Here we go – the current posted wiki definition for merchandising:
“Merchandising is the methods, practices, and operations used to promote and sustain certain categories of commercial activity. In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer. At a retail in-store level, merchandising refers to the variety of products available for sale and the display of those products in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to make a purchase…”
Then there is the term promotional merchandising: “In retail commerce, visual display merchandising means maximizing merchandise sales using product design, selection, packaging, pricing, and display that stimulates consumers to spend more…” – Read full wiki post.
Why is merchandising important?
Because the true function is to capture our attention and stimulate our positive decision making to encourage the purchase of a particular item(s).
It is crucial to ensure merchandising plans are developed for brands, corporations, retail in general.
What can also be considered merchandising? Almost everything you see now has been merchandised to be that way for a reason. There is a merchandising mania happening right now.
The possibilities for merchandising have changed, as media platforms have evolved. Digital and print and 3D and lighting ideas have allowed the creative juices to flow.
The purchase of a billboard campaign board – location, location, location.
A sandwich board – or sidewalk sign – where it is located, how it is designed, when it is used…all are part of the big plan. Where do the freezers go? What is the path of the human traffic flow of this store? All a part of the merchandising mania…
Now merchandising is digital too.
The business tricks of position print ad buying have been used for decades. It has just evolved to include digital ads on the internet. Position and location and size of banners are not just retail internal signage schemata, but also should be connected and cohesive to all aspects of the marketing – such as banner advertising and on selected websites and/or directories and social media. Digital merchandising can be seen as a part of the usability design for e-commerce web stores.
The exterior, window displays, digital banner ad displays, trade show displays, fashion retail, all aspects of merchandising and key to successful increased product sales.
Do not ever overlook the power behind good merchandising.
Options for merchandising your brand and product are all over the place. Everywhere you click or look. There are many creative ways to use it. Merchandising is an amazing way to show creativity, brand build, and create interaction.
Choose a main theme – a colour or direction of context.
Have white space.
Use lighting to highlight and accent.
Allow impact of straight forward messaging.
Choose a theme, a “design parti”, a direction for the merchandising – this is the first key. As in, what are you selling? To who? What medium is being used? How? Where?
Don’t clutter and create a mess!
That goes for messy brands online and dirty small boutique shops.
Simply put, get rid of the dust.
Clean up your merchandising techniques.
Make it part of your marketing plan.
Be strategic and consistent.
Minimal messaging is bold and best suited.
Watch your sales numbers grow.