Visual merchandising tips for your clothing store

By Greg Bell

Organising your Surfers Paradise retail space can seem like an immense task, especially if you're new to the clothing world. For the best results from your layout, there are a few key principles of visual merchandising that strike the right notes with your customers.

The importance of hierarchy

One of the more important principles within visual merchandising is hierarchy to draw your customers eye to products you're trying to upsell when they enter the store. Arranging racks and products at different points of height can urge your customers to notice them and push interactions. For example, having a waist high table with a folded shirts will encourage customers to browse them as they approach them, and is far more exciting than having them hung in a row.

A great method of creating hierarchy is to follow the pyramid principle. This involves selecting and placing a larger item at a height as the focal point of the display. From this centre, smaller items – preferably related – should cascade down either side. This creates a visual tower for customers to scale with their eyes – and hopefully their wallets.

Lighting can be used to create hierarchy, and can literally highlight key items of interest. Think about your key items as the main performer on a stage – how will the spotlight maintain audience attention? Lights generate subtle interest, too – a band of low lit LED lights can draw attention to a counter or table tastefully, rather than direct signage.

Keep it fresh

For small businesses in particular, frequent switching of stock isn't always feasible. However, you don't need to order entire collections of new clothes in order to maintain customer interest. Refreshing the layout of your store can be enough to make things seem exciting and interesting for your customers, and may draw their eye to items they may have missed on previous shopping trips. Switch up the outfits of your mannequins, and give your shop window a spruce up with the changing seasons and holidays. It's important for your displays to be accordant, however. Brand consistency is key in retaining customer loyalty and interest. Radical changes to your colour scheme and marketing collateral will confuse your customers. Don't refresh your layout too often – your customers shouldn't need a map to navigate your store. 

Associate your items

Product grouping is a tried-and-true principle of visual merchandising. Despite its longevity in the store layout game, product grouping still remains as one of the best methods for boosting items per sale (IPS). This is commonly seen in storefronts – at Christmas time, many stores put red and green items in the window to create a themed display. Alternatively, for a clothing store, this could involve styling a "look" of multiple clothing items for customers to try out themselves. Product grouping shouldn't be abandoned inside the store, either. Putting associated items beside those you are trying to upsell can boost sales.

Grouping your products can be as subtle or direct as you'd like. For example, you may wish to place sunhats, sunglasses and bikinis in one section of your store as summer approaches. For a more subtle approach, placing items together of similar tones – such as pastels – may influence your customers to purchase extra items for a more cohesive look.

Looking for a new commercial property for your next venture? Reach out to the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise for a friendly chat.

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