Friday, June 26, 2009

Visual Merchandising Tips

I found this awesome article from IKEA Business about setting up a retail shop. I loved the ideas. As a commercial planner for IKEA... these are some of the things that we have tried to incorporate into our retail plans. If your setting up shop from home... like me for a show.. the tips are as important... visual appeal is everything. Check out the in full article here:

Retail Visual Merchandising:

Retail visual merchandising shares many of the same principles as advertising, graphic design, and interior design — the purpose of visual merchandising is to create a logical and visually pleasing environment that will grab attention and translate into increased sales. Visual merchandising basics are pretty easy to understand — a clean store, well lit, with merchandise displayed in neat groupings. But visual merchandising can delve deeper, focusing on the how your customers might think, feel and react to the environment that you've created. The following are a dozen tips for retail visual merchandising:
1. Take It OutsideIf the weather's good and you're allowed to do so, set up a display of merchandise outside your store. This can create a sense of excitement and buzz.
2. Identify EverythingCustomers are in a hurry. Use signage to identify not only departments but categories — this will help customers pinpoint what they need and inspire additional purchases.
3. Set The Mood With Your WindowsStore windows are incredibly valuable merchandising territory: use them to set the mood of the event or sale you're having. This mood should match the mood your customers want to experience after buying from you: do they want excitement, romance, serenity?
4. Embrace All The SensesGreat merchandising appeals to more than the eyes. Consider how your store sounds, smells, and even feels: are all of these 'messages' you're sending with music, scents, and other environmental factors in keeping with the displays you create?
You can evoke senses without addressing them directly. For example, putting a pair of red bowls and spoons with a display of a tomato soup can get mouths watering!
5. Show Them How It Will Look At HomeUse your displays to show customers how the merchandise will look in their home. For example, if you're selling jewelry, present it in the gift box, perhaps with some curls of ribbon still clinging to the box...a row of pans hanging neatly. Many customers can't envision merchandise 'in application' — when they see a pan in a box, for example, they see a pan in a box. But put that same pan on a faux stovetop, with a cheerful checkered potholder and a pair of wineglasses nearby with a stack of cook books, and suddenly that pan is something more: it's a potential romantic dinner for two, just waiting to be whipped up.
6. Group Like With LikeOrganize your store logically: customers should be able to find all of one type of merchandise easily. Create 'groupings' within categories, so all the merchandise that is one color, type, price or size is positioned together.
7. Group By LifestyleDisplay merchandise from several categories that all share the same theme — in the appropriate environment setting. For example, in an office supply store, a display could reflect the workplace of a high-tech wizard, pairing together the right steel and glass desk with cutting edge accessories centered around the computer, or a classic CEO suite, with old school green glass lamps on a heavy walnut desk, replete with blotter.
8. Use the SpotlightLighting attracts customers, much like moths to the flame! Dramatic lighting doesn't have to be expensive: well placed spotlights can draw attention to key pieces of merchandise. Make sure to use spotlights within your store as well as in the windows!
9. Change Your Displays Often!A great display is a great display — the first time the customer sees it. But what if the customer sees that same display next week, and the week after that? Suddenly the display is not so great. It's boring; the same-old, same-old. Customers don't come back to boring stores! Plan on changing your displays with the seasons. Even better is to do so weekly.
10. Use colorStrong color can have strong results: plan your displays around a central color that pops and captures the customer's attention. Try to have a different color every season (or every week if you can). If you've used yellow as your central color this season, go with purple or blue next time — not red or orange.
11. Integrate MotionMerchandise that moves will catch the eye. If you have anything that moves — from clocks to toys to music boxes, take one out and set it up. Let customers see it working. If your merchandise is more static, bring motion into the store with a mobile, fan, etc.
12. Remember the Rule of Three Whenever you create a display, work in sets of three. If you're arranging merchandise by height, have a tall, taller, tallest. If something is squat and round, have a fat, fatter, fastest. You can even group by price: good, better, best displays works surprisingly well.

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