The retail sector is one of the most competitive in the business world & so effective marketing strategy is needed in order to be successful. Going the extra distance with the display and merchandising of product throughout the store can not only impact immediate sales but can also help create an identity and ambiance that work towards building a loyal customer base. Visual impact is a huge component of retail merchandising. This Guide has been developed to help demystify the basics of this important facet of fashion retail business by offering new ideas and tips for general signage, directing traffic flow, product merchandising, lighting,promotions etc. Introduction
Identification of traffic flow It is important to recognize the current traffic flow of the store and develop a plan to direct it so that even customers will shop in the entire store with their attention still focused where the merchandiser would like it to be. By strategically placing demand/destination products and impulse items throughout the interior of the store, the traffic flow can be balanced throughout the store and contribute substantially increase overall sales by making the best use of every square foot of retailing space available. Windows set the tone, communicate the store's image , profile and invite customers inside. This is where introductory displays including graphics welcome and educate the customer. Keeping the fl oor as uncluttered as possible will help customers to move around !!
Store Displays & Designs The entry area is often referred to as the "decompression zone," where the customer makes an adjustment to the new environment & takes visual stock of the entire store. Sales rarely take place in the "decompression zone" - in fact, most sales take place after the customer passes through this area. As customer passes through the "decompression zone" they look at the price of the first item, generally to their right, that is easily accessible. This initial item should have a price point that is not overwhelming to your customers, as this area, called the "strike zone," offers your customer their first impression of your store's prices. Once through the "strike zone", the right wall of the store is usually the most valuable real estate as this is the area that is generally travelled first and viewed most thoroughly by our customers. Moving a majority of the merchandise to the walls, a large amount of inventory can still be presented without overburdening the floor !!
Store Displays… The "strike zone“ should also carry demand merchandise - those items that the customer has made the decision to purchase before they enter your store. This can include products that you are promoting but which are not necessarily demand items High demand products placed in the rear of the store will pull customers through the store, increasing the visibility of other products along the way. This ensures that the traffic moves through seasonal, collectible and other merchandise to reach the destination area. Change displays weekly. This visual merchandising tip reminds us that customers want to see new and different products. There is an aspect of entertainment and education that customers appreciate when stores change their displays. Stores that don't change their displays weekly will have customers simply walking past displays that are no longer fresh. Use mannequins as customers enjoy seeing how the garments are designed to fit and how different outfits look together
Graphics & Signage Graphics and signage communicate the store’s image. They can be used to educate customers about merchandise for sale, announce special promotions or to direct traffic flow through the store. Graphics and signage should present a uniform level of quality. Window signage and graphics can compel individuals who have never entered the store to visit for the first time and encourage past visitors to become repeat customers. The window offers a preview of product, as well as an instant image of the store. Large graphics can reflect product style & can suggest a lifestyle or how the products are to be used once purchased. Repetition of large graphics throughout the store in various sizes serves as a reminder of a particular product, creates a dramatic effect and draws the customer from the window through the store. Large graphics can serve the same purpose depicting actual models wearing the clothes !!
Lights Accent lighting is used to feature products. Customers are drawn to light. Lighting can make products shine and bring colors to life. Wash a display wall with light will enhance any product. Accent lighting creates visual interest for shoppers, and magically puts products in their sight. Displays should not be lit directly from the top, or you will get unattractive shadows. Lights should be slightly off to the side, and to the front of the display. Lights should be slightly off to the side, and to the front of the display. They should enhance the 3-dimensional quality of the product. Create a great shopping ambience !!
Offer a promotion.. Retail business is extremely competitive, and so even the smallest of promotions can give the edge over competitors. The business strategy should be to come up with regular and innovative promotions to entice customers into the store. These promotions can range from offering a free gift with certain products to a competition entry when certain items are purchased. If the marketing strategy is fresh with new promotions – key is to remain definitely competitive & attract customers to the products being merchandised Value for money and a great shopping experience !! Price Does Matter !!
Colors & Themes Color does matter !! All merchandising plan should include bright colors not only for displays or end caps, but also for the middle of aisle runs. Visually painting the store with colorful focal points will help draw shoppers to those key areas. Merchandising themes – Themes , group products together for a powerful visual message. Theme merchandising is a fun way to communicate seasonal activities or other information. Themes connect customers to projects or activities, and as a result, connect their spending to your profits. A successful clothing store has vibrant displays & colorful themes that tunes-in with targetted customers !!
Cash & Delivery Counters One of the most highly trafficked areas is the cash counters. Add-on and impulse merchandise should be placed above, behind and near the cash wrap where possible. The cash counter is the location that offers the most captive audience (a waiting customer) and is the point at which impulse sales are most often made. The Cash & Delivery counter also serves as a security checkpoint and as an area that can allow visibility to all parts of the store. Sufficient Cash counters should be working at peak hours as Customers do not want to wait and long queues at cash counter can put many prospective customers off !!