What is Visual Merchandising in Retail Industry?
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.
According 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 Weitz, atmospherics 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?