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Shop Windows That Stop: The art of Visual Merchandising

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What makes a brand outlet stand out from the rest when all of them are grouped together in a mall or on a high street? Simple answer – display windows that have the power to make the shopper stop and take notice.

In a world where smartphones are becoming ever-attention consuming, drawing a passerby’s attention and convincing them to come inside and take a closer look is the what makes for a brilliant shopping window.

Towards this, brands are taking their retail game to the next level with new and improved Visual Merchandising (VM) techniques, luring in shoppers, making them stay, and most importantly, coaxing them into buying something.

VM is a multi-sensory tool used by retailers to catch the attention of customers and attract them into a store to make a purchase.

The art of VM has evolved a lot over the years. According to Bob Phibbs, Chief Executive Officer, The Retail Doctor – a New York-based retail consultancy, says in his blog, “Visual merchandising is everything a shopper sees at your store that hopefully leads to a remarkable shopping experience. It is the unspoken language retailers use to communicate with their customers. In the advent of Omnichannel retailing, it also connects to the online brand experience to provide a seamless, consistent look and feel between the web and the physical store.”

In India, as all over the world, the first piece of visual merchandising customers encounter with a brand is the window display. Shradha Kurup – Head, Visual Merchandising, Raymond Ltd. explains this by saying, “Visual Merchandising is not only about windows and signage anymore. It has evolved into a complete customer journey right from the time the customer sets eyes on the communication to when he finally holds and feels the product. Effective VM is about making sure that this entire experience is immersive in its complete sense for the customer. The customer must feel and sense the brand it totality and that truly defines the effectiveness and success of the messaging that has been planned at various touch points.”

She further accentuates the role of VM saying, “It is the tool through which all the brand propositions come to life. It is the moment of truth and the real personification of what the brand stands for and a definite footfall magnet at the stores.”

R. Jeswant, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Funskool India says, “Effective VM makes shopping interesting and making a shopper spend more time than he had actually planned in the store.”

Nina Lekhi, Managing Director & Chief Design Curator – Baggit, adds, “The window design creates curiosity in the mind of the consumers, incites them into the store. Effective in-store VM helps develop product combinations which create inquisitiveness in the mind of the consumers thus making them move around the store.”

VM is extremely important for us,” says Karan Berry, Creative Head, Being Human. “We believe products need to be well displayed in store to ensure customer comfort and requirements, ensure they can find what they need easily, which in turn boosts sales. As a brand, we also like to innovate and not get stuck in trends.”

“At Being Human, we micro manage VM campaigns within all the stores pan India and overseas from our headquarters in Mumbai and after careful collaboration with the marketing and project departments, we employ VM in stores. We also follow a very strict calendar for store displays. Everything is thought of and planned beforehand to ensure there is uniformity in all stores across India,” says Berry.

~ With Inputs from Sandeep Kumar & Surabhi Khosla ~

(Have a fantastic visual merchandising pictures, campaigns and response? Share it with us.)

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