5 super-important visual merchandising tips to design a product showroom

5 super-important visual merchandising tips to design a product showroom

When you walk into many businesses, you see photos or displays that tell a story about the company. As a promotional products company, our story is products: we sell thousands of different products across a broad spectrum of product categories. Rather than jamming as many products as possible onto shelves to show that broad spectrum, though, we strive to present a retail experience.

Our showroom at Pinnacle Promotions displays a tidy collection of product groups that highlight items we can customize. These products aren’t arranged that way by accident – they are visually merchandised with intention to help the products sell themselves.

While our business is primarily online, our office does get foot traffic – many of our larger clients visit for regular check-ins, and we bring prospects through to see the breadth of our promotional agency. It's important that our showroom effectively presents the products we sell to help our customers (and our employees) understand their uses and intentions, just like a retail showroom would.

Good merchandising drives traffic to your business (think window shopping) and influences customers to purchase once they're inside. Merchandising can have a positive impact on sales by providing a memorable experience. Customers are more likely to return in the future if they find a business that is well organized and attractive. According to the article, Why Visual Merchandising Matters More Than Ever, 65% of individuals say they are visual learners and visuals increase message retention by 42%. Therefore, visual merchandising combines both a creative and scientific aspect to help get the message across faster with more impact.

Not really sure how to get started with visual merchandising for your business? The following five actions will help you create an effective visual merchandise display to catch your customer’s attention and get them to spend money with you!

1. Define your target customer

We all respond differently to different messages, and those differences are generally affected by our age, income, and education level. Diving deeper, you can look at buying behaviors and psychographics – values, opinions, attitudes, and interests. Knowing more about your target customers' lifestyles will help determine your displays' product selections, layouts, and messages.

This may seem obvious – if your customers are predominantly women, you'll want to display items that will appeal more to women – but it goes beyond the surface demographics. If your research determines that your target customers tend to be interested in music, you would be wise to pepper your displays with music-themed products, even if you're not selling music products. The more you can hit your customers' hot buttons, the more effective your displays will be.

2. Group like items together

promotional product themes | Pinnacle Promotions

Product bundling will offer an easy shopping experience for your customers. Grouping products together will entice the customer to purchase more – we're all about convenience. Product grouping can be based on any attribute: start with theme, color, type, or size, and let your mind go from there. Just think of the layout at your local grocery store: the bread is right next to the peanut butter and jelly and the lunch meat is right next to the cheese.

At Pinnacle Promotions, we base our displays around themes. Using themes gives our customers a better understanding of how to use the products while making the experience more interesting. Our showroom currently displays the following themes:

Spring Fever
These products incorporate the pastel colors of spring to highlight seasonal trends.

Rugged Outdoors
These products are inspired by the great outdoors which will motivate you to get outside with products designed to perform.

On-the-go Tech
These products have an elegant design to help you stay organized, light on your feet, moving at the speed of sound, and help navigate your busy lifestyle.

Retro Style
These nostalgia and vintage-inspired items are making a comeback as they trigger a happy feeling of the past. In an era of #ThrowbackThursday and #FlashbackFriday, retro products are becoming a trend again!

Natural Serenity
These products have a timeless quality that allow you to escape reality with materials and styles taken from nature.

Global Community
These products feature unique patterns borrowed from around the world. They merge the best of our ancestry with today’s modern aesthetic for one of kind pop of pattern that is designed to bring you to a whole new world of style.

Corporate Premiums
These unique and high-end products can make a great impact on customers or employees as a way to leave a lasting impression.

3. Follow the Rule of Three

Rule of three | Pinnacle Promotions

A principle that most visual merchandisers abide by is the Rule of Three. When creating a display, try to work in sets of three instead of having items side by side. Displaying products in groups of three provides visual interest – the eyes always have something to focus on and continue to jump from product to product. This concept derives from the Pyramid Principle, which suggests that displays should have a triangular (pyramid) shape. The largest item is placed at the top center and the smaller items are on the outside, creating a step down from the focal point. The principle allows for variety in the surface so displays do not feel flat. The article by Barbara Wright, Principle #3: Pyramid Power, gives some great examples of how to use the principle with glasses displays.  

This method is also employed in writing, economics, film, photography, and many other disciplines. Here are some tips when using the Rule of Three for merchandising:

  • Choose closely related products
  • Experiment! Try moving around the products to show different angles
  • Make these products the focal point of your display

4. Refresh your displays

Customers like to see new and unique products when they return to a store, and it falls on the visual merchandiser to create innovative ways to display the products. Maintaining the same displays over time will produce a stagnant environment and discourage repeat customers, while constantly refreshing displays will create interest and enable merchandisers to show more of the breadth of available products.

Additionally, refreshing a display can help the visual merchandiser experiment and help with identifying what really makes the brand stand out. Try it, measure it, adjust it, repeat... Learn from what worked previously and grow from that knowledge!

5. Keep brand consistency

The consistency of visual branding and messaging throughout a store strengthens your brand identity and creates a positive sentiment for your company. When a brand shows consistent messaging, customers will feel that your brand is more dependable. Imagine going to a retail store where everything is well organized and the customer service is remarkable but when you return two weeks later, the sales reps are flinging clothes around and not being attentive. You would get mixed messages and wonder who and what the store is really about. It works the same way when merchandising a showroom; if you maintain consistency through your brand, customers will have the feeling that they can trust you.

At Pinnacle Promotions, our reputation is built on ensuring brand consistency for our clients...and for ourselves. From the people that work here to the products we sell we all have understanding of how to Make the right impression.™

So, in conclusion...

Creating the perfect product display requires a number of factors to take into account. First, know who your customers are...and what they want. Group your products together by whatever method makes sense for your business. Try the Rule of Three. Keep your displays fresh and new. And be consistent with your messaging.

Experiment with these techniques and keep your eyes open to new trends so you can continue to add to your merchandising knowledge. It is important to track what works and constantly adapt based on the needs of your target customer. Now, armed with these visual merchandising tips, go forth and see how much you can increase sales with effective product displays!

1 comment

Spencer in Retail

Great post here. I find any one of these tips to be easy to follow, but it’s putting them altogether that’s the challenge. After you have a well-organized, visually-appealing store, it’s tricky to motivate yourself to change the displays around, but agreed this tip is essential. I like that first picture for the rule of three. I feel like too often merchandisers pick three of nearly the same item to display together. http://www.retailsmart.com/

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