Tips for Effective Retail Merchandising in Canada
One of the most important business strategies available to retailers, both big and small, is retail merchandising. Retail merchandising encompasses everything involved in the placement and display of products in a store. This can include something as basic as selecting colors or as broad as the floorplan of the store. Improving sales and customer relations for most retailers in Canada is as simple as creating a structured and intentional retail merchandising solution. Some of the tips for effective visual merchandising include:
Have your brand and target customer in mind
One of the most important factors to consider is your brand and the story you wish to tell your customers with the display, floorplan, and colors you choose. When working with a merchandiser, the first thing they’ll ask is what message you are trying to pass across to your customers. Is your business formal and sophisticated, or fun and funky? The best merchandising companies will incorporate your story in every decision, from store layout to display styling and product selection. This story is built around your retail company’s values as well as all the qualities that separate your business from its competitors.
Your target customer should be at the center of all your merchandising strategies. Think about your ideal customer experience. What do you look for when you walk into a retail store? The chances are your customers would want a similar experience.
Create the right floor plan
Your layout conveys a lot about your business. If you run a vintage store, a shop with full shelves and crowded racks can attract customers who like hunting for treasures and bargains. However, a more minimal store can be ideal for a retailer who sells more high-end and well-curated items. A lot of retailers choose something in between, with well-organized shelves and racks without an overwhelming product selection. Depending on the type of store you run, you can lay out the store in a loop format with circular paths or a grid with aisles.
A great floor plan maximizes space while helping shoppers navigate through your store. A professional in-store merchandiser will create your floor plan from the front of the store and work his way backwards. The reasoning for this is that the front of the store is the first thing the customer sees. It is important not to clutter the first 5 to 15 feet from the entrance. This is a decompression zone that allows the shopper to transition from the outside and get into shopping mode. The merchandiser should consider the shopper’s personal space by giving them enough room to explore comfortably. When planning the layout, ensure the checkout line does not get in the way of customers shopping. You can also take advantage of impulse buying by placing certain items at the checkout counter.
Organizing your products into logical groups
Displaying products in logical groups can make it easier for shoppers to find what they want. Examples include having a male and female clothing section or creating a separate section for formalwear or sleepwear. Merchandisers have to make sure the groupings make sense to the customers and eliminate all doubt in their mind, making it easier for them to purchase the items.
Retail merchandising companies use a whole array of strategies and tactics to improve the performance of your business and ensure sales growth. If you are a Canadian retailer who doesn’t have the time or expertise to do all this yourself, it is important to hire a Canadian merchandising company so they can apply these tips to your business to improve customer experience and increase revenue.