Reach More Customers this Holiday Season with 5 Simple Tips for Effective Visual Merchandising

How can retailers go beyond product displays to score some visual merchandising ideas that will pack a punch?

Merchandising a store can be a challenge, especially for busy retailers. But when you consider that consumers are used to seeing the polished displays in national stores, it makes sense to emphasize and improve merchandising in your store.

While merchandising has always been important, the new priorities being placed on it by a new generation of shoppers makes these 5 tips even more important.

 Create an inviting space, and then help guide your customers’ journey through creative visual merchandising and displays.

Create an inviting space, and then help guide your customers’ journey through creative visual merchandising and displays.

1. Guide Customers Through Your Store

Take clues from merchandising master IKEA. The Sweden-based furniture retailer has laid out their brick-and-mortar locations so well that they practically guide every step their customers take.

This works so well, because when you know how your customers are traveling through the space, you also know where they’re likely to look and what they’re likely to see. Using that knowledge, you can place displays, new products, and other priorities in those highly visible spots.

Watch your customers when they come in. If most people look, then turn to the right, that is where the most profitable items should be displayed.


2. Window Displays Make a First Impression

The front window display has the power to draw in target customers. A bland or disjointed display will be ignored, and the passer-by will keep passing by. When designing the front window, displays with movement, like these fall leaves, can make the most impact.

 Front window displays with movement can make the most impact.

Front window displays with movement can make the most impact.

Simple DYI Idea: Use the Wizard cut art designs to cut the leaves out of brown kraft paper and book pages. Glue them to long strings of fishing line or twine to create an eye-catching display.

Use the same techniques in the front window as you do in-store when combining color, texture, and lighting for something eye-catching.


3. Give Them a Sign

Shoppers don’t like to search for signs or price tags and many will put a product back instead of asking an associate for its cost. Forcing customers to hunt around your shop is a quick way to lose sales. Make it easy for them to find what’s important.

Simple DIY Idea: Use Letter Art and the vinyl cutting tool on your Wizard to cut simple wall signs like this artist’s name. This was cut out of inexpensive self-adhesive shelf paper and applied to the wall for a recent art show.

 Make it easy for customers to find what’s important.

Make it easy for customers to find what’s important.


4. Do Your Customers a Service

Any retailer who gives their customers something in return is on their way to lots of loyal customers. This is a thoughtful gesture, and brands your business. By providing relief and relaxation to the shoppers, they’re less likely to rush out of the store. This gives them more time to shop—and more time to spend more money.

Simple DIY Idea: Replace the labels on water bottles with your own custom designed label. Add your logo and a call to action, like “Follow Us on Facebook”.

 Show your customers that you care about them.

Show your customers that you care about them.


5. Keep It Fresh

Take lessons from the big retailers and rotate your store displays on a regular schedule. On average, visual merchandising displays should be changed every two weeks. This will keep the shop looking fresh when customers come back to pick up their framing projects. Play to the seasons, decorate for holidays, and get buyers inspired.

 Change your visual merchandising displays regularly to keep your shop looking fresh.

Change your visual merchandising displays regularly to keep your shop looking fresh.

Effective visual merchandising has the power to attract new customers, engage shoppers in-store, and help increase overall sales. Utilize the above tips and reap the benefits for your store today and throughout the busy holiday season.

- Meg

TIP: Get inspired by checking out “Visual Merchandising Ideas” on Pinterest »

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Meg Glasgow

Meg Glasgow is a nationally recognized consultant in the art and framing field, and winner of Larson Juhl’s first Design Star competition. She travels widely in the U.S., presenting sales and marketing seminars for small businesses, and has published several articles and books, including “Meg on Marketing, A Self-Help Guide for Small Business Success.”