Visual Merchandising 101
Written by Diana Howson

Visual merchandising is the way in which product is displayed in a store. A well merchandised store maximizes the use of their store space by positioning product and drawing attention to that product with the use of marketing materials and a great location. When you create a merchandise display, there are some basic rules that one should follow, in order to create a visually effective, and desirably profitable merchandising display. Here's how:

High demand products should have priority in a visual display. High movement products will draw in the consumer. This will help to sell other items in the display.  A highly effective & productive display uses the high velocity products as a focal point. For example, if you would like to sell a lot of a popular, high margin product this month, pop it into the middle of the display and give it the largest percentage of shelf space in the display. Be sure to measure the success!

Design Elements:
Colour, texture, lighting, angles, heights and arrangement set a scene and communicate a story in a successful visual display. The idea is to engage, entice and sell to the consumer, by appealing to their senses. When your merchandise is arranged attractively, in a clutter free, clean environment, using clear signage that communicates effectively to the consumer - voila! You have just embarked on a mission of employing your silent salesperson that will continually encourage purchases!

Use of Colour:
As we know, colour provokes emotion. Some colours can illicit strong connections to specific associations. A business can benefit from the use of colours to enhance their merchandising display. For example, the calming effects of the colour blue make it a great choice for a spa and bath products display. Or, green is often associated with environmental friendliness, which would make it a great background choice for earth friendly cleaning products. Yellow is one of the most memorable colours and is also associated with sunshine, making it a go-to choice to bump up any supplement display!
Mass Display:
Use mass display to create a sense of urgency to buy! By stacking a gross of product of a sale item in a limited time offer of environmentally friendly laundry detergent, or almond milk, one can attract attention and create a sense of need to purchase. Location is also important for the effectiveness of a mass display sale. Use front of store and high traffic areas for visibility and selling success.
Theme Display
When we display merchandise it is often fun and very effective to use a theme. Theme tells a story and can be very engaging. For example, the use of beach towels, pail and shovel, flip flops, and artificial tropical flowers can send an emotional vacation message when displaying all natural sun block and spf face cream. Incorporating a BBQ to show off your condiments, chips & dips, and picnic snacks, can encourage the sale of other related summer food products which influences sales - plus you can create a buzz by having a draw for the BBQ at the end of the summer! A personal favourite of mine is an end cap display, using real or artificial Bamboo, to create a beautiful green, leafy display to showcase all or any merchandise that is bamboo related. Health consumers love all things Bamboo, including our very popular Enerex Bamboo Silica!

Watch for our Visual Merchandising 101 contribution in our retailer newsletters. Diana Howson has a professional background history in design & design installation, for over 20 years. Contributions will be ongoing to assist the retailer in creating eye catching, effective, sales generating product displays, as part of our value added initiations program.


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