5 Effective Merchandising Techniques to Increase Sales


Drawing customers into your store can be a difficult task, especially in today’s world of online shopping. How do you get shoppers to leave their computers and come to your store? Once they are inside, how do you encourage them to make a purchase? Effective merchandising techniques are the best way to attract potential customers and to get them to spend their money in your store.

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How Does Merchandising Affect Buying?

Encouraging customers to enter your store and make a purchase by presenting your products in creative and attractive ways is called merchandising. It is an integral part of having a successful business. It helps potential clients notice and remember your store and persuades them to buy something. Merchandising influences people to make a purchase in a number of ways:

  • Good visual merchandising makes shopping a memorable experience for consumers. If they enjoy the way they feel in a store, and the things they see, they will be more inclined to spend money.
  • A display that is easy to view and is not cluttered draws shoppers to your products. Seeing an item of interest and not being overwhelmed with choices or random other items, helps a customer want to buy.
  • Unique, colorful or creative product displays can attract customers and draw them into your store. They will see that you are offering something they cannot get by shopping online and may be encouraged to buy more of the items featured in the display.
  • Some displays can bring new products to the attention of shoppers. You may be promoting items your clients didn’t know about before seeing them presented in your store. After seeing an interesting and informative display, consumers may be more likely to make a purchase.
  • A sensible lay-out in your store will help draw consumers through your store. They will easily find items they want or need, and not get frustrated by having to search. The relaxed shopping experience will encourage them to make a purchase and to return the next time they want to shop.

Related: How Can I Improve My Merchandising Skills?

Effective Merchandising Techniques to Increase Sales

Increasing sales through merchandising is an important factor in keeping physical, not online, stores in business. Finding the right way to use merchandising for your products may seem like an overwhelming job. However, the following techniques will help you set up your store and all of your products in the most effective manner to increase your sales and boost your company’s profits.

1. Eye-Catching and Innovative Displays

Interesting and innovative displays encourage customers to want to buy. To get customers into your store, you need to catch their eye. If they walk past your business and see something interesting – they will be more likely to come into the store. Once inside, if there are additional innovative displays that set your shop apart from others, customers will be more willing to stay, look around and make a purchase.

Use unique set ups for your displays. Try hanging items from the ceiling or lay them out to look like they would in a consumer’s home. Get the customers’ attention and you are on your way to a sale.

Example: That display of dog beds in the window looks really nice. The way it’s set up to look like a homey living room setting with the dog in front of a fireplace makes me think of how Fido would look in the bed in our living room. I feel like it would fit into my house nicely and that my dog would love it.

2. Easy-to-Read Signs

Easy-to-read signs help make shopping a positive experience and help make customers return to the store. No one wants to wander around in a store, unable to find what they need. With well-lit, professionally designed signage, customers can easily find the products they want and feel comfortable in your shop.

Hang your signs high enough that they can be seen from a good distance and make sure that they are readable. Place other signs at eye-level or on easels near specific products, or near the entrance so customers are drawn into the store and towards more items they might find interesting.

Example: I wasn’t sure where I needed to go in this new pet shop to find the food Fido likes. The signs here showed me exactly where the dog food is located and how much it costs. This was an easy shopping trip; I’m going to have to come back here for more pet items.

3. Grouping of Related Items

Group related items together so they are easy to find and so they might encourage the customer to add a few more things to their shopping cart. Shopping is easier and more enjoyable since items are easy to find, and related items may give the buyer more ideas for using the products.

Find items in your store that go together, like ingredients for a recipe, or utensils with plates and cups. Putting related items in a display helps customers see how certain products can be used. It also encourages them to buy more than just the one thing they were going to purchase.

Example: Wow, when I found the dog food, the dog treats Fido likes were in the same aisle. Everything I needed was right together.

4. Point-of Purchase Displays

Point-of-purchase displays make it easy for customers to make impulse buys. As they are waiting to pay for the items they have selected, they are able to take a look at a variety of products that they could add to their cart. These can include items they might have forgotten they need, or things that just catch their attention as they are checking out of the store.

Example: The dog collars displayed by the register are so colorful. Fido doesn’t need a new collar, but these look really nice. I think I’ll just grab one as I check out.

5. Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

Create a comfortable, inviting environment for your customers to enjoy while shopping. It will help them remember that your store is a nice place to shop and that they are comfortable there. This will help you increase sales as well as the number of repeat customers you have.

Play music that will appeal to your target audience, but keep it in the background; don’t drown out the shoppers’ conversations. Use lighting that isn’t harsh but is bright enough to highlight your products. Make sure your customers can see your signage and read the information on the product labels.

Example: This store plays some of the music I used to listen to when I was in high school. I love these songs! I may have to keep walking around and looking at more toys and items for Fido while I hear the rest of this song.

Not everyone will use the same merchandising techniques to increase their sales. Try some of the ideas mentioned here and see what works for your business. Anything you can do to promote your products, bring more customers into your store, and give them an enjoyable shopping experience can help to increase sales.

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Posted by Lois Haycock

Lois Haycock is a 20+ year retail and eCommerce veteran specializing in project management and business analysis of customer-facing systems and software. Lois is SVP of Digital Transformation at M&M Merchandisers. She also operates several eCommerce stores as well as an executive coaching business. Lois can be reached at lois.haycock@mmwholesale.com

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