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Advanced Merchandise Presentation

Lily O'Halloran

Merchandise presentation encompasses more than creating attractive groupings of merchandise. Merchandising concepts are psychological as much as physical, even in an online setting. This article will delve into the psychological concepts of effective merchandising presentation.

Make an Impact

Effective merchandise presentations create a psychological impact on customers as they browse a store. Psychological factors include atmosphere, value, and identification. The store environment sets both the mood and atmosphere, which will lure some customers while detracting others. The goal of the atmosphere you create is to attract your target demographic.

There are several visual elements that aid in creating the atmosphere and mood of a store. These visual merchandising elements include: merchandise, images, color schemes, white space, fonts, and copy. The type of merchandise you sell helps to establish a mood. For example, a web store selling vitamins, herbs, and other supplements will likely have a healthy, energetic, and appealing atmosphere. A web store selling high-end tech gadgets is more likely to give off a cutting-edge vibe. While merchandise establishes the mood, images help solidify your goal.

The type of images used for visual display speaks volumes as to the type of atmosphere created. There are several factors to consider when choosing images for your website. Some questions to consider are: Would an image of a person using/enjoying the product be appealing to consumers? If so, what age of person? How should they dress? Would images with artistic effects or props be more aesthetically pleasing? To answer these types of questions, think of your target demographic. What is appealing to those consumers? If you are not sure, then you could create a small panelist of target consumers and ask them. It would be helpful to create mock-ups to show the panelists, because the questions are visual in nature.

The color schemes that you choose also have an effect on the mood created by your website. Some commonly known psychological feelings invoked by different colors include:

  • Red- strong feelings of love, passion, action, adventure, danger, impulse, and excitement.
  • Orange – joyful feelings of cheer, comfort, creativity, celebration, and youth.
  • Yellow –playful feelings of curiosity, amusement, satisfaction, and cheerfulness.
  • Green – harmonious feelings of nature, growth, money, and environment.
  • Blue – dependable feelings of professionalism, success, trust, and stability.
  • Purple – fantasy feelings of luxury, royalty, justice, and dreams.
  • Pink – feminine feelings of innocence, sweetness, softness, and tenderness.
  • Brown – earthy feelings of simplicity, warmth, honesty, and dependability.
  • Black – mysterious feelings of secrecy, darkness, and seriousness.

White space is an important visual element of a website. Not only does it increase readability, it helps establish a balance between images, text, and other visual elements on a page. White space aids in creating segments that stand alone as well as flow together in a coherent manner.

Creative fonts may be fun to read and work with, but they are not necessarily a wise choice for your business. What’s the problem? If your customer doesn’t have the specialty font installed on their system, they won’t see it. Instead of the special font you selected, their system will automatically use a default. Truth be told; most people will not have your specialty font installed on their computer. What should you do? Choose a web-safe font that is easy to read.

Content is crucial. Since customers cannot use their full sensory palette when shopping online, they must rely on visual clues and descriptive content. Product descriptions must include comprehensive details. Details are essential, because consumers cannot hold the product in their hand. Copy should also include the features and benefits of the product. Although content should not be wordy, it should be detailed, clear, and concise.

Entice Them

The atmosphere conveyed by your store will help establish the value of your products. Are you sending a message of dollar value or lifestyle value? Is your store a bargain-bin deal site or a luxurious, high-end store? Both websites have their place online. Your store could be either, or another type altogether. The point is that your store must project some type of value. What value do your products bring consumers? Entice customers by showing them the benefits of using your products.

Consumers shop at stores they identify with. The merchandise appeals to them. They feel respected and comfortable. The products suit either their current lifestyle or the lifestyle they want to achieve. Everything about the store speaks to the customer. What characteristics does your target demographic have in common? What appeals to them?

Merchandise presentations offer a chance to inspire customers. How can your product fit into their everyday life? How can your product fit into their dream lifestyle? Customers are more likely to purchase products that they can see themselves using. Merchandise groupings are useful for combining several products that can be used together to achieve more value. Well-grouped merchandise leads to increased sales.

You website is the most meaningful communication between your customers and you. Use it wisely, and you will increase your sales and customer base. Your home page should reflect current store promotions, while the entire website should create an ambience that attracts your target customers. Create an enticing atmosphere and customers will want to stay a while.

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