Posted in Merchandising, Productivity, Retail Operations

Back to Basics Visual Merchandising

Everything you need to know about visual merchandising is in this one picture.



Photo credit: Marcus Gibson. The photo was taken up in the mountains, near an extinct volcano and an artisan village Batur, Indonesia. I saw it on hois Facebook page, and he was kind enough to allow me to use it.

  • It tells a STORY: we are in the fresh fruit business.
  • Each product (category) is distinguishable – no visual noise.
  • The product is ‘framed’ by blue material cover – without unnecessary signage or lifestyle imagery that would just create visual clutter.
  • Every display has a focal point.
  • The displays are neat and tidy.
  • The products are displayed as it would be used/ consumed.
  • The products are hygienic – as well as the environment – especially considering the location.
  • They use lines (pyramidal shapes) to lead your visual inspection and give your eye an easy entry point.
  • They use colour to contrast adjacencies – and colour-coordination of the pots in the front row.
  • They use rhythm (pineapple basket +4 others in a row, as well colours repeating)
  • There is balance (6-5-6). And simply ‘join the dots’ by drawing an imaginary line from the blue pot in the middle row left to the other blue pots.
  • Best use of available light.
  • Accessible and convenient to shop. Most items on the top shelf (less accessible) are back-up stock, which add to the presentation, but still allows efficient service – and nothing on the floor.

Of course I am taking artistic license to say ‘everything’ you need to know. But I am sure you ‘get the picture’ (pun intended) and I would even go so far as to say that NOT having the price points there, gives the owner of the stall an opportunity to engage with customers because there wouldn’t be much else to discuss.

Good merchandising is not hard. Despite what some experts may say, it ONLY has to make sense for the customer – and move your stock. You can use your instincts and common sense to achieve this- just like this peasant in a remote Balinese village simply get these basics right.

There is a critical role that a designer plays in translating a business model into a retail experience. But keeping your merchandise organised and clean (= shoppable) isn’t that role.

Most retailers simply get lazy and allow ‘merchandise creep’ to overpower the original design by allowing a plethora of spinners, and dump-bins to be progressively bastardise any attempt at effective visual communication.

PS: To get some confidence and an insight into smart, pragmatic approach to visual merchandising, GO HERE.




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