What is Merchandising?
Merchandising is everything you do to promote and sell your products once the potential customer is in your store. When we talk about merchandise, we are talking about products available for sale, typically in a retail setting.
Since the sales process often starts with the eyes, merchandising typically involves presenting products in a visually favorable light, to try and encourage purchases.
Some of the most popular ways to entice buyers to purchase include:
- Window and in-store displays
- Grouping related products together
- Shelf signage
- In-store ads featuring the merchandise
- Samples and giveaways
- In-store demonstrations
- Well-stocked shelves
- Spotlighting promotional items
Don’t Discount Cleanliness
Making sure your products look appealing is key to effective merchandising, but how does the rest of the space look? Do customers see:
- Clean floors and aisles
- Dust-free shelves and products
- Products that are neatly stacked or hung
- A sense of organization, rather than overwhelming chaos
- Vignettes of related products set up together to suggest how they might be used
- Enough elbow room to move about comfortably
Benefits of Merchandising
Some small business owners hire professional visual merchandisers to come in and spruce up their displays and selling floor, finding that the cost is well worth it. But merchandising goes beyond just moving inventory around, to space planning and product staging. Effective merchandising yields:
- Higher sales
- Faster inventory turnover
- Buyers who spend more time in the store
- More satisfied customers
- Increased customer loyalty
Stores that present products that customers are frequently looking for in a pleasing display, or tucked away neatly, will find those same customers returning for more on a regular basis.