You may have heard you need to improve your merchandising to grow your retail business. But what exactly does that mean?
Put simply, merchandising refers to the process of selling your products to customers. It’s a practice that enables marketers to influence the purchasing decisions of the customers to increase sales and reach other business goals.
Today, merchandising is an essential process for both brick and mortar stores and online retail stores. As soon as potential customers step inside your store or click on your website, your merchandising techniques come into play.
These includes everything from the way you display and arrange your products, to how you communicate your brand identity and value to customers, to the kind of buying experience you create for customers when they are in your store or on your website.
Marketers focus on different types of merchandising depending on business needs and goals. The most common merchandising types include:
- Product merchandising
- Visual merchandising
- Retail merchandising
- Omnichannel merchandising
Your merchandising strategy is basically the techniques you use to entice potential customers to make a purchase from your store. Let’s take a look at some of the most common in-store merchandising strategies:
- Window displays/In-store displays
- In-store ads
- In-store demonstrations
- Samples and giveaways
- Displaying and spotlighting promotional merchandise
- Clean and appealing stores
- Neatly stacked and organized products
- Smart floor plan for easy navigation
It’s important to understand that there’s no 1 right approach to merchandising. The best techniques to use vary from business to business and should be adapted in response to your business goals and customer behavior. Other factors, like your store’s location and time of year, should also be considered when making merchandising decisions.
Merchandising changes you can play with include how lighting is used, how products are displayed, how metrics are tracked, or how in-store traffic is influenced.
Why Is Merchandising Important?
There is no doubt that merchandising is a critical part of effective marketing strategy for any business, regardless of its industry. Whether you are online store or physical store selling clothing, food, homewares, technology, toys, or pet supplies, you can always benefit from effective merchandising.
For this reason, many small to medium-sized businesses either employ a merchandising manager or hire merchandising consultants to manage their needs. The right merchandising professional can add significant value to your business, including:
- Increasing the visual appeal of your store
- Improving the customer’s experience with your brand
- Increasing the speed of inventory turnover
- Increasing sales
- Redirecting store traffic
- Increasing time spent in your store or on your website
- Improving customer satisfaction
- Increasing brand loyalty.
With benefits like these, it’s no surprise that many businesses invest heavily into professional marketing and merchandising advice.
The hardest part is figuring out which merchandising strategies and techniques are right for your business and customers. Then it’s just a matter of putting the strategies into place and watching as your sales, brand loyalty, and ultimately your business revenue, grow.