Like it or not, customers do judge a book by its cover when it comes to your brick-and-mortar store. In fact, they make judgments about whether you will have what they need in the first eight seconds of walking past your store. And once they’re two seconds past the door, they won't turn around.
This means you have roughly four seconds to grab their attention. That’s a wee amount of time to set a good impression, and if you fail to do that, well, they’re most likely heading straight to your competitor across the block.
Why is this so? To put it simply, human beings are highly visual in nature, and this is particularly important when running a physical retail store. Retail displays and visual merchandising are — and will always be — essential in grabbing attention and boosting sales.
Studies have shown that human beings process most information through the sense of sight. According to researchers, 83.0% is processed by sight, while only 11% is for hearing, and 01.5% is for touch.
Thankfully, there is a science in capturing the attention of potential customers in retail through visual appeal. This is called Visual Merchandising.
What is Visual Merchandising?
Visual Merchandising is the art of presenting, arranging, and displaying products in a way that makes them grab the shopper’s eyes and encourages them to pick up, try on, and ultimately buy the merchandise. It is a set of principles that aims to create an amazing visual experience and a positive and delightful in-store ambiance that encourages purchase.
Regardless of the size of your business, having killer visuals that don’t only have heads turning but your customers would also want to walk into is a crucial factor. In fact, how your business visually appeals to your customers is 45% of your marketing impression.
Today, we share top visual merchandising tips for your store to get all that foot traffic that will later turn into more opportunities for sales and customer engagements.
Tip 1: Work on your storefront
Studies have shown that an appealing storefront makes 70% of first-time sales. Those peeling paint, moldy walls, front weeds, dirty windows, unclear store labels, and poor window displays will not get you anywhere.
Your store needs to be visually welcoming from the entrance. The goal of the storefront is to actually make it look like a place your potential customers would want to enter. Make sure your store is well-lit, clean, and orderly, with a pleasant, inviting smell right from the door.
It’s vital that you keep your storefront looking fresh with updated and eye-catching product displays in your windows. Play with a variety of colors and work on your lighting to create a mood and pull in the sense of curiosity through your displays.
It’s important that your signages are easy to read and visible from across the street or even further away. Instead of handwriting your store hours, invest in printed signages that are bold enough to see.
To see if you’re being effective at this, step outside of your store and look at it from the viewpoint of a potential customer. Assess what has to be worked on.
Tip 2: Play around with colors
Do you know what is the make or break factor of your visual displays? Color. Color is powerful, and when used with the right, it can instantly catch your customers’ eyes and draw them to what you’re selling.
Remember, wherever the eyes go, the feet follow. So make sure you use “pop” of colors all over your store to make it more visually enticing.
Don’t be afraid to play with different colors to throw in that additional flair to your interior, but keep in mind that ins could be more in some cases. Sometimes throwing in random, uncoordinated colors together may look messy and cheap. Stick with a few staple hues that complement your design and your brand.
You may want to consider using contrasting colors, like black and white and monochromatic hues- both can spark intrigue. This tip may sound basic, but the power of incorporating colors into retail stores is something that is underestimated too many times.
Think about your couch at home. You may have a grey or brown couch, but it’s those purple and yellow throw pillows that add a pop of color, giving life and vibrancy to you that piece of furniture. It’s the same principle.
Tip 3: Regularly update your designs
Timely displays are a powerful way to grab the attention of your customers. Update your retail calendar from time to time and see to it that your displays and shop decor are in line with relevant shopping events and seasons.
For example, during back-to-school season, have an entire corner assigned to school supplies and relevant merchandise. Fill the area with eye-catching back-to-school displays that will make them impossible to miss.
There are also other occasions to celebrate, such as International Coffee Day, National Pasta Day, St. Patrick’s Day, or even Black Friday; explore your fun and festive side and use your shop displays to celebrate.
Holidays and seasons only last so long, and promotional items are there for a limited time only. For seasonal displays, feature new arrivals in your store racks and display windows first.
If you have products meant to go together, keep them bundled up. You don’t want their first appearance to be offset by your other regular products and lose their potential to add sales. Later, group any leftover items with new arrivals for a change.
Regularly updating your designs will always give your shoppers a fresh and brand new impression of your store.
Tip 4: Expose your customers to more of your merchandise
A well-designed display that brings in a lot of impacts exposes the customer to as much merchandise as possible while avoiding clutter. The more products customers see, the more chances that they are buying.
Many retailers use a circular store layout. This design is powerful because it exposes customers to more merchandise than the traditional aisles. Now, if your store has aisles, you can put up a display right at the center so customers can stop and look at the products. Have as many displays as possible and showcase as much merchandise as you can. But make sure your displays are clean and sharp, and your aisles have more than enough space to move around. Keep them barrier-free to prevent customers from diverting from the products.
Tip 5: Sales Promotions
What is more powerful than a big red sign that says, “SALE!” Stir up this sense of urgency in your store with flashcards, labels, and big, bold signs promoting the sales or price markdown on certain products. This will increase foot traffic to your store. Because really, who can resist a good sale?
Ever wondered why flash sales stir up a buyers frenzy in the market? Implementing limited-time offers will encourage customers to get a move on in purchasing your products. Make your customers know that the promo won’t last long, which will urge them to act quickly. Studies have shown that 50% of flash sale purchases happen in the first hour.
So take advantage of sales promotions and put up your displays accordingly. Here is a great article to learn about the best ways to facilitate sales promotion in your business.
Tip#6: Use Empty Spaces Wisely
Do you know what is the one space in a retail store that is often not utilized well enough? It’s that section right between the ceiling and your store racks. You can use this space for many things, like labels and signage providing more information about your products and brands.
This is also a great place to showcase customer testimonials with their names and photos. You could also use these spaces to display lifestyle tips and tricks that might be useful to your consumers and will urge them to buy more of your products.
You may also use furniture to add a more cozy and homey feel to your shop.
There are hundreds of ways to make use of visual merchandising, and applying these simple tips in this article will give you the biggest bang for your buck.