Innovative retail: Visual merchandising for the masses | KHWS

Innovative retail: Visual merchandising for the masses

Retail

We’re all guilty of it. Whether it’s being seduced by some spearmint gum on the walk to the till or falling for the season’s coolest kicks in a store window, chances are, at some point you’ve been influenced into an impulse purchase as a result of visual merchandising.

This indispensable retail discipline consists of a series of practical selling tools that are used to influence what and how much consumers buy. Gone are the days of flat, mundane displays; replaced with displays that work to captivate consumers by more engaging visual and sometimes audio mechanics to help build that connection between brand and consumer.

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With the boundaries of visual merchandising constantly being tested this puts extra emphasis on on-going planning and strategy to ensure the communication remains focused and brand compliant. From contacts we have in the retail sector, an inherent problem that exists with visual merchandising is effectively managing the step between approving changes and updates at head office and then feeding those down to the network of promoters and merchandisers to action in store.

A staggering trend is that most companies will rely on Powerpoint documents for field teams to refer to. That’s right, Powerpoint. An immediate issue with this method is trying to control the integrity of data, ensuring those in the field remain confident changes they’re making are correct, whilst those sat in head office aren’t frantically trying to ensure every store location remains compliant. With mobile technology becoming ever prevalent in today’s society and Wifi access seemingly everywhere you go, there’s a huge opportunity for retailers of all sizes to embrace technology and evolve visual merchandising methods.

The introduction of the tablet not only gave consumers another way of accessing brands online, but also helped businesses avoid having to fumble around on a mobile phone for information or deal with having to set up a laptop on a commute home.

Embracing digital is seemingly the most logical evolution for visual merchandising, especially when it comes to managing updates and controlling store compliance. Over the past couple of months we’ve been working closely with Samsung on developing a visual merchandising web application that will help solve this very issue.

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