How to use Visual Merchandising to Maximise Sales
How to use visual merchandising to maximise sales will be influenced by your business philosophy and strategy. While visual merchandising (VM) can be engaging, it can add costs that may not result in a measurable gain in sales. It can also take up valuable space that could be used for income generating product. As a result, utilising VM that can be sold, is a sound way to enhance sales per square metre without detracting from your displays.
Most VM can be reordered or purchased again. If you are able to purchase at wholesale prices, it can be an invaluable method of testing whether your market wants that product. When someone enters your store wanting to know how much a piece you are using for VM is, have a retail price on it. If they really want it and are prepared to buy it there and then, take the money and reorder it. Or reorder for them (once paid), leaving your VM in place.
Examples of How to Use Visual Merchandising to Maximise Sales
1. Selling vases? You can use artificial flowers to enhance the look & provide some parity for the customer.
2. Selling a winter coat? Use a scarf to complement.
3. Selling business shirts? Add a tie to the display.
4. Selling a coffee table? Sell the table runner, coasters or bowl that complement the look.
5. For Fondue sets & fountains, why not sell the chocolate (www.chocolatefountain.com.au/chocolate-for-chocolate-fountains).
6. With Fruit bowls use artificial fruit ( they always look fresh & they are often used in open houses to enhance the appearance).
7. Cookware? Use stainless steel cleaner & Euroscrubby (for non-stick cookware www.euroscrubby.com/) & trivets.
8. Knives? Merchandise with an appropriate chopping board to minimise impact on the knife.
9. Chopping Boards? Merchandise with Natural Mineral Oil that stops the board from drying out (www.totallybamboo.com/products/revitalizing-oil).
10. Servingware? Use artificial food to enhance the look of some pieces.
Each of these examples allow VM to enhance the aesthetic and engage the audience. Therefore it creates potential to increase sales. Each piece has a Lead Role and a Co-Star. Both can receive accolades without detracting from the other.
Christmas Visual Merchandising
I once purchased a Christmas Tree with a train & track that circled the base to use as visual merchandising. Originally I purchased just one for $250 and put a $539.99 on it as a retail price.
It was a great feature piece that could also play Christmas carols while the train circled the tree. Within 2 days I had a customer interested and sold it. I reordered it and sold it again before Christmas.
In this case, I didn’t mind whether it sold or not, because I could order it again for next Christmas. But it generated good dollars at good margin that I may not have derived from other product.
This lesson also allowed me to increase my order for the following Christmas, confident that there was a market for the product.
On another occasion, I placed a significant order for artificial flowers to decorate my store. One of my employees, used a large vase and produced a magnificent floral display. Whilst the intent was to sell the flowers in smaller bunches, there was 60 pieces in the vase. One customer was enamored with the display and took the lot.
At this time, I hadn’t been selling artificial flowers, however this indicated there was a market in my customer base for it. They didn’t take up much room and could be used effectively as both merchandise and visual merchandising.
Visual Merchandising Placement
The critical placement of such complementary visual merchandising enhances sales potential. When the VM tools are saleable they contribute to the greater good of the store. In these cases, the best VM is the VM you can sell.
Whilst rent will likely double in the space of ten years, sales & profit are unlikely to experience such growth. Creativity & adaptation become extremely important. As a result, using visual merchandising to engage your customers is imperative.by