Everyone knows monsoon is around the corner when the stores are decked up with colorful umbrellas, vibrant raincoats, and stylish rainy shoes. Similarly, when the streets are brimming with vendors selling clay lamps, lanterns, home decor items, sweets, and firecrackers, people get ready to splurge on the upcoming Diwali. The same can be said for digital shopping hubs worldwide.
Merchandising refers to selecting and presenting products or services to put them up for sale. Any practice or strategy that stimulates the consumers and persuades them to purchase the merchandise denotes ‘merchandising.’ They include product selection, design, packaging, pricing, display, and other marketing tactics. Visual merchandising is the key to boosting one’s business.
Merchandising cycles are usually founded on local climates and cultures. They accommodate festivals, seasonal holidays, regional recreational activities, weather, and school calendars. Based on these, the retailers determine which products need to be exhibited, how, when, and in front of which audience. Moreover, through discount offers and mega sales, the retailers lure potential customers into buying the products they fancy but may not need.
Some widely used merchandising techniques include enticing in-store displays, witty shelf signage, grouping related merchandise together, in-store ads featuring the products, live demonstrations, free samples, spotlighting promotional and discounted items, and so on. The main aim of visual merchandising is to communicate the value of the products so that the customer cannot resist buying them.
The history of merchandising dates back to the onset of the trade itself. The top five types of merchandising are product, retail, visual, digital, and omnichannel. Though classified into five different categories, they are primarily interrelated. For example, visual merchandising is correlated with product merchandising.
Product merchandising signifies all promotional activities and business practices undertaken to boost the sales of both physical and digital products. For example, neatly stacked shelves displaying trendy apparel with life-sized mannequins flaunting voguish attire combinations will entice the customers to try out some clothes, thus increasing the chances of purchase.
Similarly, when the latest smartphones or other chic electronics appear on one’s screen while browsing, consumers cannot help but consider owning them. In short, product merchandising is as essential as showing the products to the customers in a unique way.
Retail merchandising is specific to retail products, where the inventory is displayed and promoted in an actual physical store. Effective retail merchandising is indispensable in today’s competitive marketplace, where retail stores have to stand out from other retailers and digital stores.
Apart from the traditional brick-and-mortar stores, retail merchandising is also relevant to pop-up stores and makeshift booths on the streets or flea markets. From developing innovative product displays and increasing foot traffic to creating fulfilling shopping experiences for the customers, retail merchandising involves substantial efforts and creativity.
Visual merchandising is related to the display techniques and strategies implemented to exhibit the goods and services so that their appearance lures the spectators and converts them into buyers. In-store visual merchandising aims to engage the customers and let them discover the products in a friendly way.
Visual merchandising is all about designing the floor layouts, creative window exhibits, using lively color schemes and bright lighting, and arranging interactive or three-dimensional displays; in other words, creating an environment that drives sales.
Digital merchandising, vital in today’s cyber era, represents all marketing strategies and promotional activities businesses undertake to publicize and promote their merchandise on digital platforms. Developing and maintaining a professional website, conducting successful digital marketing campaigns, including email marketing, creating a robust social media presence, etc., are some of the approaches that fall under e-commerce or online merchandising. Pairing retail merchandising with digital one provides a broader scope for a successful business.
Omnichannel merchandising is a combination of promotional activities conducted with respect to multichannel commerce online, from a physical shop, or through telephone. This merchandising aims at offering their customers a seamlessly unified shopping experience across all avenues. For example, retail stores with social media presence connect with their regular customers online or share information about any upcoming promotional events or offers through emails and telephone.
Similarly, if someone browses through an online store and adds certain items to their cart, they eventually leave without buying. They soon receive an email or a notification reminding them about the cart or offering discounts.
Merchandising or visual merchandising is about making a solid and intriguing first impression and then following through. It aims to inform the consumers about the available products or services, create a need or desire for the same, and then inspire them to complete the purchase. Effective merchandising leads to satisfied, happy, and returning customers and, in turn, increased sales.
It involves hard work, determination, and continuous efforts, but the results are worth the struggle. Reach out to the experts at Fashinza if you require any help with the sourcing and manufacturing of your fashion house. We can simplify the process of sourcing clothes for you so that you can relax and focus on the big picture.