One of the main reasons why people decide to shop in store to see merchandise in person, and this is all the more reason to design winning retail displays.
Higor Torchia, Country Manager for Vend in the UK and EMEA, gives you tips and examples of visual merchandising done well. His hope is that the following pointers will inspire your retail design efforts.

1. Encourage people to touch and feel your products
Surveys show that the top reason people shop in brick and mortar stores instead of ecommerce is that physical retail enables shoppers to touch and feel items in person. While there are exceptions, the majority of customers have five ways to be engaged by the stores they visit: sight, touch, sound, smell and taste. Nothing beats the human experience, while buying clothes online is ridiculously easy it is no substitute for the real thing – you can’t run your hands over a silk dress, say, or try it on for size.

The key takeaway here? Create displays that encourage people to touch and feel your products. If your items are sitting on a shelf or a table while still inside their respective boxes, you are missing the chance to connect with your customers.

2. Use plants
Need an easy and affordable way to breathe life into your visual merchandising? Use plants. Doing so doesn’t just make your displays more attractive, they can also create healthier and more pleasant shopping experiences.

Plants also help purify the air and increase indoor air quality, and they act as sound absorbers, reducing noise pollution.

3. Have something for the kids
Consider creating kid-friendly displays. The practice can be quite effective particularly if you cater to Gen X and Millennial consumers.  

For example: The Great Yellow Brick store in Sandton has a minifigure station in store which is an ideal way to keep children busy and let them experience the Lego they sell. 

4. Keep ‘em portable
Is your store on the small side? Consider using portable displays so you can make better use of your space. Such displays are easier to move so you can quickly re-merchandise your shop or make room for other things if necessary.

Portable displays can also help in keeping your visual merchandising focused and on-point. Since you have limited space, you’re forced to only display the most important and most high-impact products.

5. Use displays to educate people about your products
If your products need a bit of explaining, then it could be a good idea to use your displays to educate shoppers about your items.

6. Consider upcycling
Upcycling — the practice of using old or discarded materials to create something new — can help you build out-of-the-box retail displays.

Now, don’t get us wrong: traditional racks and fixtures are still essential. But hopefully, this example encourages you to reimagine the use of old items. You never know — that old chair, box, or frame could be just the thing that would get your display to stand out.

7. Be witty with your visuals
Got a bunch of quotable quotes up your sleeve? See if you can incorporate them into your retail displays. When done right, a bit of text can complement your products and encourage shoppers to take a closer look.

8. Use technology to “extend” your displays
If you’re looking for ways to showcase your full product lines without cramming your shelves and racks with too much merchandise, then see if you can use technology to “extend” your displays. 

Case in point: when the online retailer Showpo launched their pop-up store in Los Angeles, they chose to display a small selection of products in the shop. 

What’s cool about the store, though, is that Showpo gave customers the ability to shop their entire catalog through a touch-screen display.

Showpo even took things a step further and used another table to capture customers’ details in-store. To encourage people to provide their email, they threw a 15% discount that can be redeemed online.