What is Visual Merchandising in Retail Industry?

By on October 28, 2011 — Updated on September 10, 2013

Visual merchandising is the activity of promoting the sale of goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets.

It is a merchandising technique which effectively uses the design of an environment via visual communications, lighting, colors, music and scent to stimulate customers’ perceptual and emotional response and ultimately to affect their purchase behavior.

Visual Merchandising is not Window Display

Window display is only an element of visual merchandising and it is not an equivalent of the latter. If we are going to compare them with the cyber term, window display is only a sub-domain of visual merchandising.

Visual Merchandising is not Fashion Merchandising

Fashion merchandiser is also called “fashion buyer” or retail buyers in retail industry, and one of the its roles is is to negotiate prices and details of delivery with the supplier. Wikipedia defines fashion buyer as  an individual who selects what items will be stocked in a store, based on his or her predictions about what will be popular with shoppers.

Retail buyers usually work closely with designers and their designated sales representatives and attend trade fairs, wholesale showrooms and fashion shows to observe trends.

Difference Between Merchandising and VM

By definition, merchandising is the planning and promotion of sales by presenting a product to the right market at the proper time, by carrying out organized, skillful advertising, using attractive displays, etc. while visual merchandising is the activity of promoting the sale of goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets.

visual-merchandisingAccording to Prospect – the UK’s Official Graduate Careers Website,  merchandisers are responsible for ensuring that products appear in the right store at the appropriate time and in the correct quantities and merchandisers also set prices to maximize profits and manage the performance of ranges, planning promotions and markdowns as necessary while visual merchandisers create window and in-store displays in shops and department stores, taking responsibility for ‘the look’ of the store, with the aim of promoting goods in order to maximize sales.

Merchandising is also called merchandise planning while visual merchandising is the art of implementing effective design ideas. Both have the same goal, to increase sales volume.

While merchandising is focused on the general methods, practices, and operations used to promote and sustain certain categories of commercial activity which even includes caring and training of sales staff and buying and selling of goods, market research, development of new products, coordination of manufacture and marketing, and effective advertising and selling, visual merchandising is focused on the presentation of goods in retail outlets and emphasizes on combining visual and other sensory elements to capture attention, awaken the senses and provide the customers a wonderful buying experience to achieve more sales, which is contributory to the main goal of merchandising itself.

Merchandising has a broader sense than visual merchandising; in fact, visual merchandising is a merchandising technique which effectively uses the atmospherics.

According to Levy and Weitzatmospherics is the design of an environment through visual communications, colors, lighting as well as  music and scent to stimulate customers’ perceptual and emotional response and ultimately to affect their purchase behavior.

Is your question about what is visual merchandising answered?

7 Comments

  1. tatess

    June 18, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Back when I was in college ,there was one summer vacation that I worked as a sales lady in Cinderella Makati. I first known about the “merchandiser” on that job, but the visual merchandiser is new to me. I know about the display windows and the designs in the store interiors but not the professions of the people behind it. Thanks for the contest ,I am now becoming more aware of this.
    I invite you to read: Makati Express Cargo at Reklamo ng mga OFWMy Profile

  2. website

    May 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers
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  3. Pingback: Research Results Show that Visual Merchandising has Impact on Your Sales | Creativity Window - Creativity Window

  4. Pingback: The History of Visual Merchandising in Retail Industry (with Timeline) | Creativity Window - Creativity Window

  5. Lazienkowe Szafki

    December 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Truly when someone doesn’t know afterward its up to other people that they will assist,
    so here it occurs.

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  7. Pingback: 10 Proven Visual Merchandising Tips and Ideas | dj fashion & style

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