What is Visual Merchandising?
Visual merchandising is the art and science of presenting products in the most appealing way. It is the “language of a store”, how a retailer communicates with its customers through product images or presentations. The goals of visual merchandising are to trigger purchases and to increase the customers’ shopping enjoyment and satisfaction with the store.
Visual merchandising is often most associated with apparel retailing but there are many ways to present many kinds of products to their best advantage. For example, when presenting clothes in the most appealing way, elegant mannequins are often used. A bakery might present their most refined cupcakes on a beautifully crafted silver tray. Vegetables in a supermarket can be arranged according to color in an appealing way. And a perfumery can use eye-catching presentation tables to display its products visually.
With a good visual merchandising strategy, it’s much easier to sell products. A study examined the effect of visual merchandising for consumer packaged goods. It found that the effect of merchandising support on brand switching was approximately equal to a 15%–30% price cut*. A more sophisticated strategy can lead to even greater effects. This is achieved by directing shoppers’ attention to specific products, triggering unplanned purchases, increasing the time spent in the store, and establishing a uniform picture of the store. In addition, the presentation of merchandise will contribute to the overall image of the store.
In this video I would like to give you an overview of visual merchandising. In the videos that follow we will then take a closer look at specific aspects of merchandise presentations (the most important visual merchandising principles, the choice overload effect, bundled presentations, etc).
* Source: Allenby , G. & Lenk, P. (1995). Reassessing brand loyalty, price sensitivity, and merchandising effects on consumer brand choice. Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, 13 (1), 291-289.