8 Visual Merchandising Hacks for Increasing Sales

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8 Visual Merchandising Hacks for Increasing Sales
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All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women are merely players.

These immortalised lines from Shakespeare have distinctive resonance when we talk about visual merchandising in retail sales. Think of it this way: visual merchandising is the prop in the theatre of retail sales that entices customers to browse, discover new products, and ultimately convert into paying customers. It is the art and science of using product displays, lighting, signage, and store layout to create an attractive and inviting shopping experience that compels customers to buy. But while this sounds like an amazing theory, executing an effective visual merchandising strategy can be challenging. Here are 8 visual merchandising hacks that will help you boost your sales.

What is Visual merchandising?

Visual merchandising is a smart retailing method. It seeks to make regular shopping excursions more memorable by improving the visual appeal of store layouts and displays, so enticing customers and increasing sales. Imagine a quiet salesperson labouring relentlessly in every retail establishment. This art and science come together to produce visually appealing retail experiences that not only entice customers but also stimulate purchases and strengthen brand identities.  

However, merely producing nice displays should not be the only goal. Visual merchandising comprises various aspects, including point-of-sale materials, intended to capture customers' attention and influence their purchase decisions. Effective lighting may emphasise certain products or create a welcoming atmosphere. Techniques such as digital signage frequently contain realistic settings, allowing buyers to see themselves utilising things and persuading them to purchase.  

What is the objective of visual merchandising?

Visual merchandising goes far beyond just arranging products on shelves. It is the fusion of art and science, encompassing elements such as layout, lighting, colour schemes, signage maintenance, and product placement. When executed effectively, visual merchandising accomplishes critical objectives for a brand:

1. Brand Identity: Visual merchandising helps to convey your brand's story and ethos through the aesthetics and arrangement of your store or website.

2. Increased Sales: By creating eye-catching displays and highlighting key products, visual merchandising encourages impulse buying and higher average transaction values.

3. Competitive Edge: It sets you apart from competitors, making your brand memorable and distinctive.

How does visual merchandising help? 

In a nutshell, it can turn randomly browsing onlookers into loyal, repeat customers. Visual merchandising isn't just about aesthetics; it's about strategically influencing customer behaviour. Window displays grab attention, strategic product placement boosts sales, and colour psychology creates a specific ambiance. Clear signage helps customers navigate, and a well-organised store with fresh displays keeps them coming back for more. By implementing these techniques, you can turn your store into a powerful sales tool that converts visitors into loyal customers.

While all this sounds amazing in theory, let’s look at real-life Visual Merchandising Hacks for Increasing Sales:

1. The "Rule of Three"

The human eye is naturally drawn to groupings of three. Arrange products in threes on shelves or displays to create a visually appealing composition. This simple visual merchandising trick can instantly elevate the look of your displays and make them more eye-catching for customers.

Example: Group three things—let’s say mugs—of different sizes and colours (think a large mug for morning coffee, a medium mug for a midday latte, and a small espresso cup) to create a visually interesting coffee mug display. This will not only showcase the variety of mugs you offer but also create a sense of balance and completeness that is pleasing to the eye. 

2. Light Up Your Products (Literally)

Strategic lighting plays a crucial role in highlighting products and creating ambiance. Don't underestimate the power of good lighting! Use spotlights to draw attention to key items and ensure overall brightness for a welcoming feel. Harsh overhead lighting can be unflattering and deter customers from browsing. Experiment with different lighting techniques to create the perfect mood for your store. 

Example: Showcasing a new collection in a well-lit display, front and centre immediately attract attention. 

3. Get Creative with Cross-Merchandising

Cross-merchandising involves placing complementary products together. This strategy encourages impulse purchases as customers see potential uses for the items and discover new needs they weren't aware of before. A good visual merchandiser is able to do this naturally.

Example: Displaying phone cases next to headphones is a good way of doing this. Or pair workout clothes with water bottles and yoga mats to cater to the complete needs of a fitness-conscious customer. By strategically grouping complementary items, you can increase basket sizes and boost your overall sales.

4. Keep it simple

While creative displays are important, avoid cluttering your shelves or overwhelming your customers with too much merchandise. Maintain a clean and organised look while still highlighting key products. Consider using risers or shelf dividers to create visual separation and prevent items from getting lost in a sea of clutter.

Example: Instead of cramming clothing onto a rack, use risers to create space between garments and allow each item to be seen clearly. This will not only make the shopping experience more enjoyable for customers but also encourage them to browse a wider variety of products.

5. Make information easy to find with clear signage

Well-placed signs with clear and concise messaging help customers navigate your store and find what they're looking for. Don't underestimate the power of signage! Use clear, easy-to-read fonts and consistent colours to create a cohesive look throughout your store. 

Example: Identify different departments within your store with prominent signage or highlight special promotions with eye-catching banners. You can even use digital signage to display dynamic content and showcase new arrivals or upcoming sales.

6. Don't forget the power of the "new" sign

New arrivals are inherently exciting for customers. They crave the latest trends and styles. Use "new" signs strategically to draw attention to fresh inventory and encourage browsing. Experiment with different colours and fonts to make these signs stand out. 

Example: A clothing store can use bright red "New Arrival" tags on their mannequins, instantly grabbing customer attention and prompting them to explore the latest additions to the collection.

7. Embrace the power of touch

Allow customers to interact with your products whenever possible. This creates a more engaging shopping experience and can lead to impulse purchases. People are naturally curious and tactile. By allowing them to touch and feel the quality of your products, you build trust and encourage them to imagine how the products would look or feel in their own lives. 

Example: In a homeware store, set up a vignette where customers can touch and feel the textures of different throws and pillows. This allows them to experience the softness of the cashmere throw or the cosy weight of the chunky knit blanket, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

8. Keep it fresh

Regularly update your displays with new products and seasonal themes to keep your store looking fresh and exciting for returning customers. Stagnation breeds boredom, and shoppers crave novelty. 

Example: Change up your window displays every few weeks to reflect new arrivals or upcoming holidays. This keeps your store visually interesting and encourages repeat visits.

By implementing these simple visual merchandising tips, you can transform your store into a magnet for customers, leading to increased sales and a thriving retail business. Remember, visual merchandising is a powerful tool that can significantly impact your bottom line. If you want a partner to flawlessly execute your visual merchandising, then come have a chat with us.