What Is Visual Merchandising? A Guide For Winning Over Shoppers At Retail 

06.02.2022 Articles
By Jana Karns, Marketing Intern

When you enter a retail store and say you are “just browsing,” what factors determine which products you pick up? If you don’t have a shopping list, you are looking for something to draw your attention. Whatever does catch your eye was set up intentionally to draw you in. This is the concept of “visual merchandising.” Retailers use visual merchandising to guide the customer’s eye around the store and motivate the customer to make a purchase. 

The average shopper will make an average of three unplanned purchases in four out of every 10 store visits they make. 

Why is visual merchandising important? 

Retailers are limited in what they can do within their physical limits, as they only have so much time, budget, and space to work with. It is important that retailers are strategic with the use of their visual space in order to connect the customer to the right products.  

Brands should be well-represented in a brick-and-mortar store, and their products should look organized, attractive, and intriguing. Visual merchandising should result in your product catching the right customer’s attention at the right time. 

As a customer, shopping should be an enjoyable and easy experience, not a hunt. A store with effective visual merchandising should create a streamlined experience that leads customers to their favorite products and helps them find their new favorites. 

How can retailers improve their visual merchandising? 

Creating a display that draws customers in and sells them on a product is possible when you arrange visual elements in your favor. Visual displays can be enriched by playing with the following: 

  • Color consideration: The color palette that you use will evoke certain feelings in your customers and begin to tell the story of a product. Think about the emotions you want your customer to feel when looking at this display and how you can create that ideal feeling. At the same time, it is important to use white space strategically. You do not want to overwhelm your customer with colors and images, and sometimes saying less can be more. In an oversaturated market, more subtle visual stimuli can draw more attention than bright, busy palettes. Stand out among competitors by telling a unique story with color. 
  • Create a focal point: Visual merchandising creates the opportunity to guide the customer towards what they should be looking at in a display. Decide how you can draw a customer towards a product with one main, eye-catching image.  
  • Play with dimensions: Create visual interest by using the full height and depth of the space available. Spatial limitations can create opportunities to be creative with a visual display. You can draw the eye towards a specific product by contrasting the dimensions of displays and products around you. A display that is different will stand out among the competition. For example, when a product display is taller than other displays, more eyes will be drawn to it.  

Who benefits from visual merchandising? 

Utilizing visual merchandising is mutually beneficial for customers, brands, and retailers. Customers leave with purchases they are excited about, brands increase their awareness to new potential customers, and retailers financially benefit from an increased number of purchases. A more immersive customer experience will lead to repeat shoppers and word-of-mouth reaching new customers. 

For help with visual merchandising, the BDS Merchandising team can assist in creating the best shopping experience for your customers. BDS will revamp and optimize your displays and increase your sales revenue. 

Thanks for reading! 

Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more about merchandising!