, do go on with your stereotypes.”
Visual merchandising, that’s how!
Basically stated, visual merchandising is the art of creating a vignette (which is French for small illustration or portrait… That’s right, we’re getting all international up in here) with your products, with the purpose of being visually interesting, to make your customers want to buy said stuff. The beauty of visual merchandising is that it doesn’t matter if you sell quilts, pet supplies, or car parts – you can still use visual merchandising techniques in your store.
1. Use Your Space
You may notice that all of your displays and products are governed by those pesky laws of gravity and tend to stay away from the ceiling. I can’t help you with that. At least, not until my super-secret subterranean lair is completed. And…I’ve kidnapped all of Earth’s top scientists for my nefarious experiments. That’s another story. I won’t bore you with the details.
I can give you some good news: your shoppers eyes are used to looking for stuff at counter-height. Want to mix that up? Create a display that uses that unclaimed real estate towards the ceiling. Hang items from the ceiling. Create a faux drop ceiling to make a more intimate space to view your wares in.
Don’t forget to use your floors. You could even toss in some negative space! You want to create a visually appealing display and that can mean anything, including balancing something with nothing.
Pro tip: Don’t go overboard on the nothing.
2. Create a Cohesive story
Is it Christmas? Not yet, so don’t panic. Customer appreciation week? Store anniversary? Maybe it’s just a really lovely summer and you want to celebrate it. Your displays can reflect all of these things (although you should probably stick with one theme at a time). Think of your vignette as a painting or other work of art. Use it to convey an emotion, desire, or story without having to spell it out for your shoppers. Don’t fret. You don’t have to get all high-concept with it. “Look at how great these items will look together in your house!” is still a story.
3. Group Items With Purpose
Create a focal point around a big-ticket or popular item. Then, surround it with great add-on purchases for your shoppers. It can do a lot to drive up your sales. This story is, “You need all of these things together! Look how awesome they would be together! They’d be so happy together! You must buy each and every one!”
4. Take Advantage of Color
It’s been proven a million times over that color has a huge influence on shoppers. Chances are that your sales floor has a whole lot of color out there. So use it!
Green makes people feel relaxed and creative, pink and blue are calming, and orange is associated with great deals. White is “boring,” so use it sparingly.
If you think that color isn’t such a big deal, consider this:
In one afternoon of pure shopping joy, I spent my entire paycheck on beautiful items that served no purpose. I attribute it (and resulting week of eating ramen and stale crackers) to the store’s visual merchandising. This store grouped products into beautiful vignettes based on single colors, in displays reflecting the psychology of each color. Friends and family no longer allow me to return to that store. Interventions may have been staged for my own financial safety.
Color psychology works!
No joke, I would totally buy this if it fit in my living room.
What’s the end of your successful merchandising story? We hope it’s you traveling to a beach where someone brings you drinks and whimsically plated fruit.
Pictured: the advantages of visual merchandising.
Are you looking for more ways to make your customers smile (and spend more)? You may want to check out:
PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.