Visual merchandising is a very big part of the retail strategy today. As the consumers are moving away from just useful purchases to more of aesthetic purchases, there is increasing need to improve the visual influence and effect of products in an alley in a retail store to increase sales. The touch and feel factor is a bug driver in purchases and if it is supported with the right visual help, the sales have really gone up for many organizations.
Visual merchandising is basically about where you place a product such that customer can easily reach it and buy it. There are various factors in the store that stimulate purchase, some of them are as under:
- Signs and packaging
- Presentation style
- POS machines and placing of checkout counters
- Colours, shapes and various textures
Purchases both primary and additional can be supported with many cues like signs, keeping children products where you keep products for moms etc… A very good strategy used by the retailers is to keep soft toys in the range of children to influence them. Same is the case in bakeries. The height is kept so low so that small children can be intimidated easily. Keeping small buy items like chewing gums, toffees etc… near the checkout counter also comes under this.
To start a career in this field you may choose to do a certificate course and get started. You go up the ladder by gaining experience and understanding the customer. To make a career in visual merchandising you need to have a good understanding of the customer psyche and understand what drives their purchase.
To understand what a customer wants and what does your retail store provide them, many professionals choose to step in their shoes and take a tour of the store. Some noteworthy points are:
- The signage needs to be appropriate and not overwhelm the customer
- There should be no visual blockers
- Generally aisles are kept such that customer can see the store freely and find things that they did not even come to buy
- Entry should be easy and so should be the exit
- Small value products near the counters
Professionals in this field depend highly upon the surveys that are regularly conducted to understand what the customer wants. But one must also understand that a certain review is not enough to do a change and a revision is required based on own experience.
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