Visual Merchandising

The concept of Visual Merchandising (VM) perhaps, dates back to the time when human beings started selling products each vendor or trader wanted to make his goods appear more attractive to customer to enable a quick purchase. Examples of visual merchandising abound even in the traditional sector, with even the vegetable vendor arranging the vegetables in a manner in which all are not only visible, but the best ones receive the maximum visibility.

Various academics have defied visual merchandising. Alternately visual merchandising can be defined as the orderly systematic logical and intelligent way of putting stock on the floor. It has several aspects that involve store windows and floor displays signs, space, design, fixtures and hardware, props and mannequins. As retailing becomes increasingly complex, creating the right atmosphere in the store and presenting the merchandise in the rightly manner becomes even more important.

Visual Merchandising (VM) technically can be defined as the art of persuasion through presentation which puts the merchandise in focus. It educates the customers, creates desire and finally augments the selling process. Thus, the roles that VM plays can be listed as below:

1) The primary purpose is to enable sales of the products/services sold by the retailer.
2) To inform and educate the consumer about the product /services in the store.
3) To enable ease of shopping for the consumer, by informing about colors, sizes prices and the basic location of the product.
4) Creating and enhancing the store’s image.

Visual merchandising is governed by the common principles of design, balance, emphasis, proportion rhythm and harmony. It works on attracting the attention of the customer, creating an interest for the product / service and creating a desire to own the product and then, initiate the decision to make the purchase.

The role of a Visual Merchandiser largely depends on the type of retail organization, and the importance accorded to the role of visual merchandising. Visual merchandisers must be aware of the store’s layout in intimate detail. Some organizations have two levels of visual merchandising positions: one is responsible for the overall look and color flow of displays and the other is responsible for maintaining window and other displays on a day to day basis.

Displays are usually planned two to four weeks in advance to co-ordinate with special promotions and advertising campaigns. If a visual merchandiser is working exclusively for a large organizations or chain, signage and prop packages are generally provided.