Visual merchandising is about presenting your retail premises and products in an attractive way to drive sales. Good visual merchandising can set your retail business apart from your competitors, be a strong marketing tool and increase customer interest and loyalty in your retail business.
Retail branding and signage
Creating and promoting a strong brand is one of the most important elements of your retail business. It conveys messages to potential customers about your business’ reputation and personality.
Your brand should be prominent throughout your business, from the street-fronted signage to the displays inside your retail premises. See branding: the basics.
Retail window displays
A window display is often the first thing potential customers see of a retail store. Attractive shop fronts play a key role in driving footfall in towns and cities. A good display will cost money, but it can pay back in increased sales.
Simple techniques can make a visually striking display of your products to hook people’s interest. Good lighting is of key importance especially if your store and surrounding streets open late. Promote key product lines or important customer offers to gain attention. Think about opportunities for seasonal or event-themed dressing eg Christmas, Easter, major events or the World Cup.
Check with your local council or chamber of commerce who may run competitions to reward the best dressed shop window during the year.
Price promotions to attract customers
Retailers can attract customers into their premises by offering a product which is deliberately sold below profit margin - also known as a "loss leader". This is usually displayed at the entrance to a retail store to attract customers inside to purchase more profitable goods, thereby ensuring an overall profit. See different pricing tactics.
Interior retail store layout
Any retail store is a blank canvas - how you design the floor plan and use space can affect your customers’ desire to buy your products.
Think about the types of products you stock and your options for displaying them. Using striking colours, group complementary products together, plan symmetrical displays or use repetition to make a statement.
Point of sale displays
Just because a customer is waiting at your till doesn’t mean they’ve finished shopping. Impulse purchases can be encouraged by adding a point of sale display. This can work well for smaller value items, or goods which customers might even expect to be stocked at the point of sale. For example, convenience retailers find that chewing gum and chocolates are key impulse purchases, or greeting cards retailers stocking pens and gift tags by the till.
Think about small or complementary items which customers can forget about or can be used to up-sell or add value to their main purchases. See how can I use design in my business?
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- What you need to do about health and safety
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services