When competing in the highly competitive retail space, it’s important to focus on ‘sales per square footage’. This metric is the average revenue a business generates for every square foot of sales space. Your retail space needs to be your most efficient salesperson, which is why design plays such an important role in your success. You don’t have to be a creative whizz to design your store – you can hire expert shopfitters to do it for you! If you’re in need of some design inspiration, then check out our visual merchandising tips for retailers.

Knowledge of Your Target Customer

Knowing your target customer is more than simply knowing their demographic. Learning about your customers’ lifestyle, beliefs, values and opinions will prove invaluable when it comes to creating effective merchandising displays.

Abercrombie and Fitch are the masters of this. They meticulously target 18-24 year old ‘cool’ college students with low lighting, which gives their stores a casino or VIP atmosphere, immersing their visitors in luxury. The particularly loud music contributes to the exclusive look and feel, and the clothes are even sprayed with powerful cologne that loiters long after you have left the store.

Appeal to target customers

Appeal to the Five Senses

It’s easy to get carried away with creating visually stimulating displays for your customers and forget that people have four other senses too. The key to creating an engaging customer experience is to implement ‘sensory branding’. This involves creating positive emotions in the customer using all senses. This can be achieved in a number of ways:

Sight: Use colours to trigger certain emotions. Leveraging lighting, product placement and contrast to direct where the customer looks are all ways to use visual cues to appeal to customers.

Sound: The music played in your store is a crucial element in creating the ‘vibe’ you want your customer to experience. Slow, mellow music will encourage people in their 20s and older to browse around, while playing the latest chart music will entice hoards of teenagers to enter.

Touch: Letting your customers touch and feel the products you want them to buy is the easiest way to appeal to this sense.

Smell: Many of the world’s largest brands have invested heavily in what is known as ‘scent marketing’. The sense of smell is an effective way to reach the part of your brain that controls emotion, memory and decision-making.

Taste: This one will only work if you sell consumable goods, but if your products taste good enough you’re onto a winner. Giving people the opportunity to taste something before they buy is much the same as letting people try on clothes, and is a sure-fire way to earn win customers’ appreciation.

sensory branding for retail

Show People Instead of Telling Them

Customers usually want an idea of how a product will look before they spend their hard-earned cash on. Ikea are the masters of this particular trick and have their furniture, kitchens et al assembled in store. This allows visitors to picture how it will look in their own home, laying the foundations for a possible purchase.

Use the Rule of Three

When creating displays, it’s important to use the rule of three. The thinking behind this rule is that when arranging products you should group them in sets of three. Using the rule of three appeals to the eyes, which tend to stop dead and focus on symmetrical, balanced items.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our visual merchandising tips for retailers and have found it helpful. If you need further assistance with your store design, don’t hesitate to call or email us.