5 min read

The Main Benefits of Visual Merchandising and Instore Displays for Retail Stores

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
October 27, 2021
May 29, 2024

Visual merchandising is the way your products are displayed in the retail store. It is one of the most important elements of making the sale. That’s why it’s essential to get it right from the very beginning. Visual merchandising displays are your secret weapon to nailing the art of product representation. Here’s why. 

Retail is an exciting industry to be in. You’ve got to understand the very nature of human beings, to get down to the basic needs and desires in order to get to the most sacred actions of all: a sale. More often than not it’s a gargantuan task that takes lots of research and preparation. And one thing is to make a sale and another is to secure the constant income flow. Visual merchandising is at the heart of the interaction between your store and your customer. 

What is visual merchandising?

Visual merchandising is the way you present your products to the customers at your retail store. 

It may sound simple but, in fact, successful visual merchandising takes time and practice and is directly connected to knowing your audience well.

Here are the main types of visual merchandising: 

  • Outdoor and window displays - it is the starting point of your engagement with the audience. The shinier, the more exciting, the more attention-grabbing it is the better. The main goal of the outdoor and window displays is to capture the attention and make your potential customers to come inside your store and ultimately make a sale. 

A great window display can easily lead to a compulsive sale. So it’s important to design it accordingly. 

  • Display Space - it is the area where your products are actually displayed, the majority of your retail space. Make sure that it is comfortable to navigate and easy to browse. Don’t make a mistake by cramping lots of products in one zone. Always think strategically and imagine the customer journey. 

If the display space is not intuitive and well-planned, you risk losing your customer and never seeing him/her back. That’s the same as with a website. If the design and navigation are bad people bounce off and never return. Make them want to stay.  

  • Lighting - this part is largely responsible for creating the right ambiance of your store, getting customers in the right mood in order to smoothen the sale process. 
  • Shelves and racks design - people prefer to browse in comfort, so give them exactly that by designing your shelves and racks in the most convenient and stylish way. 
  • Checkout counter display - it is the end of the customer journey if someone is buying your product but it also can be a beginning if someone sees a great 
  • Interactive kiosks - people want to be amazed and entertained. That’s why interactive technologies exist and you can deploy them at your store for a better engagement with your audience. Interactive signage, smart mirrors, display games, touchpads, all can work for the benefit of your store eventually leading to an increase in sales. 
  • Mannequins - if you’re running a clothing store, good old mannequins are a must. However, they are in the same paradigm of visual merchandising so you have to make sure that they are playing their role correctly. Employ creativity, experiment with shapes and concepts, make people want to buy your clothes solely from the way they look on a brilliantly crafted mannequin. 

If you’re in retail, you’re probably familiar with how things work inside a store. If you’re just getting started, these types of visual merchandising are indispensable and mastering each of them is crucial. 

In today’s environment of tough competition and the instability of the retail industry due to the pandemic, you simply don’t have an option of making a mistake. The customer journey should be well thought out from start to end. 

What is the place of digital signage in visual merchandising?

When the screen technology started to emerge, retail stores got a fantastic opportunity to level up their visual merchandising game. Digital signage is a match made in heaven for the industry as it offers almost unlimited possibilities of audience engagement through content. Screens are versatile, they are easily adaptable to any design, they are reliable and in tandem with a good marketing strategy they can make magic*.

* magic - rapid business growth by selling more. 

“Hmm, it sounds promising,” you think. But wait, let’s look at the numbers. 

+500% more views - content shown on the screens captures much (much) more views than the static signage. When you have a view, you have the attention. When you have the attention, you will have a sale if your marketing works. 

+60% brand awareness - static loses to digital on that one. Display technology is an ultimate branding tool that can fulfill any kind of marketing goal effortlessly leading to much better brand awareness. 

As you can see, signage technology is a natural choice for any retail store to revamp its content game and improve visual merchandising. 

What exactly can digital signage do in stores?

By adding visual merchandising displays to your retail space, you’re transforming your store into a forward-thinking marketing powerhouse. Why? Because each screen is flexible and can operate as many things at once, a Jack of all trades. You can experiment with content, use different approaches and communicate with your audience. 

Remember that list of visual merchandising types we talked about at the beginning of the article? Now let’s adjust it a little bit adding the screens in the mix. That’s exactly what you would do if opting for digital signage at your store.

So here we go. 

1) Outdoor and window displays

Screens at the windows and digital boxes outside, on the street, can show stunning content promoting your brand, highlighting special propositions, announcing sales. But unlike static signage, screens will instantly capture the attention of your potential customers and guide them right to the entrance of your store with great content. 

2) Display Space

Screens can enhance the display space of your store by showing your products in action and running beautiful photos and videos that will entertain and inspire your customers to make a sale. 

3) Lighting

Digital signage can work in tandem with your lighting plan creating a certain visual experience that will please the senses of your customers. You can use colors on your displays to match the lighting scheme you choose. The main thing here is to organize the whole experience in a way that doesn’t interfere with product browsing and that is complementing the customer journey. 

4) Shelves and racks

You can place mini-screens next to the products you’d like to highlight or those who have special promotions by putting an emphasis on them through content. 

5) Checkout counter display

It is a common and successful practice among retail stores to install big video walls at the checkout counters that fulfill the brand awareness goals and show dynamic content about your products. 

6) Interactive kiosks

This type of visual merchandising can’t exist without digital signage so it’s important to have the screen technology in place to run the interactive kiosks. There are many various options on the market and your goal is to find the one that works best for your store. 

7) Mannequins

Okay, this one doesn’t seem like something that can be transformed by the screens. BUT WAIT. Even the mannequins can work better with the help of digital signage. For example, if you have them on the window display, they can hold displays showing models wearing the exact same clothes as the one sported by the mannequin. It’s all a matter of creativity. With the help of screen technology, you can achieve even the wildest content goals. So when are you starting?

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