Have you ever walked into a store and felt transported to a certain world or moment? Because of the atmosphere, the costumes, the sets. Or even with the lack of atmosphere or decorations? Was this experience helpful? Did it cost you more or less money? You probably answered yes to most of these questions and the person in charge of trading (trade) and visual marketing did well.
What is merchandising?
Behind the layout and look of the store is an entire team that works on developing themes to showcase collections and transport customers into stories, thus enhancing their experience.
Although high-end brand stores are very different from higher-volume stores, the approach remains the same. Before thinking about the organization of the store, there are rules that companies must follow and key elements to consider for successful merchandising: the visual balance of colors, for example, at the end of the store. Quantities: will it be a high-volume boutique where all the items will be on display, or do we want to show only one piece per style to maintain a certain minimalism and exclusivity like high-end boutiques?
“The role of merchandising is to create magic with the product,” he says Neil Barnabasa merchandising specialist with over 30 years of experience working for banners such as Rudsak, Bestseller Canada and Band Dynamite. How does magic happen? With capsules, stories highlighting articles or collections. To create these capsules, products are staged in decorations or accessories (if the budget allows) or simply by stacking several articles.
The main story or theme of the moment is usually at the front of the store and as you progress through the store the customer is transported through previous capsules/themes and different product categories until they reach the back of the store. store, sales department.
Several investment strategies are used to help sell products. Yes, it’s confirmed: the items placed in front of the tills are for sale! This placement increases units per transaction (UPT)**, a sales metric used to monitor store performance.
Several strategies and techniques are also used at the heart of clothing stores. Wardrobe technique, placement of clothes in repeated sets. This guides customers and therefore makes them more independent in their choice of clothing and accessories.
Then highlight the best items from the collections by looking at them and continue with the others on the side. Therefore, the eye is drawn to the most beautiful pieces and attention is then directed to the rest of the collection.
Finally, some products are purchased in larger volumes. For example, a simple sweater will be bought in many colors and variations and should be sold with a promotion. This sweater will be used in certain capsules or styles layered with other fabrics to show its versatility. These items can be turned into high performance products!
And if we go a little further
Good visual marketing goes far beyond merchandising and strategic placement. Visuals are often created and integrated into store walls to support themes and capsules. Lighting, especially its color and location, also plays a huge role in the perception of products. Not to mention the “sale” posters for tables and displays or the discount section, often placed at the back of the store, explaining prices and promotions.
To be even more relevant, more and more companies are using screens that display information and images that support the visual material in the rest of the store. All atmospheric work and visuals done in the store must clearly match the website.