The Reality of Merchandising

Just ask the Kardashians: eye candy is everything when you’re looking to make a sale. The best retail merchandising draws shoppers in — and doesn’t let them go until they’ve made a purchase.

Here’s what to bear in mind for making it so.merchandising

The Power of Engagement. Everybody wants to get their hands on the things they’re considering buying. The frenzy of online retail notwithstanding, there’s nothing like the tactile for encouraging a sale. What’s more, the interaction with physical objects imprints a more memorable experience than a digital purchase does, creating a powerful advantage over stores’ e-commerce rivals. That means making sure that your store’s got plenty of opportunities for customers to touch, try, play with and handle your merchandise.

Traffic Teasers. There’s nothing like an inviting scent, a burst of Drake, a waft of cool air on a hot day or a fluttering glimpse of by-the-door colour to grab the attention of passersby who might otherwise keep on walking.

The Support of Signage. Retailers should think of their in-store signs as supplemental staffers, there on the floor to provide information about products that their flesh-and-blood coworkers are not. Exploit them meaningfully by making sure they’re attractive, colourful, compelling, smartly worded and highly visible. And don’t go nuts on the sale signs. Stores that seem constantly to be engaged in a “sale” put their credibility on the line.

Physical manoeuverability . Having to navigate through store aisles that are too narrow or cluttered to accommodate you is incredibly off-putting to the shopping experience. Curious about whether your shop commits this sin? Take it for a test run by walking through it in the company of a baby stroller and a few bags.

Light it Up. Lighting is a critical part of your retail environment, and you ignore its colour, brightness and strategic placement at your peril. Take an objective look at how your store is lit, noting which parts are the most effectively illuminated — and what lurks in the shadows.

Retail merchandising is undeniably heavier on the art than the science, so lots of this stuff is more a function of objective opinion and taste than anything. But any ex