DDi - August 2012 - (Page 16)

16 | Shopper Insights When form follows function hen we talk about visual merchandising, some might say we usually only think about the visual harmony it brings to the retail setting. While this plays a very important role in shopper marketing, perhaps the industry would be better served if we looked at visual merchandising from a different angle. What if we formed our visual merchandising strategies around this question: “What do shoppers want the merchandising to do?” Depending upon the shoppers’ needs—demonstration, education, entertainment or other—we would likely get very different merchandising strategies. Most retailers and brands agree that visual merchandising, at its core, is a blend of art and science. Those who get it right know how to walk that fine line, while those who don’t often find themselves walking a thin line—one that more likely than not results in a loss of customers and sales. So, how do retailers and brands walk that line more confidently? The short answer is by adding shopper research and insights into their arsenal of visual merchandising tactics. W Visual merchandising is the language that retailers use to communicate the attributes of their brands and the excitement of their products. And today’s retailers are beginning to speak up. Retailers who do more than sell will be rewarded. Understanding shopper behavior is not a luxury in today’s world of retail; it is a necessity. Well-planned and research-supported visual merchandising does more than sell a blouse or a sweater—it projects an image, tells a story and provides an experience, which is what makes shopping worth it for the consumer. We know that today’s shopper is pressed for time, always plugged in to the outside world, and is looking for ways to cut corners to save both time and money. There is no better way to create a compelling in-store experience and build customer loyalty than by developing merchandising strategies that help the shopper solve problems or challenges he or she may be facing. Whether it’s cross merchandising items that offer meal solutions or offering a complete outfit and accessories solution that helps shoppers imagine the products together, they are more likely to buy. So, will your next visual merchandising strategy merely attract passersby and induce walk-ins, or will it also enhance the customer’s comfort and convenience while shopping, ultimately offering a superior shopping experience? Your answer almost exclusively depends on whether you ask yourself and your visual merchandising team: “What do shoppers want the merchandising to do?” —Richard Winter is the president of POPAI, The Global Association for Marketing at Retail, an information source for brand marketers, retailers, producers and suppliers. Find out more at www.popai.com. | August 2012 www.ddionline.com http://www.popai.com http://www.ddionline.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of DDi - August 2012

DDi - August 2012
Contents
From the Editor
From the Show Director
Newsworthy
Shopper Insights
Visual Perspectives
Editor’s Choice
Design Snapshot
Harry Potter
Total Wine & More
Visual Super Section
DDI Student Window Challenge
Store Windows Showcase
Visual Products
Right Light
In-Store Technology
Product Spotlight
Calendar
Advertisers
Classifieds
Shopping with Paco

DDi - August 2012

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