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Lisa Malin, Marketing Manager

Visual merchandising is an intrinsic component of store design that can maximise sales.

Here at Green Room we collaborate on many projects from store design to eye-catching window and product displays, including numerous digital displays such as installations for Sun & Sand Sports. We often get asked what the rules and fundamentals of visual merchandising (VM) are, as our clients look to maximise the quality and wow factor of the store environments that we create.

So, here are our principles of visual merchandising for retail stores.

Store layout

The most important factor is the layout and how customers move throughout the store, it is essential to take into consideration the seven principles of retail store interior design. Begin by planning the key categories that you want to promote i.e. the most valuable, and then think about the journey the customer will take through your store.

Also, consider displaying related items together to create opportunities for impulse purchases.

Merchandising

Once the store design and layout are agreed, focus moves to the merchandising, which is how the store looks and products are styled. It is important at this stage to understand who your customers are and how they shop.

As humans, we read from left to right, but this doesn’t mean that horizontal displays will work. Vertical displays have more impact on the eye, and you can see more of the products on display.

Products placed between waist and eye-height should be the fast sellers and high margin ones as this is the most effective part of the visual display.

Concentrate on the most visible areas of the store. Create eye-catching window displays to encourage customers to enter the store. End of aisle displays form a key point as well as the checkout area.

We’ve recently blogged about ‘Visual Merchandising in a Digital Age‘, looking at how customers, armed with their ecommerce experience, are now expecting more from visual merchandising.

Display

There are plenty of different product display techniques that can be used to create high converting displays:

  • Colour blocking – captures attention and creates impact
  • Symmetry and balance – keep displays simple and uncluttered
  • Repetition – help products stand out
  • Odd numbers – work well as the brain takes slightly longer to process, and they look more attractive
  • Mirroring and triangulation – creating a high focal point and creating a triangle effect draws the eye and can be very impactful
Mannequin display in yoga poses

Sun & Sand Sports, Dubai

Graphics

Utilising the right graphics and point of sale (POS) material can help the customer make decisions. Use POS material to catch attention, draw focus to sale or promotional items, identify products and also highlight prices or product benefits.

Integrating digital and etail visual merchandising in-store is also crucial to keeping up with the pace at which etail is evolving faster than retail. Our report Retail Wake Up Call identifies industry concerns about being left behind in today’s ever-changing, digitally enhanced environment.

Integrating digital at retail

One way in-store content can be curated and kept up-to-date is through the use of digital screens, which can be quickly and easily updated. Digital signage can be used when product displays are likely to move around the store for re-merchandising. Our Pro:Direct store design, in London, is packed with technology and digital signage allowing for the store’s ambience to be changed instantly to reflect new product launches or campaigns.

Pro:Direct, London

Get the basics right

Finally, no store will be successful unless it is clean and tidy for customers to feel welcome. Ensure store maintenance and cleanliness routine is in place.

Summary

All of these visual merchandising principles, along with the right store design and layout can help create interest, prolong dwell time, improve customer experience and lead to increased purchase rate.

Read more about our store design and visual merchandising work, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for further information and to discuss your projects.