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VM-unveiled. Plotting a path through the Multi-Channel Minefield
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VM-unveiled. Plotting a path through the Multi-Channel Minefield


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For the majority of retail businesses the “no-brainer” moves have been played, and the easy money has been made. Yet the battle continues unabated for elusive customer patronage, and increased market …

For the majority of retail businesses the “no-brainer” moves have been played, and the easy money has been made. Yet the battle continues unabated for elusive customer patronage, and increased market share.
The battlefields are physical and online stores, and the new weapon of choice for creating inspiring retail experiences is visual merchandising.
With limited budgets and resources, visual merchandising offers the potential of “quick-win” yet sustainable sales increases through low-cost, low-risk, low-investment solutions, which are dynamic and flexible.
In a world of austerity visual merchandising has come of age. Visual Merchandising makes the most of what retailers have.

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  • 1. VM-unveiled!plotting a path for visual merchandisingthrough the multi-channel minefieldhow to pinpoint & deliver sales increases in physical & online stores from VM-unleashed! Ltd
  • 2. Visual Merchandising comes of agedelivering sales increases in a world of austerity “In the vast majority of cases, improved sales and profit willFor the majority of retail businesses the “no-brainer” moves have been now be the result of incrementalplayed, and the easy money has been made. Yet the battle continues improvements across a wideunabated for elusive customer patronage, and increased market share. range of store elements.The battlefields are physical and online stores, and the new weapon of The clever part will be identifyingchoice for creating inspiring retail experiences is visual merchandising. which improvements will produce tangible sales increases and willWith limited budgets and resources, visual merchandising offers the represent a worthwhile return onpotential of “quick-win” yet sustainable sales increases through low- investment. ”cost, low-risk, low-investment solutions, which are dynamic and flexible.In a world of austerity visual merchandising has come of age.Visual Merchandising makes the most of what retailers have. “Customers are often blind toVM-unveiled! is a unique analytical process which tests the strengths the extensive work done to improve assortments.and the weaknesses of both physical and online visual merchandising,space planning, assortment presentation & visual display techniques. Only when the product is looked at through the eyes of theVM-unveiled! measures and benchmarks an extensive range of visual customer experience, andmerchandising elements to give a unique insight into how successfully changes made to the producta retailer is delivering and communicating its product proposition grouping & visual display, do you see the sales response youVM-unveiled! clearly identifies “quick-wins” and “cost-effective have been looking for.”improvements” and shows how to convert these into additional sales.VM-unveiled! explains why, where and how to group, display and sellmore effectively – how to improve conversion & increase rates of sale.Whilst multi-channel retailing is the future, it will only be a bright one forthose who accurately identify the strengths and weaknesses of their CEO Retail Priorities for 2012physical & digital experiences, and improve them accordingly. Kurt Salmon Retail CEO survey: Retail2012The importance of VM in a multi-channel world Multi-channelRecent surveys confirm the importance of a multi-channel strategy, Develop storesand in a world where over 80% of retail sales still come through thephysical channel the priority to maximise visual merchandising in Reduce cost basephysical stores as well as develop best practice online.VM-unveiled! makes the commercial link between buying & Range expansion &merchandising and assortment structure planning with space developplanning, product ranging, visual merchandising mentand the delivery of a retail calendar across channels. InternationalVM-unveiled! makes the most of what retailers have! expansi on Scores & mentions how to pinpoint & deliver sales increases in physical & online stores from VM-unleashed! Ltd1
  • 3. Protecting & maximising your interestsUnderstanding the scope and range of VM opportunitiesVM-unveiled! enables retailers, brands and investors in retail tounderstand the scope and range of sales opportunities existing “The VM quick-wins that werewithin a retailer’s physical and online stores. suggested delivered initial sales improvements, and bought usPriority consideration is given to potential improvements that will be valuable time and breathingquick to impact, can be attained with existing resources, and can be space to address the more fundamental issues within theachieved with low cost & low risk. business. ”The VM-unveiled! process is used as a one-off catalyst for change, asa series of seasonal injections, and as an ongoing monitor of progressand identifier of new opportunities.VM-unleashed! is also used in conjunction with other consultancywork-streams typically focused on assortment structure planning and “Our successful yet almost accidental online businessbuying & merchandising, or as part of due diligence and retail strategy now has key objectives forreports for financial stakeholders. improvement, with clear and precise VM actions to bringRetailers: to pinpoint weaknesses and deliver quick-win opportunities, us in-line with best practice.”validating existing perceptions and assisting internal decision makingprocesses, and galvanising existing operational teams.Brands: to highlight where retail best practice is lacking in physical &online stores, and improve the delivery of the brand proposition and “It can sometimes be a fine,how it is being communicated through retail and wholesale. but very important line, between throwing money at a problem,Retail consultants: to add analytical evidence supporting high level and pinpointing investment thatconclusions and recommendations, and introducing practical “quick- will deliver strategic solutionswin” opportunities and staggered action plans. and financial gain.”Investment banks/private equity: to highlight areas of strength andweakness in the retail delivery, and pinpoint where investment cangenerate quick and healthy returns through increased sales andefficiencies.Design consultants: to add analytical credence to creative % more spending fromrecommendations, and commercial backbone to decisions on space a multi-channelplanning, store layout, fixture design and visual merchandising. customer than a single channel customerWeb developers: to add retail awareness, to link the areas of buying& merchandising and assortment structure planning to sitearchitecture, product segmentation, visual merchandising & thedelivery of a retail calendar. 30%Customer behaviour analysts, software developers and market Kurt Salmon Retail CEO survey:researchers: as a perfect dovetail to sales performance data analysis, Retail2012market research & customer focus groups; adding retail expertise toconclusions, and providing real & practical actions in store and onlinefor tangible performance improvements. how to pinpoint & deliver sales increases in physical & online stores from VM-unleashed! Ltd2
  • 4. Making the most of what retailers haveBuilding the retail of tomorrow with the realities of todayVM-unveiled! is a well-tested and structured process which hasdelivered incisive improvements and added real value for retailers.The adaptation of the store concept to a variety of internationalmarkets with inherently different consumer tastes and shoppingbehaviours - assortment mix, visual display, space layout, productexposure and product story grouping.The re-balancing of physical option densities and unit depths to “It was very important tomaximise assortment impact and choice yet sustain enough stock to understand the subtle yetsupport a self-service concept without missing vital sales. important differences when grouping and displaying ourCoordinating the product dynamic of the retail calendar across store assortment for new overseasspace, windows, display points, mannequins, fixture displays, online markets. Acting on the analysis and recommendations will haveimagery, home page design, web architecture, assortment a positive and immediatesegmentation, frequency & content of newsletters. impact on our sales. ”Avoiding the invisible online assortment by ensuring the correctsegmentation of the product to create logical and intuitive on-linearchitectures for optimum product visibility and assortment exposure.Setting the correct display parameters for store grading.Defining for outlets from 200-2000sqm modifications to the displaydensities, product grouping, display rhythms and visual techniques.Creating different visual merchandising personalities for a variety ofdepartments and brands within the same store to deliver appropriatevisual and commercial differentiation, facilitating ease of navigation, “Our store refurbishmentdriving footfall and increasing sales productivity. programme had always brought initial sales increases but this became moreCorrecting the balance of “product stories” within an assortment. sustainable when theWorking with merchandising teams to develop coordinated themes, environment and fixturingcategories & silhouettes, and with planning teams to define their was linked to the displaystrategic placement and adjacencies in wall and floor displays. requirements of the assortment.”Ensuring that new store layouts deliver the correct display space,correct wall and floor capacities, correct floor fixture balance,appropriate store zones and department depths for each productdepartment, category and product story grouping the battle for market share. year-on-year change in total footfall aug-oct 2011 BRC footfall monitor -2.3% how to pinpoint & deliver sales increases in physical & online stores from VM-unleashed! Ltd3
  • 5. VM-unveiled! - MethodologyTranslating the complexities of the retail spaceinto something we can all understandAt the heart of the VM-unveiled! process is the obsession tounderstand how effectively a retailer is communicating its retailproposition to the customer through its physical & online stores. .It is the strength or weakness of the proposition which attracts newcustomers, retains existing customers, inspires customers to visitmore often, and stimulates every customer to buy more products onevery visit. The only ways to generate more sales.How well a retailer conveys its proposition is dependent on delivering Retail propositionsa complex array of retail elements and features from store layout, and customer perceptionsspace planning & online architectures - through product display and create brand differentiationvisual merchandising - to graphic design and the communication of and appeal, drive footfall andproduct, price & promotions. frequency of visit, and ultimately increase sales productivity:-VM-unveiled! measures the collective effectiveness of these retailelements. A unique link between tangible retail features and the VM-unveiled! benchmarks:intangible customer perception. Ease of Shop- Coordinated analysis of the diverse elements of the retail experience Product Inspiration- Quantification of the quality and effectiveness of each element. Product Visibility Product Dynamics- Unique correlation of the retail element analysis for an accurate assessment of the strength of the product proposition delivery Assortment Authority Assortment Price & Value- Quantitative comparison of the strength of the retail proposition across internal channels and with the key competitors Fashionability & Freshness Retail Sociability Customer Centricity Femininity & Warmth Multi-channelness ProfessionalismThe process is a virtuous cycle where theweaknesses of today are the opportunitiesfor the strengths of tomorrow how to pinpoint & deliver sales increases in physical & online stores from VM-unleashed! Ltd 4
  • 6. VM-unveiled! - DeliverablesPlotting a path through the multi-channel minefieldVM-unveiled! will… VM-unveiled! delivers a finalillustrate at a strategic level what are the current strengths and recommendations report andweaknesses of the product proposition for the customer. presentation…specify at a practical level what retail elements and features need Highlights of the strategicto be improved, and how precisely they should be improved. appraisal of the key elements of the customer experiencerecommend what actions are required to improve each retailelement to allow the product proposition to achieve its full Relative strengths andpotential. weaknesseslook in depth at specific retail elements and product propositions Relative strengths andthat are of current strategic importance to a retailer. weaknesses of each channelOutput charts will be used to illustrate important conclusions: Consistency and coordination between channels• Comparative product proposition and retail element scores Strengths, weaknesses,• Retail element relative scores against competitors opportunities & threats• Product propositions against customer perception - market position/ benchmarked to competitors & best practice price perception/exciting/trustworthy/dynamic/static• Photographic store review illustrating data conclusions Process changes required for sustainable improvements• Competitor photographic store review illustrating strengths & threats Quick wins for “buying time” Pinpoint recommendations on which attributes carry the maximum sales opportunities A focus on improvements which are quick, low-investment, low resource, low risk but high impact Where the combination of several incremental actions together can have significant impact on the retail proposition and sales how to pinpoint & deliver sales increases in physical & online stores from VM-unleashed! Ltd8
  • 7. VM-unleashed!Making the most of what retailers haveVM-unleashed! has developed its unique VM-unveiled! diagnostic toolas a first step to improving the retail experience of stores & websites. VM-unleashed is a retail specialist consultancy workingVM-unleashed! offers a wide range of retail services to enable clients with companies throughoutto implement our analysis and recommendations. Europe. Tim Radley is the founder and Managing Director and hasSpace planning & allocation been working with best practicemaximising sales/profit productivity per sqm., space density and store European retailers for over 20 years including:-.capacities – store grading, square metre to linear metre conversion,store & web space allocation, fixture capacity and design flexibility. All Saints, Camper, Boots, Carrefour, Otto Versand,Assortment structure display Gruppo Coin, Vestebene,Segmenting the assortment for customer ease-of-shop, balancing Adidas, Sonae, Alessi, Aena, Marks & Spencer, KappAhl,product story types, defining construction of options within stories, Imaginarium, Porcelanosa,planning the flow of goods to construct and fragment stories Clarks, Aldeasa, Pepe Jeans,Store layout & web architecture Trucco, Sony, Orange…Segmentation, architecture and intuitive navigation, sightlines andfocal point planning, best seller merchandising, “contact points” tostimulate impulse purchasing, cross-merchandisingVisual MerchandisingCommercial display with optimum option and unit densities, creativedisplay for maximum rates of sales, integration of actual and plannedbest sellers, image makers, high & low margin productRetail Calendar, Events & Promotionssales promotion strategies and calendars, price & promotionalcommunication, stimulating the assortment, controlling store & webspace, time and graphic communication, dynamic promotionallayering, window strategy & display, store & website promotionaljourney, e-newsletter deliveryVM tools & processes, team structure & trainingdeveloping guidelines & manuals, space plans & zoning, developingstore regimes and routines, instilling a culture of visual merchandising“from boardroom to stockroom!”, improving visual merchandising skillsin-store, developing & delivering training programmes.Multi-channelBuilding consistency & integration of the assortment segmentation andgrouping between channels, development of a coordinated retailcalendar delivered through creative “contact points” in stores andonline. how to pinpoint & deliver sales increases in physical & online stores from VM-unleashed! Ltd9
  • 8. VM-unleashed Ltd! Tim Radley11 Moat Farm Managing DirectorRoyal Tunbridge Wells tim.radley@vm-unleashed.comKent TN2 5XG 07967 609849UK www.vm-unleashed.comhow to pinpoint & deliver sales increases in physical & online stores from VM-unleashed! Ltd