Visual merchandising is nothing new. However, it has evolved significantly throughout the past couple of years to the point that it plays a significant part in the shopping experience. Now consider that according to a Google/Ipsos study, close to 80% of shoppers only visit your shopping store when they need to buy an item urgently. Knowing this, wouldn't you want to ensure you present your merchandise in the best way possible?
It is at this crucial moment, where the shopping experience hinges significantly on presentation, that visual merchandising comes into play. And that’s what you’ll find here - the trends to consider, tips to implement them, the challenges you might face, and solutions to help you enhance the overall shopping experience. Let’s get into it.
Understanding visual merchandising and its evolution
Before we delve into the details of the visual merchandising trends you can expect in 2024, let's first understand visual merchandising for what it is.
In simple terms, retail visual merchandising is a practice that retailers use to optimize the presentation of their products in-store, significantly enhancing the shopping experience. It is essential to showcase the features and benefits of their products to attract more customers and influence their purchasing decisions.
Through better visual merchandising, not only can you market and present your products, but you can do so in an engaging and motivating manner to attract customers and persuade them to make a purchase.
Meanwhile, the evolution of retail visual merchandising unfolds like a colorful tapestry, deeply intertwined with the evolution of the shopping experience itself. Consumer whims have shaped the retail landscape as their desires and expectations change. From quaint shopfronts to bustling malls, the visual dance of products and displays has evolved.
Today, modern visual merchandising trends take center stage, dazzling us with creativity and innovation. This captivating story explores how merchants have adapted, painting a vivid picture of the past, present, and future. This is something adopted by experts at assignment writing services to showcase their product ability and increase sales by 200%.
Looking ahead, you can expect visual merchandising to incorporate current technological advancements, including augmented and virtual reality. Similarly, as brands and customers move towards personalization, artificial intelligence is playing a greater role in understanding the preferences and interests of customers. This makes it easier for you to match consumer demands, thereby enhancing the shopping experience even further.
Unpacking current visual merchandising trends
Considering the constant evolution of visual merchandising, it's become paramount that you need to be aware of any trends. If you know or are aware of these visual merchandising trends, you can be a proactive business that thinks about how to improve rather than a reactive one that is always on the defensive.
With that said, let’s delve into some of the hottest trends in visual merchandising and their impact on customer experience.
Interactive merchandising displays
Interactive retail merchandising displays have become overly common in almost all stores, revolutionizing the customer experience. Store owners are utilizing touchscreen and virtual try-ons to convert potential shoppers into regular customers. It is not only about interactively presenting your products but allowing your customers to interact with them.
For example, a beauty store like Sephora allows its customers to experiment with virtual makeup, which enhances the customer experience and boosts product understanding. This sort of virtual merchandise experience bridges the gap between curiosity and purchase, allowing your consumer to make a quick decision. It also keeps them in your store for longer, which can, inevitably, lead to more sales.
Sustainability in visual merchandising
As in other industries, sustainability has become a talking point. It is the same for retail - sustainable retailing has taken center stage in visual merchandising to achieve a greener retail landscape.
You can utilize energy-efficient lighting and recycled displays to respond to the growing demand for a sustainable retail experience. Of course, you should not only implement sustainable practices in your store but also share them through social media platforms so that your online followers know what you are doing. More importantly, it encourages more shoppers to visit and buy from your stores as it shows your commitment to improving the planet.
Digital integration is revolutionizing the shopping experience. Digital screens and augmented reality are redefining the traditional storefront, which serves as a dynamic canvas for visual storytelling and providing a virtual merchandise experience.
With the help of augmented reality, you can allow your users to visualize how various products suit them. Sephora again comes to mind here with their virtual artist, which gives you a virtual makeover in-store.
By infusing digital technology with physical elements, you can create a customer experience that puts you ahead of your competitors.
Storytelling through merchandising
Speaking of augmented reality and digital integration, it's also time to focus on providing your customers with a storytelling adventure where your products and retail merchandising displays come to life.
As it stands, visual merchandising is a canvas for creativity and enables you to weave narratives that resonate with your customers, making their experience that much more meaningful.
For a moment, imagine strolling through a bookstore where window displays unveil the journey of each book, enticing readers into a world of literary wonders. This builds emotional connections because as shoppers engage with the displays and interact with your products, they will consider themselves a part of the whole story. That’s an immersive customer experience if ever there was one.
Seasonal and thematic merchandising
Brands are focusing not only on their brand themes but are also utilizing various seasons to develop and present a new thematical display to their consumers.
Seasonal and thematic merchandising transforms storefronts into dynamic, ever-changing landscapes. Consider a clothing store where mannequins don outfits mirroring the current season, creating an instant connection with passersby. Be it a holiday, back-to-school, summer, Christmas, Black Friday, or any local or global event, emphasize taking advantage of it by paying attention to your store's theme.
Practical tips for implementing visual merchandising trends
To be competitive in retail, you must capture shoppers' attention, be those walking past your store or others who have already entered your store. That becomes even more critical considering a study that found people lose concentration after eight seconds. Whether or not the study has since been debunked, the fact remains - you must grab their attention.
You can do it by following some simple visual merchandising tips.
Once shoppers have entered your store, they shouldn't be confused about where to find the products they want. That's especially true if they've never visited your store. Utilize your in-store space by adding directional signage to guide your customers to their favorite products.
Suspended posters, floor stickers, or any other alternative works so long as it's clear and easy to spot.
Getting your customers into your store is not enough. You need to also provide them with an experience that keeps them engaged. That's where thematical displays come in. It comes back to visual storytelling.
By building displays that tell stories, you can ensure shoppers not only interact with your products on display but also stay for longer and while in-store, add more products to their basket.
Strategic product placement
Here's a question to ponder: How can you persuade your customers to buy more from your store? The answer lies in strategic product placement.
It is essential to place your products categorically and logically. While that makes it easier to find products, it also allows you to upsell shoppers on others when you cross-merchandising tactics and upselling techniques.
Visual merchandising challenges and the solutions to them
While adopting the current visual merchandising trends is needed, that doesn't account for the challenges you might face in implementing them. There are numerous. Fortunately, there are also solutions.
Store spaces often pose constraints on the layout and arrangement of retail merchandising displays, limiting the creativity of visual merchandisers.
Maximize vertical space utilization, employ modular and flexible fixtures, and strategically place focal points to optimize the available space effectively.
Limited financial resources can hinder the creation of visually appealing displays and impactful merchandising strategies.
Solution: Prioritize key areas, invest in reusable display elements, explore cost-effective materials, and leverage digital technology to create visually striking displays within budget constraints.
Evolving consumer trends
Rapid changes in consumer preferences demand constant adaptation in visual merchandising strategies to stay relevant.
Stay attuned to market trends, conduct regular consumer research, and implement agile merchandising approaches that can quickly respond to shifting consumer tastes and expectations.
Different stakeholders, such as marketing and sales teams, may have conflicting priorities, making it challenging to create a cohesive and effective visual merchandising strategy.
Facilitate open communication, align objectives across teams, and establish a collaborative approach to ensure visual merchandising aligns with overall business goals and objectives.
The display of valuable merchandise increases the risk of theft or damage, posing a security concern for visual merchandising.
Implement security measures such as surveillance systems, secure fixtures, and product tagging to minimize the risk of theft, while still maintaining an inviting and accessible visual presentation.
Rigidity in fixtures and displays can limit the ability to adapt to changing seasons, promotions, or product launches.
Opt for modular and flexible display elements, easily reconfigurable layouts, and versatile fixtures to ensure that visual merchandising can be adjusted swiftly to accommodate changing business needs and promotional activities.
Along with the rest of the world, retail is adopting technological advancements. This leads to various new trends that you must know and implement to keep your consumers with you.
Interactive retail merchandising displays, empowerment through sustainable products, in-store theme play, storytelling, and integration of technology in the in-store process are some of the new trends that you should put your attention on as a merchandiser.
There is a need to adopt proper solutions for the challenges faced in the industry. On-time actions are required so that you don’t lose your consumer base and develop an urge for them to buy from your store. Are you looking to stay ahead of the competition? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter where we share our best practices to help you maximize your retail business.