Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Visual Merchandising Tips from Helen Taffet


Helen Taffet, owner of Sensational Baskets, Inc., is contibuting a post today about the importance of visual merchandising. Helen will be presenting at the Atlanta Fall Gift & Home Furnishings Market℠ and The Atlanta Gourmet Market®. At her seminar, Market Your Shop, you’ll learn how to market your store to your target market and in your community. Helen will teach you way to use social media, as well as in-store promotions and parties that will leave you with the tools you will need to boost sales and drive business.
Visual merchandising is nothing more, and nothing less, than the in-store presentation of your products and services to your potential customers in such a way as to make them eager to buy. In other words, it’s your in-store marketing effort.
Once you understand the concept that visual merchandising is a marketing function, the next step is to embrace a key marketing concept in your visual merchandising and make “The Big Switch.” When you make “The Big Switch,” all your business decisions suddenly revolve around what’s best for your customers, not what’s most fun for you. Your visual merchandising decisions become focused on the customer and what they need and want from your store environment.
So what DO your customers need and want from you? Well, when it comes to visual merchandising, your customer wants visual cues to answer three basic questions:
  1. Does this store have the products I want to buy, and are they easy to find? (material needs)
  2. Can I easily and comfortably move around in this store? (physical needs)
  3. Is it fun to shop in this store? Or, substitute words like entertaining, inspiring, exciting or interesting for fun depending on the type of store you have. (emotional needs)
If your visual merchandising can help your potential customers quickly and easily answer these three questions, you’re doing a great job with your in-store marketing. If the answer to each of the three questions is “yes,” your potential customer will be eager to buy! If you answered “no” or even “I’m not sure” to any of these questions, try creating a paper survey using these three questions and a 1 to 5 scale with a comments section. Ask a few of your friends or family members to shop your store with the survey in hand. Then use the results to create a customer-focused, in-store experience. – Helen Taffet

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