As you (and we!) know, a successful visual merchandising strategy helps establish a strong visual identity and is therefore an essential driver of brand consistency.
Visual merchandising guidelines are carefully thought of and created by visual departments on a corporate level, who are responsible for establishing and then communicating their vision of what stores should look like to comply to the brand’s image.
Some of our clients have told us that on their network, “the turnover of a well merchandised store is 30% higher compared to a non-merchandised one. When the store is merchandised but with no compliance with the latest guidelines the difference is about 15%.”
For the strategy defined at the headquarter level to be properly executed in-store, the direction on how to merchandise the retail space must be clearly designed and then carefully communicated.
Limitations of VM guidelines creation
Depending on the industry, the company size or even internal resources, different methods can be used to create those guidelines.
Some will physically assemble furniture and manually merchandise it, actually moving parts of a fixture and folding shirts one by one on a table for instance, or move products around from one shelf to another until the desired result is achieved. Photos in showrooms or mock up stores can be taken and used for internal validation. When changes are required, one has to manually carry them out, i.e. disassembling and reassembling a piece of furniture, unfold and refold the shirts, retake the photo, etc. and then again for any refresh or update. In a second time, photos then need to be legended with products information, such as name, SKU code or quantity, all of which is manually typed in.
Instead of actually focusing on the creative approach and the visual aspect of merchandising, visual merchandisers are often overwhelmed with physical maneuvers and manual entry data. Does any of this sound familiar?
Facilitating VM guidelines creation with DISPLAY
It is the 21st century however after all, so aren’t there better ways to do this? How can the process of creating visual merchandising guidelines be facilitated? Well, here are a few ideas.
- First of all, compiling a database of products and their related information is a great start in building a library of assets that can be reused over time. Virtual assets can take the form of photographs or sketches.
- Next step would be to build a first digital document showcasing how those products should be displayed together, which is basically like creating a first planogram.What if this database and those planograms were online, so they could easily be shared between teams across the globe?
- Display is a software primarily designed with visual merchandisers in mind.
When less time is spent on the technicality of creating a floorset document, more time can be spent on the actual VM strategy.
In a word, more time on your hands to use your brain!
One of our active clients shared that “(she)...can fully achieve my VM seasonal guidelines campaign within 2 working days instead of a week before using Display.”
The 2D part of the software can be used to create simple back walls or any shelving units or gondolas, and the 3D allows to create a fuller store environment. No design skills are required to use it though, so the teams can onboard quickly and start saving time with a more efficient process.
Once the first layouts are produced in Display, then it’s only a matter of updating them next season with new product launches or a new collection.
And the cherry on the cake… exports such as PDF, Excel, images or even video are ready within seconds, can be personalized and instantly shared with your retailers or field teams.
Isn’t floorset season looking brighter yet?
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