Point of Sale
Merchandising is more than just making sales in-store – it’s the way you display products to entice shoppers, highlight bestsellers, and win more customers.
While it may sound like it takes specialized skill, retail merchandising can be quite straightforward. At its core, it involves figuring out what your customers are most likely to buy and arranging your in-store displays to encourage those purchases. And with the below retail merchandising tips and best practices, you’ll see just how easy – and powerful – merchandising can be.
Retail merchandising refers to the process of creating displays of products that can be purchased. The goal of retail merchandising is to draw shoppers in and generate more sales.
Retail merchandising involves how your store looks and feels, ranging from how visitors navigate the aisles to the items you put on the product displays. Whether displaying best selling products or sale items, retail merchandising’s end goal is the same: Get more sales.
Often, retail merchandising is viewed as a practice most relevant to clothing stores. However, its importance in all retail settings can’t be understated. Grocery stores, gift shops, bookstores, record stores, and more all fare better when they develop and execute a retail merchandising plan.
Merchandising techniques in retail have numerous advantages. Some of these benefits are more visual and perhaps superficial. Others are directly related to your bottom line in both the short term and the long run. No matter your reason for developing a retail merchandising plan, having a strategy ensures that you take the right steps to develop the best strategy for your business.
Think about the last time you went window shopping, whether at a brick-and-mortar store in the mall or exploring a downtown stretch of a new city. Which retailers did you go into? Which ones stood out the most?
Chances are, the shops with all kinds of interesting goods displayed in their windows grabbed your attention. Maybe your gift shop incorporates beach chair and umbrella props in the window around the Fourth of July, for example. Even better yet, maybe you create an entire scene around a one-of-a-kind handbag that few boutiques carry.
And once inside, more interesting items lined the shelves and display tables. Your customers will feel the same way and will be similarly engaged when they come across your retail store.
Part of merchandising for retail is arranging products attractively and clearly marking their prices and discounts. For starters, well-arranged products improve the customer experience – after all, great-looking products are way more likely to be sold.
Merchandising is also a great way to implement clever psychological pricing strategies. For example, you could list an expensive item next to a less expensive one to drive sales to the cheaper item. Greater profits could result.
Marketing is an inevitable business cost, but adding retail merchandising into your strategy can be an effective way to utilize what you’re already doing – stocking the shelves – to market to customers. You won’t pay extra to arrange your products in certain ways, and creative displays can be put together on a budget. Plus, the staff you’re already paying can handle these tasks, meaning you don’t have to hire third-party services.
A well-arranged in store display can draw in customers who weren’t initially looking for your retail store. It can also bring customers back as they make a final buying decision. Place eye-catching, informative signage that clearly advertises your BOGO sale or free gift promotion. With clear signage, you give customers fewer reasons to walk away from potential purchases.
Retail merchandising can help you sell more items to window shoppers who just casually stroll in. With every sale, you make space to add more. So of course, over time, you’ll see inventory more quickly hitting the floor, which means less product taking up space in a backroom or warehouse.
Use an inventory management system, like Thrive Inventory by Shopventory, to automate re-ordering so you never run out of stock.
Retail merchandising plays a big part in building a brand’s reputation. From their display windows to their actual shelves, the biggest names in retail made lasting impressions with retail merchandising that leads to strong brand loyalty. Think about the famous department store windows decked out for the holidays come wintertime: The visual spectacle alone brings thousands of visitors who come to associate your brand with beautiful merchandising – and products to take home with them.
Retail merchandising is only the start. To stand out, you’ll need to incorporate other merchandising strategies into your plans.
This type of merchandising comprises all efforts you take to sell an item. Like retail merchandising, it can include shelf displays and other visual cues. However, product merchandising generally refers to strategies around one product, rather than all your products. Consider a skincare line: Which of the 6 items in your product assortment do you expect to be a bestseller? If you think the oil-free moisturizer will generate the most sales, product merchandising will focus your efforts on that one product.
In visual merchandising, your lighting, floor plan, colors, store fixtures, and more are all taken into consideration. You’ll handle these areas in four parts: your store’s exterior, interior, store layout, and interior display. The goal is to create a compelling atmosphere from beginning to end, using all the tools at your disposal.
This involves all promotional efforts you undergo at every customer touchpoint, including your brick and mortar store, website, and third-party marketplaces. Your goal should be to make your shopping experience seamless as your customer moves among touchpoints, from digital marketing to retail execution. It can include product placement in a store window and a website home page, featured products both in-store and online, email marketing for in-store deals, and more.
When possible, you should incorporate all four types of merchandising into your promotional strategy. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it certainly doesn’t have to be. Below are some retail merchandising tips and best practices for each type.
Some ways to make the best of your retail merchandising include:
The product merchandising ideas can help as you create displays that draw in passersby:
These merchandising tips can help you get the most of your store in your promotion.
Omnichannel retailing and merchandising best practices fall into the below categories:
Retail merchandising has numerous benefits and approaches that all share one thing in common: They improve the customer experience. After all, customers who enjoy shopping with you are more likely to buy from you.
Starting at $79/mo
Starting at $199/mo
Starting at $399/mo
Starting at $799/mo
Locations / Integrations
Products / Items / SKUs
Transactions Per Month
Global Currency Support
Dashboard Reporting App
Barcode Scanner App
Alexa Voice Command
Catalog / Menu Management
Lot COGS Management
Custom Reporting Engine
Product Profitability Reports
Theft / Discount Reports
Inventory Change Reports
Dead Inventory Reports
Inventory Valuation Reports
Low Inventory Reports
Low Stock Alerts
Price Tag / Label Printing
Stocktakes and Approvals
Modifiers Inventory Tracking
Vendor Performance Reports
Automatic Purchase Orders
Kits & Bundles Management
Recipe / Ingredients Tracking
Spreadsheet Upload Tools
User Access Permissions
Barcode Scan Stocktakes
Barcode Scan Invoices
Barcode Scan Purchase Orders
Barcode Scan Transfers
Intelligent Stock Forecasting
Automatic Stock Transfers
Beta Feature Access
Google for Retail Integration
QuickBooks Daily Sync
*Inordinate data request or API volume may be throttled or blocked at the sole discretion of Shopventory.