10 Must-Ask Questions When Choosing a Visual Merchandising Outsourcing Partner

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10 Must-Ask Questions When Choosing a Visual Merchandising Outsourcing Partner
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Outsourcing visual merchandising or any part of your business requires deep thought and thorough research. After all, you’ve poured your blood and sweat into your business. However, creating those eye-catching displays and executing flawless visual merchandising strategies takes time, talent, and resources. That's where outsourcing to a qualified partner comes in.

At the same time, selecting the right visual merchandising (VM) outsourcing partner is crucial for the success of your brand presentation. 10 Must-Ask Questions When Choosing a Visual Merchandising Outsourcing Partner

1. Can you share your client list?

Understanding a VM partner's clientele provides valuable insights. Did they work with brands similar to yours? This reveals their experience with your target audience and industry-specific challenges. Seeing the success stories in their portfolio can build confidence in their capabilities.

From electronic consumer goods giants to fintech leaders, Channelplay's Visual Merchandising team has worked with leaders from across different industries.

2. What is your plan for managing my business?

This question delves into the VM partner's project management approach. Will they assign a dedicated team? What communication channels will be used? A clear plan ensures smooth collaboration and keeps you informed throughout the project lifecycle.

We provide a detailed plan and plan multiple rounds of communication to ensure that we’re on the same wavelength as you.

3. If a short notice change arises, can you deal with it?

Retail environments are dynamic, and unexpected changes are more likely than not. Assessing your partner's adaptability to a fast-paced environment is crucial. Do they have a process for handling last-minute modifications? This ensures they can react swiftly and maintain project timelines.

Delivering high-quality results even on tight deadlines is something we have done for OnePlus and many other clients.

4. What is your reach pan-India?

If you have a national presence, understanding the partner's geographical reach is vital. Can they manage VM implementation across all your stores? Knowing their limitations helps you determine if they're a good fit for your specific needs.

With 3,500 towns (and counting) covered across India, Channelplay can meet your requirements in any part of the country!

5. What is your turn-around time?

Understanding a VM partner's geographical reach helps assess their ability to serve your locations. Turn-around time (TAT) is equally important. Knowing their typical timeframe for project completion allows you to plan your in-store promotions and seasonal changes effectively.

Channelplay has competitive TATs that continue to get us appreciation from our clients. We have a campaign execution TAT of 7 days in Base and Branch Town stores, and a TAT of 14 days in rest of India.

6. What services beyond merchandising do you offer, if any?

Some VM firms offer a wider range of services. This could include campaign deployment, inventory management, installation, and even ongoing maintenance of store displays. Identifying these additional offerings helps you determine if they can be a one-stop shop for your VM needs.

Campaign execution, digital signage, new store rollout, fixture maintenance, and there is so much more that Channelplay has to offer.

7. How are your visual merchandisers hired and trained?

The skills and expertise of the VM team directly impact the quality of your in-store displays. Understanding their hiring process and training programmes ensures they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to translate your brand vision into reality.

We take particular care to hire the best talent and spend even more time training them to precision. Our employees are satisfied and most have a long-term association with no intention of leaving. Take Rahul for example. He has been a visual merchandiser with us for a decade now. He started as a young fresh college graduate and now, he is the best mentor for newcomers.

8. What experience do you have relevant to my industry?

Industry-specific experience allows the VM partner to understand your target audience's preferences and tailor VM strategies accordingly. This could lead to more effective and impactful displays that resonate with your customers.

From consumer electronics, fashion retail, and FMCG to fintech, we have experience in various industries and are constantly expanding our reach.

9. What reporting systems do you have in place to keep me informed of progress?

This question is crucial for maintaining transparency and fostering trust in the partnership. A well-defined reporting system ensures you're kept up to date on project milestones, potential roadblocks, and overall progress. 

1Channel is our full channel-tech stack that provides advanced data capture and reporting capabilities. We provide detailed and live data for tracking progress and understanding competitor behaviour. We also offer workflow customisation for you to have complete control over the processes.

10. How Do You Ensure Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance is paramount in visual merchandising. Understanding the partner's approach to maintaining high standards is vital. Look for partners who have a clear quality control process in place. By asking about their quality assurance measures, you gain confidence in the outcome of your VM displays.

With the combined effort of trained personnel, 1Channel’s advanced reporting, and experienced leadership, quality assurance is our top-notch priority.

It is understandable to feel apprehensive about outsourcing visual merchandising, but the benefits of outsourcing visual merchandising to a good firm is worth the leap of faith.