Have you ever walked into a store and been drawn in like a magnet? Or, on the flip side, started into one that you couldn’t get out fast enough?
Every store you walk in has a look and feel about it.
The best set-ups are no accidents.
They are put together through the science and psychology of innovate and effective marketing.
For people selling sunglasses and similar items, tip #12 is great.
Visual Marketing: The Science behind the Rack
Did you know that the human brain processes visuals about 60,000 times quicker than it comprehends text?
Not only that, studies prove that we also respond more favorably to images and that when we do, over half of our brain is actively engaged. That’s some pretty powerful marketing strategy material.
It all goes back to visual perception which takes place when the brain accesses and analyzes its surroundings to evaluate whether they are safe or if danger is lurking. During this process, past experiences are recalled.
Familiar sights, smells, and feelings are brought to mind. The results can be dynamic or disaster.
And, as a store owner, it’s all in your hands.
If your shop is cluttered, it is likely to have an adverse effect on your potential customers. Neat freaks will begin to panic. The disarray will be translated into confusion, stress, anxiousness, and even depression.
According to the rules of feng-shui, disorganization breeds negative energy.
Even neatly arranged merchandise can scream “boring and dull” which is not going to attract buyers.
What can be done to pull your customers in?
Creative visual marketing is the secret of success for optimizing your retail business - no matter how large or small.
Here are twenty-five terrific tips that will help you project a picture perfect atmosphere that will entice your shoppers and elevate your sales:
1. Become the Expert
Over half of the retail shops in the US are designed by the actual store owners. You’ll save time and money when you do the job yourself. Just dive in and remember, it’s about progress, not perfection. Even a little improvement goes a long way.
2. Be the Customer
A great place to start is to physically walk into your store from the same door your customers do. See your store from their eyes. Be mindful of what you see, think, and feel.
Take notes and make a master-plan for changes and improvements.
3. Create an Experience
Neuroselling is quickly becoming one of the most popular topics in the sales world. It has been discovered that modern shoppers crave a good experience when they make a purchase.
Make sure you set your shop up to promise that ultimate experience.
4. Color Matters
Using color is a powerful marketing tool, used in packaging products, branding, and in setting up store displays.
Choose colors that speak of the mood you wish to set.
Bright colors are happy and playful, ideal for children and teens.
Pastels have “baby” written all over them.
Pink depicts beauty products for women.
Consider not just one color but a contrast of colors. Even monochromatic colors can catch shopper’s eyes. Making colors pop to draw shoppers to a certain item or location is genius too.
5. Establish Focal Points
Highlight the hot-spot of your store by leading shopper’s eyes to the location. According to research by the University of Chicago, strategically placing a product has the ability to drive sales up by 79%.
6. Highs and Lows
Consider your target shoppers and their height. If you have a toy store, you’ll want plenty of items on the ground or lower shelves so the children can see them.
For average adult shopping, make sure your merchandise isn’t too high, too low, or too awkward or difficult to reach.
7. Tell a Story
Make sure the way you arrange your store tells a story. If you target teens, add some flashing lights and lots of big mirrors that speaks of how they’ll stand out from the crowd by buying your wares.
A health and well-being store would do well to add good lighting, plants, and cleanliness.
Whatever it is that you want to say to your shoppers can be said by the way you decorate, the colors you use, and the manner in which you arrange your merchandise in.
8. Stash Equals Cash
Flea market vendors will be the first to tell you that when they begin to sell out and their tables look bare, they might as well pack up and go on home.
Shoppers love to see lots of merchandise. They don’t want to go through picked over shelves and tables.
Keep a good visual supply out but do so in a way that speaks volumes and not clutter.
9. Get Spaced Out
Make the most of the space you have.
Organization is everything.
If you have a barren corner, place an attractive crate, basket, barrel, or chest there to store things like extra hangers, shopping bags, or whatever other necessary things you are having problems finding a spot for.
You definitely never want to have sloppy cardboard boxes out in the open.
10. Sign Language
Use signs to sell. Think of creative ways to advertise your merchandise like “Meet the Beach” for an area where your swim wear is displayed.
Then, list three reasons your customers need these items which might be “Swim with comfort, quality, and style”. Have the signs professionally printed and don’t forget to use color sales psychology.
11. Use Great Graphics
Think of the last time you went into a classy store.
Chances are there were some eye-catching graphics that lured you to spots like the perfume department or the sportswear section.
Create great graphics and display them on racks, on the wall, and on the windows and doors too. Be sure they are printed in high quality.
12. Counter Act
Arrange the area around your check-out counter according to psychology. What do people do when they leave the shop and walk into the sun?
They put their sunglasses on.
Entice them with a brand-new pair displayed on the rack by the register.
You can also have a sales shelf or bargain bin near the front too because as your shoppers are approaching the end of their shopping experience, they are wanting to get that fix fulfilled.
They are searching for that last little something to make the feeling grand.
13. Prop the Props
When done right, life-size posters can steal the show and bring your product to life. Let your customer see how cool they’ll look rocking their new duds by having a poster of a person who they can relate to, dressed in the items you are selling.
Or, have a huge prop like a palm tree by your sandal section, or a basketball goal attached to the wall in your sportswear or sports product section. Props can prove to be priceless for advertising visually.
14. Circle It
When setting up the layout of your shop, you might consider incorporating circles rather than aisles.
Circles keep your shoppers flowing from one table, rack, or bin to the next. They can be circular as well.
15. Help Is In Sight
Be sure that the way you arrange the aisles or circled areas allow your customers to call for your assistance or better yet, to nod when they could use a little help.
No one likes to be crowded by a salesperson so make the set-up easy to accommodate your shoppers in a more convenient and less intrusive manner. It also exposes them to more merchandise and does so in a non-cluttered way.
16. Liven Up Dead Ends
If your store has one or more aisle or area that ends and goes nowhere, be sure to take advantage of that with an appealing display of merchandise that begs to be bought.
17. Sit a Spell
Often times, especially in a mall, only one person in a group is in your targeted age and gender group.
Make sure the other person or persons have a spot to sit so your customer can take their time and shop.
If you cater to men, such as a sports and outdoor store, have some women’s magazines within reach of the comfy chair or couch.
18. Get Festive
Remember the season. When it’s Christmas, decorate accordingly. You’ll want to remind your shoppers that there aren’t many more days left until Christmas.
If it’s Easter, stick out some bunnies and chicks.
Find a way to market your merchandise to the season or holiday.
Even if you can’t find a way to market your wares with the holiday, customers appreciate the effort you went to in order to celebrate the season.
19. Take Two
Be sure to visually advertise specials where your customers can save money by purchasing multiple items.
You can have it be two or three of the same item or mix and match nearby items.
Be sure if you are mixing two or more items that the merchandise you are advertising can be conveniently found together or they are likely to forget or give up before they match up.
Some stores have sales strategies where they have raffles or giveaways.
Advertise any promotions with visual graphics that clearly tell all the details and how your customer can participate.
21. Match It Up
Pair up your items in a visual manner.
Put eyeglass cases by the eyeglasses. If you sell clothes, display a jeans with a blouse or tee shirt that look stellar together.
If you sell sports and outdoor equipment, put fishing lures and tackle by the fishing poles. Have cots and sleeping bags by the tents.
Whatever items have the same general theme should be in close distance from one another and in a physical arrangement or poster, should be able to be visualized together.
22. Clean and Crisp
No matter what visual marketing measures you take, if your store isn’t crystal clean, no one will want to shop in it.
Clean your front windows several times a day as needed. Keep the floors impeccable.
Mirrors should be wiped frequently throughout the day. Pick up pieces of trash as shoppers leave.
Always keep an eye out for anything that can use wiping. Be sure your store smells as clean as it looks too.
To make your store and the products therein unforgettable, invest in at least one really awesome marketing item.
You might have a huge clown that waves at kids or an indoor flowing water fountain for merchandise that is to be relaxing, like essential oils.
This will require some creativity and a little splurge money, but it will pay off in the long run.
24. Solve a Problem
Sales psychology clearly has proven that shoppers long to have a problem solved when they purchase your product.
A hat shields the sun. A great pair of jeans makes them stand out in the crowd.
Visually let your customer see how your product can meet their needs.
You can do this by way of a poster, mannequin, or by signage. However you can think of to do it...do it!
25. The Big Exit
Don’t miss the opportunity to visually thank your customer for shopping in your store.
Let them know you appreciate their business and welcome them back.
The science and psychology of visually marketing your merchandise is exciting. There are so many ways you can influence your customers by adding the visual tips mentioned above.
As you implement the things you’ve learned in this article into your store, be thinking of ways to put your personalized spin on them.
Get a feel of what it is you want to convey to your shoppers and also be attentive to what it is they are wanting to find and feel within your shop.
They key to the art of visual merchandising is to find that perfect balance of what your customers find inviting and enticing and finding creative, custom ways to bring those things into making shopping in your store a picture perfect experience.