By Cindy Hanauer
Part mastery…part mystery. Most of the science behind good merchandising can be explained, but much of it cannot. We know it when we see it. We know it when we feel it.
If we all had a florist fairy wand, the technique would be simple. Abracadabra! But the mastery of great visual merchandising requires a foundation of basic principles, sprinkled with magic fairy dust that compels the customer to buy. So, what’s the magic?
Honor your visual merchants! They “create” sales by engaging the customer. Be sure that each employee understands the basic elements of visual engagement, and how to stop store traffic with compelling displays and storytelling.
Here are the key strategies toward achieving engaging and profitable visual “eye-candy” in your stores:
In a store environment of polarizing color, a monochromatic display stands out as comforting and refreshing. Simple crate and pallets can help achieve this effect, while still maintaining a modern farmer’s market ambiance. Most importantly, fresh product is imperative! One single distressed item on display can ruin the effect of the entire visual!
Go ahead…..reach out and touch it! Covering the realm of bold, vibrant sunflowers to tactile smooth ceramics, a tactile display inspires the comfort of a summer garden infused with the delightful “fairy dust” of an overall theme.
Harmony and Balance
A harmonious display -in the balance of form- breaks up a multitude of individual products and presents them in a balanced, color-coordinated manner. In addition, balance and harmony allow the customer to see “sell-up” merchandising within a display, which increases revenue. When I look at a well-crafted display, I want to buy 5-6 items -not just one!
How do you know if balance is achieved in a display? Imagine a vertical line drawn down the center of the display. Does the left balance out the right? Imagine each half of the display on a hanging scale. Is the “weight” of each side of the display equal? If so, you’ve achieved the perfect display balance and harmony!
Shape and geometrics are used in many architectural and landscaping fields as a foundation of creativity, bringing pattern and intrigue to the display. Geometrics are also known to inspire multiple purchasing by providing visual interest to even the most basic products. Geometrics can be used in floor patterns, fixturing, ceiling suspensions and the products, themselves.
Grouping and Size
If grouped and themed correctly, effective displays don’t have to be expensive and gigantic. We all know that during the lower sales weeks of the year, our displays must be cost-effective and fiscally paired to the season at hand. Using simple crates, boxes and interesting products, these displays become enticing, 360-degree beauties without breaking the bank!
There’s a lot of inner competition within a store environment, with more and more products added every day! “Go bold or go home”, as they say!
Signage must achieve three principles: Specific, simple and a call to action. Don’t we all want to “become new” with each new year? A great display exudes a “fresh and sunny” theme, while promoting the perfect components that will make the customer experience that feeling through the products they purchase! A good display also exemplifies the “triple-tier” technique, where products are displayed at three levels for additional appeal: knee-high, waist-high and shoulder-high.
Can you feel the fresh ambience? A well-merchandised display persuades the customer to bring nature indoors and enjoy the fresh scent of the countryside inside their home!
You probably won’t find a customer who doesn’t know the date and purpose behind Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day. But your business can’t survive on the primary holidays, alone! This is where information becomes center-stage. Many customers cannot recite the dates and specific purpose of our secondary holidays, which makes it imperative to tell the story of these holidays. Without a visual connection, the customer will simply stroll past the display.
Do you have “visual hot spots” in your store? Remember….the path to a customer’s wallet is directly through their eyes!