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Visual merchandising displays have a huge impact on a shopper’s buying decision. A compelling and visually-engaging merchandising display all play a part in the overall in store retail design journey. A passerby can turn into a customer by a connection with your brand by the way they are communicated to.

It’s one of the most subtle forms of  retail bricks and mortar marketing, where the shopper doesn’t feel pressured to purchase but is attracted to the product through the experience and shopping journey and can move towards an intent to purchase through a ‘want and need’ of the product or service being displayed.

Visual merchandising displays are crucial for any bricks-and-mortar store, and through key communication can ensure a consumer gains knowledge about key attributes of a product. It is also an opportunity for a brand to communicate its values and positioning, which when in a flagship store or shop in shop location can prove invaluable. One of the first stages in this process is understanding what the brands audience is and who they want to target, a fundamental understanding of branding is key to creating a visual merchandising display and converting a consumer to be a brand advocate.

Sustainability and modular merchandising display systems are an area that is becoming key to longevity within a store, and can also be counted as an integral part of visual merchandising. A system that allows the retailer to change and adapt to both their and their consumer’s needs is becoming a greater requirement. Derwent a global art and lifestyle brand took this to another level offering their customer a branded experience across a wide range of different locations in a mass retail roullout in excess of over 2000+ key accounts .

Getting a shopper to stop and look at the product and then following through to purchase involves multiple touchpoints, read more to find out what a top summary of visual merchandising  can include or see some examples here.


Rab Coat and Jacket Point Of Sale

The Functions of Visual Merchandising

A question that is asked frequently is what exactly is the role that visual merchandising plays in retail design and creating a full 360 shopping experience?

The answer is complex, it starts at the very beginning from research and discovery into the demographics of the audience that is being targeted, to the position and location of a store. From then visual merchandising consists of many choices: where to place a product and/or display, what they exactly display, what the design of the store is, and what would grab a customer’s attention. Does the retail store have a visible window that can be used as an effective advertisement, grabbing the attention of consumers walking by.

The following is an example of a basic A to Z of what needs to be considered for a visual merchandising implementation:

A retail store should be able to answer the following questions:

  1. How can they get a customer to choose to enter their store.
  2. How can they compel the customer to choose and purchase a product.
  3. What will make there product stand out.

From these question the following would need to be captured :

  • How do we attract the attention of a consumer and immerse them in our retail store?
  • When we have their attention how do we interact and engage with the consumer.
  • Are displays needed to create a showcase a launch, promotion or offering.
  • Can we draw attention to the consumer with window displays or even alarm covers?
  • What increase of sales would be needed so ROI of a display is successful.
  • What will convert a mere observer into a paying customer.

While there are many different ways to create an engaging merchandising system, in order to decide which option is the best for you, several factors are considered; budget, your goal (increase in social media presence, etc.), and how immersive the display or experience needs to be. By looking at the full 360 it will ensure that all areas are considered.

The following examples are just some areas of consideration. 

Derwent Point of Sale Category picture colour

Interactive Visual Merchandising

There are different types of interactive displays that help attract, educate and connect to a customer. It is import to consider some consumers are tech savvy and some less so. The later will demand the information they need to be easily digestable at a display or POS. With various types of interactive display options to choose from its important to know what will work best to deliver key information quickly and reliably.

It’s also important to note that as the times have become more technology-savvy, so have visual merchandising displays for example Try-On mirrors:

Try-On mirrors are a great way to have a customer interact with brand. Choosing a variety of options allows the customer to “try on” different products or clothes seeing them in a virtual way. It also allows them to get a quick idea of what that product would look like on them and which one they would prefer. It’s fun, and it helps the customer make a decision easily.

Have a hashtag displayed on your advertising

Not all interactive displays have to be high-tech! There are sometimes connection considerations which can frustrate a consumer (which is important to consider). A QR code to a landing page that will not load due to bad connection at the store can sometime not have the desired effect if they can not join a wifi network. Having a hashtag featured on your retail display can ignite a customers’ curiosity. They may research the hashtag. They can take pictures of the display or the product and them interact with it, post it on Instagram, use the hashtag and the store can offer them a chance to win a discount or other prize.

Mitchell & Ness Hat Window Display

Shop Window Merchandising

Shop window merchandising is a powerful tool in bricks and mortar retail. A well-done shop window display can be a huge opportunity to advertise a product and get a brand message to consumers. There are a few simple guidelines to follow when planning a shop window campaign:

  • Understand the space. Sometimes a focused and select range of products can be impactful.
  • The message or theme is essential and can create an instant impact and an atmosphere that people can relate to.
  • A focal point from multiple directions is key to deliver and communicate to as many consumers as possible.
  • The display is the first step to convincing a new customer to enter a retail space with intent to purchase.
  • Creative lighting can be a lever to make sure your message is capturing the attention both day and night.
  • Consistently changing the display after 3-4 weeks will keep your message fresh and enticing. Modular systems make sure this can be completed simply and in budget.
  • Storytelling is important helping to convey a message and show customers how they can incorporate your product into their own lives.

Shop displays are incredibly important in order to help a consumer decide on whether to enter a store and purchase. If a display isn’t created with a targeted customer in mind, a merchandising opportunity could be lost and result in people entering retail stores and leaving again without purchasing. This is also important for repeat customers or those who purchase large amounts, making the reason why and who you are targeting so vital.

Brand 47 Showroom office

Shopping Experience & Retail Activations

Creating a positive shopping experience that converts a visitor into an avid fan and shopper has alot to do with the store layout, the atmosphere of the store and how welcome they feel, etc.

Are shoppers greeted when they enter the store? Is the store comfortable i.e. is it warm in the winter and cold in the summer? Is ambient music at the right volume? All these areas are important to improve the customer shopping experience and considering your customer’s perspective will always make them feel valued and appreciated.

Contact AA Creative and see how we can help you with your visual merchandising solutions.