How to define your merchandising strategy.
Learning how to effectively merchandise your store is a crucial part of running a shop. It’s always been one of the most intriguing aspects to me because it requires you to tap into both those creative and analytical skills. Mastering the art of visual merchandising takes strategy, creativity, and analysis. Coming up with a solid merchandising strategy will help you lay the foundation and set you up for being a total merch pro!
But first, what exactly is merchandising?
Merchandising (aka: visual merchandising or merching) is how you display products in your shop so they are visually appealing to customers resulting in sales. In the most simple terms, it’s a form of visual communication. You’re always conveying a message to your customer from what products you select to how and where you display those items.
Considering these things will help you get started with defining your own shop strategy!
Define your merchandising strategy.
1st || The design of your shop.
The design of your shop should convey the overall aesthetic of your brand and set the tone for how customers will feel from the minute they walk in the door.
What kind of atmosphere are you creating?
What kind of colors and materials will you use?
What is the experience like from beginning to end?
How do you want someone to feel when they shop with you?
What design choices would achieve that feeling?
From a more practical standpoint, creating a space that is functional and accessible is always ideal for both you and the customers. The layout can very simply communicate where things are located and assist customers in easily finding what they’re looking for.
What departments/categories of product do you carry?
Would it be helpful if any of those categories were merched together?
What is the first thing people see when they enter your shop?
2nd || The presentation of product.
How you choose to display your product is an extension of the shop design and is where you really start digging into the details.
What kind of fixtures (racks, tables, etc) do you use?
How exactly is product displayed on each of those fixtures?
What kind of visual accessories (hangers, stands, etc) do you use?
Do you feature a limited quantity of each item on the sales floor?
3rd || How frequently you rotate product.
Moving items around is critical for various reasons. It helps keep your shop looking fresh for your regular customers that are coming in before new shipments arrive. No matter how large or small your shop is, things can easily get overlooked. Moving product around gives customers a chance to catch something they might not have seen before.
And lastly, it can provide valuable information to help you determine your “hot spots” and “dead spots”. (A hot spot is a prime selling location where products sell through very quickly. A dead spot is a location that may be easily missed and things don’t seem to move well there.)
How frequently are your regular customers coming in?
How frequently do you receive new shipment/product?
What kind of product do you sell?
The best way to determine the frequency for your shop is to test a strategy long enough to collect data so that you can reveal positive patterns—sales and product turnover. Depending on what kind of product you sell, it may not be necessary to rotate items as often. And it’s common for the frequency to vary throughout the year depending on whether you are in high season or low season.
If you’re feeling totally lost, don’t fret. Let’s chat! I’d love to help you establish a killer strategy for your shop so you can feel confident knowing the time you’re spending on visuals is positively impacting sales and your overall customer experience.