VISUAL MERCHANDISING –AN OVERVIEWAbstractIndian retail industry is one of the largest growingindustry in Indian economy. The retail industry in India has undergone a majortransformation in recent years with a shift towards organized retailing.Retailing in India accounts to about 10% of GDP and 8% of employment. India isfifth largest retail destination in the world.
In India organized retailcontributes to about 8% of total retail trade. Since 2000 Indian retailindustry is registering a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 7.45 %. Inwestern countries visual merchandising is of prime focus in selling theproduct. In India as the concept of organized retailing increases visualmerchandising has gained its importance. In current competitive marketretailers are facing so much of competition and they find it difficult todifferentiate their product offerings.
In such case visual merchandising is atool to differentiate the products in cut-throat competition. In today’s informationworld consumers are very much aware of global trends and they expect the samekind of environment in the retail outlets. Visual merchandising is the tool toenhance the aesthetics of the store and it promises good experience to thecustomers from store front to inside the store. Visual merchandising is used byretailers for engaging and inspiring customers. Visual merchandising is bothart and science of displaying products in an attractive manner to increasesales. visual merchandising helps in upsurge of brand image and store image.Keywords: visual merchandising, brand image, store image INTRODUCTIONVisual merchandising is one of the major tool inretail industry. When retail industry is flooded with so much of identicalmerchandise, VM is the tool used to differentiate the product to enable sales.
Visual merchandising is arrangement of merchandise in a neat, synchronized andattractive manner to encourage sales. Visual merchandising helps a brand todifferentiate from its competitors. Visual merchandising helps to create brandloyalty. Visual merchandising not only helps to differentiate the product alonebut also one store from another.
Visual merchandising can also be described aspresentation of store and its merchandise in a unique manner to attract sales.Visual merchandising helps to display the image of the store which the storewants to reflect. In toy store visual merchandising is used to create demand byits strategic displays. Visual merchandising helps in increasing sales persquare feet. Visual merchandising helps to increase theaesthetics of product and store with intent to increase sales. Retailer’sgreatest asset is stock.
Stocks should be properly displayed to enablecustomers to buy the product. Designer’s job is to design an attractive productto the customer as in case of apparel retail. Visual merchandising through itsplanogram and strategic display helps the products to be displayed in an appealingmanner to attract sales.
Due toemergence of malls, hypermarkets and changing trends visual merchandising isbecoming popular nowadays. The retailers of malls change window displays everyweek due to gushing crowd in the weekend. The new generation retailers start tounderstand the necessary of visual merchandising and started incorporating intheir stores. Visual merchandising helps the products to get neatly occupied incommercial space.
Signage and graphics inside the store provides information tothe customers and motivates customers to buy the product. In-store graphicsinside the store provides information to the customer about seasonal displays. IMPORTANCEOF VISUAL MERCHANDISINGVisual merchandising, the growing technique isimportant in retail industry for the following reasons· Visual merchandising isused to attract customers and engage customers inside the store to makepotential purchase· Visual merchandisinghelps to increase sales per square feet. If sales per square feet is increasedprofit margin of the store is also increased· It creates a lastingfirst impression to the customers.
Visual merchandising helps the passerby toenter the eat store through its neat exterior atmosphere. Neat and appealingentrance, parking lot and unique window display motivates passerby to enter thestore and ultimately converting into customers.Eg: In appareland textile shops window display plays a major role for a passerby to decidewhich store to enter.· Seasonal displays helpsto showcase the new arrivals in the store which gives customers idea aboutitems sold in the store.· Visual merchandisingelements like music, lighting and good aroma helps the customers to stay moretime inside the store and ultimately leading to impulse purchase.
· Discount offers forcertain products are highlighted through proper and informative display.· Visual merchandisingcreates awareness about the product and increases brand loyalty.· Visual merchandisinggives customers a good brand experience.Eg: A newcosmetic product can vitrine its product through colorful displays, beautifulsignages and edgy models to attract youths. A good brand experience enablescustomers to purchase the product in future.· Visual merchandisingconveys customer value of the product displayed, its brand image and concept ofthe display.
· Good visualmerchandising eliminates time wastage for customers by providing properinformation, direction through signage and graphics. It also helps customer tostay more time inside the store through attractive display, pleasantenvironment and brings repeat customers to the store.NEEDFOR VISUAL MERCHANDISINGInthe cut throat competition retailers are finding difficult to differentiatetheir product offering from one another.
Retailers are finding difficult toinspire and engage the customers. Customer engagement process starts evenbefore customer enter the store so it is imperative for the retailers toconvert walkers into stoppers and ultimately into customers. Visualmerchandising techniques are used by the retailers to set their storedistinctive from competition. Repeat purchase by the customers happen only whenthe customer’s first experience is a memorable one. It is always said that”First Impression is Best Impression”. Visual merchandising creates a lastingfirst impression in the minds of the customer.
Visual merchandising is used todisplay product in such a way that its unique selling proportion is clearlydisplayed. Visual merchandising is helpful in attracting new customers to thestore and makes old customers feel good about the place where they are doingshopping. Visual merchandising techniques result in impulse purchase by thecustomer. A well designed store with pleasant environment makes the customerstay more time inside the store.
If customer stays more time inside the storemore purchase will be made. Visual merchandising makes shopping easy andenjoyable to the customers. Visual merchandising is used to convert onlookersinto buyers. Visual merchandising helps customers to easily locate the producteliminating the time wastage. Visual merchandising techniques help to increasethe sale of unsought goods.
Visual merchandising is used for space planning bythe retailer. Introducing technology in visual merchandising is going to takeshopping in India to next higher level. VISUALMERCHANDISING IN INDIAVisual merchandising is developed well in westerncountries. Visual merchandising in India is still at the nascent stage. Onlybig cities started using visual merchandising in India.
Increasing number oforganized retail outlets, change in consumption pattern, increased consumerexpectation, more access to global brands by customers, emergence of malls andhypermarkets, developing infrastructure, more number of youth population, dualincome in households increasing the consumption power are the reason forretailer’s interest in visual merchandising. In small retail outlets visualmerchandising is all about window display. Understanding of visualmerchandising by small retailers is still low in India. The entry ofMNC in India has taken retail to higher levels. India is a country where peoplegive more importance to food and clothing which leads to many number of shopkeepers. Visual merchandising is an important element in merchandise planning,store planning, store display, in-store branding and promotions. Global trendsof visual merchandising do impact the Indian retail market which can beunderstood by presentations and importance to visual merchandising in malls andhypermarkets. Due to FDI in India, India is now flooded with so much ofidentical international products and it becomes imperative for the Indianretailers to implement visual merchandising for differentiating the brands.
Good retail design and visual merchandising brings customer loyalty to thestore. In India apparels, textiles, food sector and fashion outlets are welldeveloped in visual merchandising but other products are on their way. Consumersshopping behavior and lifestyle are changing, retailers should satisfy consumerexpectations, Rather than simply implementing western ideas in Indian market. Foodand beverage industry in India triggers customer emotions to buy the productthrough wonderful display and activate senses through good aroma. In most ofthe departmental and super stores in India food sector is placed at theentrance of the store which simulate shopper senses to buy the product.
Ittriggers the hunger of the customers and creates need to buy the product.Visual merchandising provides customer a superior shopping experience. Manyconsumer behavior studies have proved that a well-designed store with showwindow, attractive colors and display do affect consumer buying behavior in apositive manner. PantaloonIndiaPantaloonfashion retail limited is one of the India’s leading retail outletheadquartered in Mumbai pantaloons fashion store is always a trendsetter forhow fashion is followed internationally. Fig shows how neatly merchandise is arrangedwith good color combination in a pantaloons store. Fig: Neat andinviting entrance at pantaloons fashion store Durgapur Fig : Banner atthe entrance and sticker at the window display clearly provides information tothe customer about discount of the store.
ADIDASAdidas is aGerman multinational company operating in India in products like footwear,sports equipment and sportswear. Fig showingAdidas spring blade shoe display at retail outletFigure showsbeautifully arranged point of purchase display at an adidas retail outlet. Thetable display beautifully highlights the blades of shoe and represents forwardenergy for running. Showcase displays complementary colored running shoes saton the top of clear plastic stand.
Conclusion Visual merchandising is required toportray the brand image and store image. It helps in organizing the store andmakes the shopping experience convenient and peasant. Visual merchandising notonly helps the customers alone, it also helps salesman to perform the salesactivity efficiently and provide better service to the customers. Visualmerchandising helps customers to get the product information and it alsosatisfies the recreational factors by providing enjoyable shopping experience.