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3 ways to maximize your store layout

Visual merchandising is more than just showing what you are selling.
By Dante Gagelonia |

Store displays and the like can do much more than show what’s for sale. Data Tolentino-Canlas, an assistant professor at the University of the Philippines’s College of Mass Communication, explains: “Make them as eye-catching as possible, so that the consumer actually gets to imagine themselves in those clothes, on that couch, or watching that television...The more structured your display is around your consumers, or how [well] you know your consumers, [the] more likely [they’ll] patronize your product.”

Here are 3 strategies to catch your consumer’s attention:

[related|post]1. Show, not tell. While other marketing approaches make use of photographs and other images of your products, visual merchandising requires their actual presence. The interplay among these strategies usually defines the identity of a brand within its store premises, and works in tandem with other branding efforts.

“Visual merchandising is an integral part of our business and sales operations,” says Cisco Lumbad, brand manager of Dimensione, a furniture concept store under Suyen Corp., which is also behind the clothing brand Bench. “It plays a crucial role in connecting and familiarizing our customers with our products. The same thing can be said with the other stores handled by Bench.  At a store level, it is a driving force that allows your product to be seen, appreciated and hopefully sold.”

2. Establish your identity. For Victoria Velasco, visual merchandiser for bookshop Fully Booked, sustaining a unique image is key to effective visual merchandising. “We sell almost the same products as other bookstores, so how do we separate ourselves? In Fully Booked, we start with our ambience, and our visual merchandising plays a big role in that. With regard to in-store layouts, I make guidelines so that every branch follows a certain aesthetic, like specific books on the shelves, and special displays. If we have an in-store activity related to a particular theme, we also have displays [related] to that.”

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By clearly identifying what your business is, you can tailor your visual merchandising accordingly. What applies to a neighborhood bakery, for example, may not necessarily work for a high-end fashion shop. Pick strategies specific and basic to your industry so you can make the most of your products and branding.

“Never forget the basics,” Velasco affirms. “That’s why design is very important.” Recognize what your target market is likely to want to see, and then build your visual merchandising along that angle. You can also check out your competitors or other businesses to pick up some tips. After that, your brand’s creative aspects will complete the rest of the merchandising effort.


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