Tips for Effective Visual Merchandising, Focused on Sensory Input

By on October 3, 2011 — Updated on June 7, 2013

Experimental psychologist Red Rui Tela confirmed through experiments that 83% of human information is obtained from the sense of sight, 11% comes from sense hearing, 94% comes from the combination of sense sight and hearing, 3.5% from the sense of smell, 1.5% from the sense of touch, 1% from the sense of taste.

As I always mention here in The VM Blog, we are engaging on visual merchandising because we want to help increase the volume of sales of the store we are working for or the store that we respectively own because it is either you are a visual merchandiser who is working for your boss or an owner of a shop who wants more income from your small retail business. Whichever situation you belong, it is important that you (or we) become effective on visual merchandising to achieve our purpose.

Here are the tips for effective visual merchandising, focused on sensory input.

Seeing – According JP Terlizzi, Executive Creative Director of Medallion Retail, staging the merchandise in your store using marketing or product-related themes will help make the visual campaign pleasing to the eye. The more often this campaign changes and the stronger it’s tied to the product inspiration, the more successful and memorable your brand will be. Another effective way to captivate the sense of sight is to deliver the unexpected — stage the merchandise to deliver pure surprise and visual delight to passersby.

Use wobbling instead of static shelve-talker or display moving items rather than those that not moving to get your items noticed because “movement” naturally captures more attention of anybody.

Hearing – You may question why hearing becomes part of “visual” merchandising, but I tell you, it is indirect part but it adds impact. What you’re going to do when selling Sony home theater systems, Samsung 3D TVs, Philips DVD players or even just a chime? How could you get the attention of your customers without the sound? Let those items with sound be heard, but of course, you shouldn’t play all of them at the same time. Music also has the power to entertain people of all ages; make sure to music played in your store. 

Smelling – If you’re selling oranges, try to use air humidifiers with citrus scent. Or, you can add classic aroma in your store and please avoid using strong-smelled air freshener and naphthalene or moth balls in your store.
On his article about sensory shopping, JP Terlizzi also mentioned that studies have shown that 75% of our emotions are generated by smell, women are more sensitive to smell than men and customers will stay 40% longer in fragrant places. One of the examples he had given is the signature scent of Abercrombie and Fitch and Anthropologie pumping through the store, and the smell lingers outside the store, triggering a connection in customers as they walk by. 

Touching – Allow your customers to feel the texture of your products. Let them experience how soft, how hard, how smooth, how rough, how sticky or how dry your products are. According to Mr. Jared Schiffman on a his words about Perch Interactive, research into consumer buying patterns shows 67% of consumers are ready to buy after touching and sampling products physically before purchase.

Tasting – This is especially good for those who selling food and drinks. This is quite on another level of merchandising but is still oftentimes difficult to detach from visual merchandising.
I look forward that this post has help you in a little way. Godspeed!

Image: Walmart Stores

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One Comment

  1. tatess

    June 20, 2012 at 4:03 am

    I like the idea of smelling, use air freshners with the same smell as your product. The product tasting helps a lot too. IF i like the product, i’ll get it or i
    ll let my kids decide whether they like ir or not.
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