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Experiential Innovation

10 retail merchandising tips

Getting customers through the door is just the first step to having a successful retail operation. But how do you get them wandering throughout your space, falling in love with the items you worked so hard to find, buy and merchandise? Wouldn’t it be great if there were some tips and tactics to get them drawn to every corner of your store? The good news is that some simple steps can help you achieve that goal. With the price you pay for every square foot, your retail space has to be your most productive and efficient salesperson. Visual merchandising is one way to optimize your space for maximum revenue-generation.

“When it comes to maximizing your space, you want to think of it as a destination that you want people to visit often,” says Syama Meagher, CEO of Scaling Retail, a New York City-based retail consultancy.

Here are her 10 tips for retailers to super-charge their visual merchandising.

1. Pay attention to layout.

Think about your customer as you walk through the store. Does the layout make sense? Is it convenient? Make sure that your store’s floor plan suits the customer. Are aisles or spaces between displays wide enough? Are fragile items placed so they can’t be easily knocked over? Your customer needs to feel comfortable in your store, Meagher says.

2. Put hot items front-and-center.

Create hubs of hot products in your store to draw customers throughout. Create one area with trending products and another area with common staples so customers are drawn to different sections of your location. This helps you show off more of your product and possibly inspire more purchases.

3. Paint.

Meagher is astounded by how many stores don’t use a simple coat of paint to warm their space and project their brands. Color sends a message about your brand and also makes the space feel “finished,” she says.

4. Deck out your check-out counter.

“Keep inexpensive add-ons close to the point-of-sale–this allows for great last-minute purchases,” Meagher says. Fun tchotchkes, accessories, key chains, and novelty items can increase overall transaction amounts, generating more revenue.

5. Refresh every two weeks.

You need to keep your floor looking fresh. Move products. Change groupings. Combine different offerings or ensembles. The minute your customer feels like your floor is the same-old, same-old, you’ve lost his or her interest.

6. Accessorize your dressing room.

If customers are trying on clothes, include accessories in the dressing room. “You’d be surprised how many customers want to actually see what they look like in the dress with a pair of heels on,” Meagher says.

7. Mirror, mirrors.

In dressing rooms and on the store floor, mirrors are important for a variety of retailers. Use them next to anywhere you sell accessories, cosmetics, or other items that customers will want to try on before they buy. Use slimming mirrors in dressing rooms and decorative mirrors to make a small store look a bit larger.

8. Use lighting to highlight.

Meagher says lighting should be soft and strategic. Use flattering lighting in dressing rooms. Spotlights can draw attention to specific products or areas of the store, attracting customers there, she says.

9. Clear signage.

Use signage throughout your store to help customers find what they’re looking for, including specific products or brands. Be sure your signage coordinates with your overall brand message and “look,” she says.

10. Keep sale items to the back of the store.

Customers often expect to find sale items at the back of the store, plus putting bargains in the back drives them past all of the items between the front door and the discount, she says.

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