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Part I: Visual Merchandising Ideas to Entice Customers of Apparel Industry

US Apparel industry was $328 Billion in 2017 and is expected to hit almost $400 Billion by 2025. Although e-commerce is picking up the fire, store-based retailing is still calling the shots.

Because of increased growth and competition, Apparel retail and online stores are in fierce competition for footfall and online traffic.

Everyone is battling to increase the bottom line. One way to get through to this is either more customers buying products or the same amount of customers buying more merchandise.

Persuasion in visual form is Visual Merchandising- displaying apparel merchandise in such a way that it persuades customers to do the action.

Has it ever happened to you?

You were walking past a retail outlet only to get really excited about a stunning product display to the extent of actually buying the product.

It did to me. I was kicking myself after that because the number of sweater in my closet surpassed the number of trousers I had.

This is the power of visual merchandising.

In this comprehensive two-part series, you will find visual merchandising tips, ideas, and trick that have worked for top brands.

These range from obvious – because we sometimes overlook or entirely miss a vital angle of them – to not so obvious and creative ones.

Here we go.

1.    Hook Customer Through Store’s Exterior Display

You might have heard, “First impression is the last impression.” Well, not always, but sometimes it is the end of story.

Your storefront is your first hook.

One example caught my attention. A fashion store displayed their branded logo t-shirt on store front. It can be easily done through embroidery digitizing process.

Customers, these days, take their time to convince themselves about your brand before the actual product. Use this as an opportunity to tell your brand story while providing them great ‘in-store’ experience. The rest will fall into its place.

Your storefront is the start of the journey for your customer. Make it welcoming and exciting.

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Start with the research.

Stand on the threshold of your store. Pay attention to what your customers see when they stand there. Your vision should draw attention to the outdoor mannequin, banners, entrance, windows, display products.

How can you draw attention?

First of all, display your best products on the store’s front display unit and on the outdoor mannequin. This is limited space. You have to be choosy and creative for optimum utilization of space while showcasing your product variety.

If it suits your brand, make use of balloons, colorful pennant, flowers, scented candles, creative displays and vibrant colors.

Theme up your exteriors according to special occasions, and periodic events. For example, theme your store during Christmas, independence Day, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, Father’s and Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s day.

2.    Use Mannequins to Inject Life in Your Apparel

This is quite obvious. But, as I said earlier, we sometimes overlook the simple and obvious. Half mannequins are ideal for tabletop displays. Mix them up with your premium products. They will definitely get eyeballs.

How can you draw attention?

Give them a guitar, umbrella, or an office bag. Try various traditional as well as trendy hairdos to attract related customers. There are available in verities: Realistic plus-sized mannequins, pregnant mannequins, child mannequins, black, brown mannequins.

Get creative in their design. As an example, Louis Vuitton turned their products into mannequins of things found in the zoo such as panda. Draw inspirations from the best and come up with your own. Some retail brands, to showcase their brand, digitize logo and make the mannequin wear it.

3.    Use Advanced Technology to your Advantage

Thanks to the ever increasing advancement in technology, your options are only limited by your need budget. At the most basic level, you can display product advertisement, and special messages through multimedia speakers and flat-screen televisions.

From a simple digital display, mobile apps to Augmented and Virtual reality, Retail industry is riding the bandwagon with full swing.

How can you draw attention?

Use smart touchscreen and encourage customers to use it for browsing products that you could not display due to a shortage of space. You can also try virtual fitting rooms instead of traditional fitting rooms. Timberland successfully used it in their stores.

Neon signs, interactive displays, direction signs can also be used.

If you are just starting out, don’t spend too much on technology. Something as simple as your company branded IPad with your mobile app, website, or your social media displayed on it can work too.

4.    Alter 5 Human Senses

An average human being uses its sight, sound, touch, smell and taste to buy your product.  Major retail outlets like, Apple, Starbucks, The Gap, Bed Bath & Beyond know this. They have been using this special marketing – called sensory marketing- since long.

How can you draw attention?

Sight: When it comes to highlighting a non-selling or hot selling product or a specific area of your outlet, lighting is yours go-to option. There are a variety of lights available in the market. For ceiling fixtures, you can use the adjustable, pendant, track light or the hanging one.

Sound: Buying decision is stressful for your customers. Calm them down using soothing music. Piano, water sounds are good. If your customers are mostly young, play hip-hop music or their favorite top in low volume. Again your choice depends on your brand style and the available circumstances.

Touch: Other than your products, your customers can touch your door locks, your salesperson’s hand, the mannequin, the touch screens. Every touch educates them about your brand. Make sure it is precisely what you want them to know.

Smell: There is a serious impact of smell to human sensory. To start with, make sure your store is either odorless or scented. Automated Air fresheners, Air purifiers are here to help. The investment is worth it.

Taste: Although it has a limited application to the apparel industry, you can use this creatively to your advantage as well. If you are a high-end store or you can afford it, try offering a hot coffee to your customers in coldest weather. They will love it.

No, we are done yet. Visual Merchandising is a complete science and a professional career. Students spent years to get a degree in visual merchandising. What were you expecting? Smiles.

We will pick our discussion right where we left, next week.

Mind you: Education is the key to success in life.

Keep reading to keep reinventing yourself.

 

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