Techniques of Visual Merchandising in Fashion Retailing

Visual merchandising:
Visual merchandising is responsible for enticing as many target customers as possible into the store through effective ideas of window displays and encouraging them to buy through the skillful layout of product in store. Awareness of the company’s brand image is essential, combined with knowledge of products display techniques. 

According to Pegler (1998)- Visual merchandising is displaying merchandise with the aim of maximizing the volume of product sales. 
 
Fig: Visual merchandising
Fashion retailing:
Fashion retailing is the front-of-house function. Fashion retail includes from the manufacturing and supply chain to managing, marketing, visual merchandising and selling fashion clothing, apparel, fashion accessories, footwear and different offers are display in store to attract the customer for increasing sales.

Techniques of visual merchandising in fashion and apparel retailing:
Visual merchandising always supports retailers to get advantage from the marketplace and it is the workable way of adding value to their company. To promote fashion retailing, visual merchandising is the way of communication with consumer through different elements like window display, lighting, store layout, image, color & style and the presentation of merchandise. To complete this visual merchandising two types of techniques are used. These are:
 
   A. Exterior displays
   B. Interior displays 
 
A. EXTERIOR DISPLAY:
It is the front view of a retail store. Innovative exterior visual merchandising techniques are attracts attention, creates interest and invites the customer into purchase. It is the perfect way to promote latest fashion trends and sending useful information to the target customer. For the exterior display presentation use eye catching banner, attractive window display, digital display, brand image, sufficient offer, progressive or discount image etc.

Some exterior display techniques are below:

1. Store front: 
Storefront contain of the total exterior presentation of the retail business. Store front mainly includes:
  • Exterior signs
  • Marquee
  • Entrances
  • Window display
Exterior signs:
Exterior sign is the first impression of a fashion retail store. In less than 10sec the sign must attract the customers attention, it explain the business types, and what it desire to sell. Only one or two keywords with well design and easy to read signs are used to express the business or product. A clean and clear message will be more preferable for customer.
Exterior sign of fashion retail store
Fig: Exterior sign of fashion retail store
There are four types of signs. They are:
  1. Promotional signs
  2. Location signs
  3. Institutional signs
  4. Informational signs
Marquee:
Marquee is an architectural permanent canopy that place over the shops entrance. It provides specials events, occasion, offers, display promotional banners. Ex: Broard way. 
 
Entrances:
The entrance of the store, otherwise it is also known as the transition zone, is an important area in the store. This is an area where all shoppers pass on entry into store, and is significant as this zone is where consumers can observe the stimuli and sense the general vibe of the store.
 
Window display (Based on season, occasion, special event):
Window display is essential communication tools that can attract the customer attention, to generate interest for purchase, sending merchandise, promotional and fashion product information, by creating an innovative or attractive display for increasing sales, which meet the customer needs. It helps to convince the customer to buy something in a few seconds. Budgets for window display vary from retailer to retailer, but concepts are based on season, occasion and special events.
Window display in visual merchandising
Fig: Window display in visual merchandising
2. Eye catching banner:
To attract the customer concentration, fashion or apparel retailers use eye catching banners in the outside of the store for exterior display. It is built up in creatively, inexpensive but colorful, eye catching means of promotion. Banners can be hung up from flagpoles, projected from the building or flat against the exterior. Always get a new look retailers are changing the banners continuously.

3. Landscaping:
Landscaping is the powerful concept and interesting composition of visual merchandising. IT can increase consumer interest by creating the focal point using color and texture to supply contrast and harmony. The focal point is the business sign and it helps the building itself. To highlight the product display and store arrangement retailers use of simple and attractive landscape design and they also ensure that customers can easily view the focal point and merchandise. Different equipments like plants, flower, small beds, and other required materials that are used to improve the overall look of the fashion retail store.
 
4. Colour:
Colour is a one of the most powerful tool in exterior visual displays. Color can express creativity for exterior window displays and it can create emotions and feelings among consumers that activate and stimulate specific memories and it can also create atmosphere, catch the attention of by-passers, and attract them to the retail store for purchasing goods.

5. Graphics, photography or brand image and signage:
Graphics and photography and signage is mainly used in window display for sending information about sale or special offer, discount, brand image, marketing product by model, reinforce the brand's advertising campaigns etc . To do is display colorful, bold text, easy to read, short and clear message and graphics are used to attract the attention of the consumers.

6. Lighting:
Without proper lighting, visual merchandising in apparel retailing is not possible. Today fashion retailers using computer software for adjusting the brightness and color of the window display lightning. If it is day or night display lighting depends on the outside light level. 
Visual merchandising with lighting
Fig: Visual merchandising with lighting
There are three types of lighting used in fashion retailing:
  • Primary lighting
  • Store illumination
  • Atmosphere lighting
Here I have mention some importance of lighting in visual merchandising.
  • To develop inside and outside decoration proper lighting is essential
  • It can express helpful impression about the merchandise offers and window display,
  • To highlight products, it separate one location to another in retail shop, to identify spaces, to create mood or feeling, occasion, seasonal effects lighting can enlarge the retail stores over all looks.
  • All the color of decoration totally depends on lighting.
  • Lighting can attracts and captures the customer’s interest and helps to set the mind for purchase the product
7. Eyesight:
Eyesight is the visual elements that help to create impressing atmosphere by the use of colours, lighting, shades and shapes, elements of arts and principles of design.
 
8. Fashion trends:
Visual merchandiser or window display designers must follow the latest fashion and predict future fashion movements. Clothing, fashion accessories and other merchandise must be styled on mannequins perfectly to draw customer’s attention to the retail shop.

9. A Plano gram: 
It is a diagram or model that indicates the placement of retail merchandise on shelf in order to increase sales.

10. Floor map:
It also called floor plan. A floor map helps visual merchandisers to discover the best place for garments, accessories, men, women, and children items, footwear, and other home decor items according to the color stories of clothes in the apparel or fashion shop.

B. INTERIOR DISPLAY:
Interior displays or in-store visual merchandising is the most essential part for fashion retailing and to utilize each square foot for decorating fashion products that will help to maximize sales. For this interior display, visual merchandisers want to get customers attention that essential in the purchase decision making process. When planning interior displays, remember that the theme and image presented on the exterior must be carried throughout the interior of the store to provide consistency for the customer. Interior display presentation mainly includes the store layout, store design, point of purchases displays, item display, assortment display, and signage.

Some interior display techniques are below:

1. Store layout and design: A store layout and design is the actual key ways to try to influence the movement of customers in the retail store. It helps to give guideline them to more merchandise as well as providing communication cues to the consumer. The ideal store layout and design will helps to give guideline to increase merchandise and to create interest in the product from the customer’s perspective.
Retail store layout and design
Fig: Retail store layout and design
2. Mannequins: Apparel retailer are commonly used mannequins to display their latest fashionable products in-store and in the window display. It can create a more wished shopping environment for the customers.
 
3. Point of purchase display: It is the display arrangement of merchandise in the apparel retail store that help the customer to purchase the product. All the types of products should be visible, limited amount of merchandise are show in the shop floor and easy to access but not overcrowded.

4. Atmospherics: Atmospheric means to design the empty space in the shop that can be attached to create a desired purchasing environment for increasing the levels of sales. It can give good impression of fashion retail store or boutiques to the customer and also attracting customers into a store.
 
5. Music: In the fashion retailing business, retailers and visual merchandisers play slow tempo music for consumer relaxation. Music’s are selected by the style of the shop and it helps to promote brands, making purchasing decision and customer also spend enjoyable & longer time in the shop.

6. Signage: See the above point.

7. Colour: See the above point.

8. Lighting: See the above point.

9. Smell: Smell in a shop is the most effective elements to differentiate the brand from others. Some general responses to different types of smells are in below:
Different types of smell and their responses
Fig: Different types of smell and their responses
10. Props and Fixtures: A prop is the elements that use to prepare a window display for telling a story about product. When the props are use to present saleable merchandise, make sure the props are appropriate for the theme of the display and also ensure that it can be increase the customers demand from the display in the shop. The examples of some props are floor coverings, wall treatments, backgrounds, mannequins, shelves steps and season or occasion wise different display elements.