Visual merchandising makes showrooms and retail outlets appear lively. An effective visual merchandise technique and tool makes the space clutter free. Effective tools used for visual merchandising reduce time taken for product searching for customers. Visual merchandising makes a retail store unique and extraordinary among sea of other such stores. It helps to create the right ambience for the store which in turn helps to attract the right customers.
Visual Merchandising Tools
With the growing use of technology, a large number of tools are used for visual merchandising at stores. In India, visual merchandising is also done according to festivals, sports events, seasons and other themes. Some of the top visual merchandising tools are listed below:
- Having a floor map (or plan) help store employees to strategically plan placement of products and visual merchandising elements like mannequins. This visual layout lends an organised look to the store and devises arrangement plans for products for maximum shopper engagement. Also, a floor map is used to identify ‘unused’ areas in the store premises that can be used to put up signs and other significant visual merchandising elements.
- A salient visual merchandising tool, mannequins help in displaying garments, accessories, running fabric and other related products on a rolling rack. There is no doubt that mannequin is a good investment. This merchandising tool help store owners to showcase products such as shirts, dresses, hats, handbags, kurtas, children wear, saree, jeans and so on in a presentable manner. Buyers can assess how the garment would appear on a human being if it is displayed on a mannequin.
Stores use several types of mannequins to display their product. Some are –
Such mannequins appear like a real human being. They pose like a human being. They are mostly made up of wax.
These types of mannequins have blank face and do not have emotions. They are mostly available in black and skin colour. These mannequins are used to display female lingerie.
These mannequins do not have head. They are used to display clothes, bags, shoes, watches and so on.
These mannequins are made up of glass fibre material. They are different from other mannequins.
Bendy (flexible) mannequins
These are flexible mannequins with adjustable body parts. It is easy to dislocate parts of mannequins to display the garment. They can be given desired poses according to the garment.
These mannequins are used to display stockings, jeggings and have visible part from mid-thigh to foot.
These mannequins are used to display wigs, hair accessories and fancy hats.
This visual merchandising tool is used to display name of the brand or store in exterior (outside the building or mall) and interior. It helps in locating the store or brand from a distance.
- Signs can be used for numerous purposes. They can help in guiding shoppers to a particular section or wing, showcasing discount and sale items, locating clearance and customer care sections and so on. Signs are an integral part of visual merchandising layout.
- Planograms are visual diagrams of a store’s layout. It is different from floor plan since it focuses mail on placement of products. They are used in grocery and apparel stores, devising the optimum use of space as well as organising and presenting products. For instance, if a store has a grid wall, the planogram will showcase the peg placement according to respective products.
- Banners reveal background of products in the store.
- Sound creates an enchanting environment for customers. Retail stores play mild music, karoke and instrumental music for a soothing effect. Stores also use various types of lights in visual merchandising. Spot light and focus light are specifically used in ceilings. In warehouses or workshops the ceiling will be at a high level. The department stores have medium ceiling height, while boutique and designer showrooms have low ceiling height. The spot light ceiling is used to showcase bright coloured products. The focus light ceiling is used to expose light coloured products. The LED lights are used for display and decorative purposes.
The above mentioned tools can be studied in-depth in visual merchandising courses. These course plans delves into tools, techniques and factors used to enhance display.