Interactive Retail Merchandising Displays
Numerous brands are investing in interactive retail merchandising right now because they are catering to important senses of a customer; smell, sight, sound, taste, and touch. Utilising these senses is important to the customer before making a purchase. This is where online retailers can not help the customer overcome any objections by being able to interact with the merchandise. Make sure you are taking advantage of this by allowing your customers to interact with the merchandise by always having at least one of the products out of the packaging to allow the customer to experience it or hand out samples. iPads is another great way to display lifestyle videography which adds value to the merchandise since it inspires and helps the customer visualize how they can experience the brand.
This is a unique new approach that engages retail customers with the brand and immerses them in the feeling of owning the merchandise. This gives them the opportunity to try merchandise out before they purchase it and allows them to imagine what they can do with the product. For instance, North Face offers different virtual reality experiences to customers, one of them being “North Face Nepal” which puts them in a winter wonderland setting in Nepal allowing them to experience something that will encourage them to buy all the right merchandise for their cold but beautiful journey. Another brand to do this is Toms, whose mission is “one for one” in which Toms will donate a pair of shoes for every pair you purchase. Their virtual experience will take you to Peru where you can see the children receiving their shoes. This creates an emotional connection and brand loyalty that is far stronger than any other method would allow. These experiences will instantly win your customers over and lead to increased sales as well as admiration for your retail space for implementing such new and exciting technology that they would only find in your store. Virtual reality is being more affordable making this an option for almost all retailers.
This type of fashion merchandising is a huge trend that is earning retailers over 10 billion in sales. This allows retailers to try out new locations, test out designs and other ideas at a fraction of the cost of having a long-term retail space. Pop-up shops are really all about the essence of merchandising since it is all about being in the right place, at the right time, with the right products. Around the holidays this can be extremely profitable since this is when consumers are spending the most money on shopping. It is beneficial to take advantage of all the unique locations that might be available to you and really speak to your brand and merchandise.
Creating a Story Around Merchandise
This is a targeted marketing approach which is extremely successful since it’s targeted at a specific customer who wants to achieve something and you are offering the solution by providing them with everything they need to achieve this. Examples could be wanting to be more fashionable and up on the latest trends, creating an amazing living environment to be proud of, or be a better chef. These narratives can change from season to season targeting current events and times of the year. As your merchandising your retail space keep these stories in mind and the objective of who your target customer is, what do they want, and what advantage can you give them for coming into a retail store. Then plan your display and organize your products to help them accomplish their goals and live out these
idolized stories with your merchandise.
Retail Merchandising Process
As part of the retail merchandising process, the merchandiser should monitor the types of products carried in each location, deciding what the price points should be, and displaying the merchandise in the most effective manner.
The retail merchandising process includes:
Review the following to create goals and a plan that is cohesive with your target market; your existing and potential customers, what kind of a store image do you want, marketing approach, and sales goals.
Reviewing your sales to know what works and what doesn’t is crucial since this is a direct indication of what your customers shop. Trend forecasting is also important in this step so that you can select merchandise that customers will be looking for while keeping in mind what generally works for your store. The goal is to ensure merchandise is satisfying the needs of your target customer which is why reviewing your customer demographic and creating customer personas can be extremely helpful.
Selecting the right amount of stock to be sure to meet the customer demand but not have dead stock left over at the end of the season
This includes the selling and buying perspective. For in-store merchandising, it relates to testing prices in your store to see what the customer is willing to spend. Whereas from a buying perspective you want to make sure you are calculating all expenses of buying the products as well as overhead into the equation to then subtract that from what you think you can retail it for to make sure you have high enough profit margins.
Making sure to receive your products at the right time can be a major factor whether your merchandise sells or not, things to keep in mind are receiving trend pieces while they are still in demand and at its peak, and keeping in mind seasonality.
As part of the process, the merchandiser pays close attention to the types of products offered for sale, how to best present those products to consumers, and determining what is a reasonable retail price for each unit sold. The product assortment is the core of the retailing service. A retailer’s total product offering is called a merchandise mix or product range. At a strategic level, merchandise management includes the process of selecting the right items for a store and, at an operational level, ensuring that they are available when customers want to purchase them. Items in the assortment are organized into groups, the so-called categories. Merchandise planning encompasses selecting the right categories and the items within them. The selection of the appropriate items for a store refers to the breadth and depth of the assortment, quality levels, and the brand portfolio.
As part of the retail merchandising process, the merchandiser should monitor the types of products carried in each location, deciding what the price points should be, and displaying the merchandise in the most effective manner. What a retailer offers in product assortment is at the core of everything in a store.