Visual Merchandising is one the important aspect in retail which none of the retailers can ignore. In visual merchandising, the most important part is to engage, inspire and encourage shoppers to attract them and get high footfalls, conversions, sales and return on occupied space.
Visual merchandising has increased tremendously in importance with the growth of self-service retailing. The purpose of such visual merchandising is to engage and motivate the customer for making purchase without being guided on the fabrics, style and trends. For instance,Zara has a self service for customers and the sales man don’t assist you. Under such concept, since there is no salesman to assist, the product placement and space management is the key to pull the customer.
Impact of Visual Merchandising on sales :
Proper Placement of Product –
The basic principles of visual merchandising include stocking, front-facing and cleaning the display. When a product or item is missing from store shelves, sales suffer. That’s why it’s essential to regularly stock items throughout the day to ensure a shelf space full of live inventory. Front-facing inventory with labels facing out gives the store a neat appearance and facilitates an easier shopping experience for the customer. Cleaning displays or shelving — including testers, if applicable — makes inventory look attractive and ready to buy.
Promotional Displays –
Stores should pay special attention to in-store displays and focus on promoting items that are in-stock. Visual merchandising, an end cap or window display with the most current inventory will positively impact sales for that SKU. When inventory levels are low or if the product is sold out, it’s essential to replace in-store displays with available inventory to make the most of selling through in-stock merchandise. While a store plan-o-gram will call for specific promotional displays, the store manager should always stay alert of low inventory concerns and make changes to promotional displays when products are close to selling out.
Racks and Shelving –
Consumers are drawn to shop in a full, neat store. When shelves are bare or if racks are thin, the customer’s perception is negatively impacted because inventory can feel picked-over or sparse. Racks full and shelves well-stocked to facilitate sales. If your store is running low on inventory in specific categories, display double rows of available inventory to create the illusion of fullness. Use this same principle when visually merchandising shelf space. Always make sure ticket prices are marked appropriately when double facing inventory. Be careful not to over-stock racks and shelves since this too could negatively impact sales.
Seasonal Changes –
Stores need to appear full of fresh inventory on a regular basis to make the most of its retail sales. Visually merchandising the most current items at the front of the store looks inviting and new, especially for the regular customer and can positively impact sales. If your store has few seasonal changes in inventory, you can create the illusion of new stock by rotating which inventory is showcased at the front of the store. Theme your display changes around seasons or trends to focus less on inventory and more on the visual aspect of the display.
It is advisable to hire a retail consultant who has an exposure to western concept of visual merchandising in order to establish best visual merchandising practices in the store.
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