Retail merchandising is an integral component of any brand’s growth strategy; and is an essential tool utilized by leading retail magnates. Retail merchandising is the broad term used to describe the carefully curated design and structural choices, that are utilised by merchandising professionals in order to influence consumers to purchase a particular product or service, and to entice potential consumes into a store.

Retail merchandising and Sparfacts instore merchandising, are complex and multifaceted disciplines, that continuously evolve as the expectations and needs of modern consumers change and develop. Read on to find our guide to retail merchandising, and how big name brands curate their strategy for success.

Brand Identity

A brand message encompasses what your brand stands for, and the tone that you bring to all of your products and services. Curating a brand identity is particularly important for retail chain stores. Despite operating numerous locations across the country, leading brands will utilise retail merchandising to curate the same brand experience for all shoppers. Retail merchandising to strengthen and support a brand’s identity and message, is therefore an integral component of developing brand loyalty.

Brand Loyalty

Retail merchandising is no longer simply about splashing the same logo across multiple products. In fact, when implemented successfully, retail merchandising transforms a one time shopper, into a lifelong consumer.

A popular case-study utilised to demonstrate the power of retail merchandising  is the ‘Starbucks Model’. Starbucks began like any other standard coffee store. However, the CEO Howard Schultz recognised the importance of retail merchandising in creating a multi-sensory experience every time a customer purchased a coffee. Customers soon came to expect the same experience in every store, with the familiar layout, music and smells designed to create a feeling of ‘community’, everytime someone entered a Starbucks chain. By utilising retail merchandising to create an all-encompassing experience synonymous with the brand, Starbucks soon became an icon of global coffee-culture.

Product Placement

The layout of any leading retail store is the result of significant market and consumer research. The presentation and placement of products play a vital role in converting a browsing shopper into a customer. Retail merchandising therefore plays an integral role in formulating a shops layout, and the placement of new and older products.

You may be surprised to learn the extensive psychological and scientific factors that influence retail merchandising and the placement of products within a store. For example, research has shown that since the majority of humans are right handed, it is most common for customers to head first towards the right side of a store. Similarly, when looking at products on a display shelf or on POP displays, a consumer’s eye will predominantly look from right to left.. In a curved store, people tend to walk on the inside of the curve, rather than the outside. New products are therefore placed in accordance with these discoveries in relation to consumer behaviour.

Target Consumer

At the core of any retail merchandising strategy, is a focus on appealing to the interests of the target consumer. Therefore, before making any decisions in relation to merchandising tactics, brands undertake significant (and expensive) research in order to define their target consumer, and to understand their motivations when purchasing a product or service.

The way that customers purchase their products and services has been changed forever by the internet. Customers are now demanding a streamlined, easy and accessible path from browsing to purchasing. Successful merchandising means providing the customer with what they want to purchase, in the way they want to purchase it, and in the easiest way possible.

A carefully curated and research backed retail merchandising strategy is integral to the success of any brand. With so many important considerations to consider when organising a retail store or placing a product on a shelf, it is vital to understand the key concepts involved in retail merchandising.

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