Today I’m going to talk to you about visual merchandising and store layout and how that affects our consumer behavior!
First of all, what’s visual merchandising? It’s silent selling technique that helps to reduce the employee mix and increase per square feet returns and can further helps in reducing marketing budgets. The activity and profession consists of developing the floor plans and three-dimensional displays in order to maximize sales.
We all know have our favorite stores to go. Some for the product, some for the store itself – we think the shopping experience is more enjoyable. Why? Because customers pay special attention to details like layout and overall structure, how is the interior decoration, whether the signs and marks are clear, whether the display of commodities in corridor space, music, noise, room temperature, clothing and attitude of service personnel etc. Maybe you never noticed, but these factores are really proeminent on your decision to enter a store! We all went to the experience of needing a product, have various options and maybe went to the store that is further to home just because “we like the place better that the others”. It’s not “just because” is due to the factors that I reffered above.
How does this relate to visual merchandising? So, it’s demand is to coordinate the physical elements of the store so it can project the brand’s aesthetics to the costumer. So, it’s responsible by all the factors that makes us want to buy. Therefore, the goal of visual merchandising is to engage the costumer towards making a purchase, changing him from a “passive observer” to an “active consumer”. It concerns store front and interior, merchandise display, store layout and store space.
The four most popular store layouts are: Grid (like you have on supermarkets), Freeflow (smaller shops use it because when the products are organized on free-flow, the costumer doesn’t have a path to view the store, so he’s more likely to do impulsive buying – who never?), Loop (the major aisles take the costumer on the front, looping him around the store and returns him to the from) and Spine (which is a variation of the other three and represents an aisle that goes from the front to the back of the store). Here’s a illustration showing us these store layouts work:
So, why is the layout so important? With layout, the store itself is the guide of out costumer, telling him silently where he wants to go and exposing him to the products the brand wants to sell. If the layout is sucessfull, it should increase selling, create a confortable and enjoyable experience to the costumer, create balance between sales and shopping space and create an effective merchandising presentation.
So, on my hometown, the store that I fashion shop more are Stradivarius, Pull & Bear and C&A. I realized that Stradivarious and Pull&Bear have a freeflow layout and C&A has a spine layout. So, my shopping experience is actually different: on the freeflow I usually have to take more time exploring the store when I’m searching for a specific item, because I have a random path that sometimes isn’t efficient.On C&A, I have an organized path that I do everytime I go to the store, whether to buy or just to look. Neverthless, the store I like the most of the three of them is Stradivarius, it’s aesthetics in terms of fashion fit my style the better.
What’s your favorite shop and how is its layout?
Let me know on the comments and on my social media!
See you soon*
Image Credits: Pinterest.com