Despite the trend of online shopping, brick and mortar stores continue to be an essential part of the retail fashion industry.
In such a scenario, visual merchandising is nothing but the art of displaying products to make them attractive and appealing to the customers. Retail stores use visual merchandising to maximise the sales of a product.
Entrances and window displays
First impressions count, whether it is a job interview or attracting more customers to the store.
Fashion retail is one of the more competitive spaces in the retail business so it becomes important for businesses to make their offerings in a store stand out.
Good visual merchandising has the power to compel customers to buy the product.
New-age visual merchandising is a blend of technology and artistry. For effective visual merchandising, it is important to track customer behaviour when they enter the store: Where do they pause and take a look for a moment? Which part of the store gets the least attention?
Increasingly, technology is being employed to provide the answers to the above questions. Once you have a grasp on customer behaviour, it is important to appeal to their aesthetic sense, which is when artistry comes in.
While designers might come up with stunning creations, making those products appeal to the youth is an art in itself.
A visual merchandiser presents the product with accessories and uses other techniques, like lighting to accentuate the product. Envisioning use of the retail space and positioning the products is also important.
To summarise, visual merchandising needs a lot of patience, along with the willingness to understand the customer’s mindset.
While it is already an established field abroad, in India, it is a growing field that is slowly becoming integral to the retail and creative industry.
There is a glut of brands in fashion retail, with each one vying for attention from the same set of customers. So the role of visual merchandising becomes that much more important.
Increasingly, the job role is in demand in areas such as footwear, eyewear, jewellery etc.
(The author is the campus director of a creative education institute in Bengaluru)