merchandise display

If you have had any experience of retail business, or even if you are a keen observer of shops and stores when you go around shopping, you would have some idea about merchandise display.

In pretty much every industry that is full of competition, businesses need to pay attention to their retail display if they want to attract customers and keep on making sales. Many shops often change their merchandising displays every other month, to give their retail outlet a new look and entice shop visitors with curiosity. Some even hire professional interior designers to suggest to them the most effective merchandise display style that will help them boost their sales in a particular season of the year.

Before we speak more on the importance of retail display, let’s define what it really is so that you can get the gist of it.

What is a Merchandise Display?

Merchandising displays are the ways your products or items are exhibited in your retail outlet, with the sole purpose of attracting customers. A good retail display also serves the purpose of making it easier for your customers to find the products they are looking for in your store.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur in the retail business, you need to master the art of merchandising. Merchandising includes everything that you do in order to make a sale once you have a customer in your store. When you walk into a grocery store, do you normally see the items laid out in isles that are divided based on different item categories? That’s a merchandise display.

a boutique showing its merchandise display

If all the items available at the store are placed randomly, without any categorization, wouldn’t you be confused where to find the things that you are there to buy? Good retail stores deliberately place certain product items in a certain position, so that they can catch your eyes and convert to a sale. This not only drives more sales for the retail business but also creates brand competition among the different brands supplying to that store. The brand that gets to use the prime shelf space for their products in a store is the one that makes the most sales from that store.

An effective merchandise display is one that allows your customers to locate the products they want easily. Many customers make instant purchases when they are inside a store. A good retail display, where all the items are categorized and arranged neatly, helps the retailer to drive more sales out of the customers’ instant buying habits.

3 Components of a Good Merchandise Display

There are 3 main components of a good retail display.

1. The Basic Layout

An effective merchandise display begins with the store layout and its visual approach. Your store must have a natural-looking layout that can guide your customers through its routes. This means you must separate different item categories from each other so that the layout and arrangement make sense to anyone who visits the store. It is better to give each category a label as well. Customers don’t enjoy having to guess which category of items are placed in which lane.

Some stores have a more open retail display, but the way they categorize their items is good. For example, a sporting goods store may build an open design wherein one section, they display their tents, and in another section, they set their clothing on circular racks instead of isles. This is also an effective merchandise display style because it makes each section obvious and its items easy to access.

2. Visual Appeal

Once you have determined your floor plan and store layout, the actual display of your items is what comes next. The goal of the visual appeal of your merchandise display should be to provide easy navigation and draw your customers’ eyes to the desired areas. This visual aspect of retail display requires creativity, flexibility, and partly the use of science.

Showing product photos as visual display on a Strikingly user's website selling detoxifying drinks

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Experimentation helps a lot in this. Creating different kinds of merchandising displays and calculating your sales with each can help you compile some useful data to come up with the most effective merchandise display style for your store. This way you’ll be able to figure out what kind of merchandise display drives the highest level of sales for your business.

Small and medium-sized retail businesses that do not have sufficient funds for this kind of experimentation imitate the display styles that they observe in larger box stores. But in some cases, a retail display that has not been tested before or imitated from anywhere also works out the most. As long as you can come up with a creative, appealing, and organized merchandise display, you could be on the brink of driving awesome sales levels.

You can also make use of a special display when you are running a special promotion in your store. This would require a temporary, minimum cost, rearrangement of your items to bring those in front that you’re offering at a discount. These kinds of special merchandising displays can even draw the attention of customers from a distance.

3. Data and Stocking

One of the not-so-prominent components of merchandise display is data and stocking. The way you arrange your items in your store also depends on the amount of inventory or stock you have for it. Many times, you would need to shift your display to highlight the seasonal items. Other times you would need to move out the old inventory. Food retailers are always struggling to rotate their perishable items to move the oldest ones first.

Your merchandise display also allows you to collect data on how fast different items and displays sell. This in turn can help you to a great extent in managing your inventory more efficiently. Some retailers even intentionally leave some items low in stock on the store shelves, just to show their scarcity and get more sales on them.

Benefits of a Good Merchandise Display

You can get a number of benefits for your business with an effective merchandise display.

1. Increase Sales

The simplest benefit that business owners hope to get from a good retail display is an increase in their sales. Bundling products, cross-merchandising, rearranging them in the store, all help in drawing the attention of customers and thus driving more sales. If your store is aesthetically pleasing, has an upbeat environment, and is well lit, more people will enter and have a look at the items on sale. Naturally, this will increase your sales volumes and potentially enlarge your customer base. Many retailers create effective merchandise displays to get more sales transactions and revenue.

2. Highlight Higher Value Goods

In most retail businesses, the highest level of profit comes from a relatively small number of products. In supermarkets, certain items are sold at break-even prices, while other branded products are sold at high-profit margins. If your merchandise display offers a variety in product assortment, you can attract a more diversified customer base. Some of the people in these diversified groups will always buy the higher valued goods from your store.

website built on Strikingly selling lavish clothing

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

If you are running a jewellery shop, for instance, you can display the shiniest and most expensive pieces near the front or entrance of your store. This will grab the attention of those passing by and get you more sales on the high priced pieces.

3. Simplify Buying Decision

Arranging and labeling your products neatly and in an organized way helps simplify the buying decision of the visitors of your store. Your customers have to spend less time walking around in confusion, and more time finalizing the list of items they want to purchase. Hence, if you have an effective merchandise display, you’ll be able to provide a smooth shopping experience to your customers.

Screenshot of a Strikingly user's website selling women's wear showing a neat products display

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

4. Attract Repeat Customers

When you make things easy for your customers, they want to visit your store again and again. A good merchandise display attracts repeat customers, who prefer you over others in your competition because they feel comfortable shopping at your store.

Effective Merchandise Display On An Online Store

If you are running your business online, your merchandise display would refer to the way you arrange your product photos and create product pages on your online store.

Product page from Inspire Organics website built on Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

If you build your website on Strikingly, our features make it easy for you to arrange your store in a neat and organized fashion. You can choose from one of our store templates, so you don’t have to create your store design from scratch.

Our product pages are compatible for you to upload product photos, set the prices, write catchy product descriptions, edit shipping options, trace and manage orders, and select from the multiple payment methods that we offer. Our Pro Plan also allows customers to write product reviews on your product pages.

Our goal is to provide a smooth experience to you for running your online store on Strikingly so that you can provide the same to your site visitors and customers when they shop on your store.