By Amanda Curtis of ARC Design Studios –
A fter working in visual merchandising for the last eight years, I have learned quite a few things about how merchandising inspires sales and how spacial design can affect a guest’s willingness, to not only buy that day, but to return.
My advice below not only affects brick-and-mortar spaces who’s goal is to sell, but is also important to people who want to uplift and enliven the quality of their home and office because where you place your livingroom furniture and the artwork gracing your walls, tabletop and floor play a role in your emotional health.
Visual merchandising encompasses;
- product layout,
- product sales analysis,
- product placement and sales per square foot analysis,
- building displays,
- product education,
- sales trend analysis,
- and thematic story telling through display,
- window displays,
- inventory control,
- logistics coordination,
- and lastly teamwork.
What is the purpose of visual merchandising? I like to refer to the impact that visual merchandising has on a space by saying that it “influences the energy to inspire the outcome”.
To influence a client is to take their idea of what is and show them what it could be. Taking their current state of mind and influencing the energy in the direction that encourages support of our goals.
The word influence signifies that we are working to create an environment, that when experienced by our clients, translates into the desired outcome of the retail goals. Most of the time these retail goals involve…YES, you guessed it, SALES!
Proper visual merchandising displays product in the best possible manner to encourage the best possible sales and client experience. If the visual merchandising practice is efficient, properly laid out, and maintained you have the ability to analyze product sales to consistently adjust the retail space to have the best possible earning potential.
If your merchandising practice is all of those things and INSPIRING, not only will you hit your financial goals, but you will gain clients that come back just to see what you’ll say next.
We want to inspire the guests; whether that means inspire them to replicate the same ideas they see in the shop, inspire them to buy a new product that maybe they would not have bought otherwise, or maybe it’s to inspire them to simply return to shop again (and to tell their friends).
I love design, I love having my own personal style; but when it comes to visual merchandising the drive behind every concept needs to be how do we speak to sales with our displays for this particular product and location?
How do we increase numbers while also inspiring our clients? How do we design a space that has a balance of being relatable while still displaying a true uniqueness?
A beautiful display that is easy to shop, provides all the needed visual cues for a client to obtain the necessary information, and is inspiring will sell just as much product as someone verbally expressing a sales pitch. Honestly, probably even more.
Here is how I see it. If I create a display with specific merchandise that grabs the attention of a client, is accessible enough for them to pick up the product, is properly marked with pricing and specifics the client would inquire about for purchase, and its surrounded by other products they may also enjoy then, I have been heard.
I challenge you both as a consumer or, as a business owner, to think of a time that you walked into a retail location and had more than just the urge to get everything on your shopping list..But a true experience. What space comes to mind? What space comes to mind that you had a positive experience and maybe one that was not so positive?