Visuals are the best way to imprint impressions of your brand into customers’ minds. 93% shoppers buy a product if the visual appearance is appealing, desirable and has attention catching content. Therefore, visual merchandising in retail plays a significant role to engage and win customers. While the average attention span of a person is just 8 seconds, a brand must ensure that their visual merchandising strategy can effectively catch their attention within this short time span. It may sound complicated but just a few effective display merchandising can help you win over a large customer base over a period. Be it using a visual merchandising planogram or a theme gated display, display merchandising is a known secret for boosting sales, engaging customers and piquing interest in customers to make the final purchase.

Along with visual merchandising strategies, visual merchandising audit plays an important role to determine, improve and understand the flaws of your current visual merchandising strategy. As growing number of companies in FMCG industry and changing customer demands are emerging challenges of the hour, it is essential to adopt effective visual merchandising strategies to make sure your products and VM execution can cope up with the market trends in the competitive industry.

Visual Merchandising Execution & Techniques

Sales of products for FMCG and CPG highly rely on visual merchandising in retail stores. While maximizing sales through visual merchandising is the goal, it is essential to focus on techniques and execution of VM strategies in stores. Therefore visual merchandising displays are the best way to reach out to a wider audience in general and modern trade. While a FMCG/CPG company is planning for visual merchandising, they must pay attention to the following steps.

  • Accurate Store Profiling: Understanding and aligning products in stores based on location, demands, competitor and type of stores.
  • Targeting stores: While some stores have excellent footfall, some stores have targeted customers. It is important to analyze your products’ target group and arrange store merchandising displays accordingly.
  • Creating a planogram: Visual merchandising planogram serves a blueprint to your VM strategy. It is essential to understand and select VM techniques to be used for particular stores in order to make your product more visually appealing to the customer. Moreover, planogram helps companies to utilize retail space optimally so that it becomes a cost-effective investment.
  • Auditing: The final step that actually determines if your VM strategies are working or requires modification is auditing. Analysis of the effectiveness of visual merchandising is essential to detect problems or find ways to improve your VM strategy or change VM techniques in case of low ROI.
Visual Merchandising Planogram

Let’s take a quick look into the visual merchandising techniques that work well for FMCG and CPG companies.

  • Themed displays: Themed store merchandising displays not only catches the attention of every customer walking into the store but also provides product awareness so that customers can realize the proper usage of the product. Themed gates in modern trade have efficiently got into customer’s minds and have boosted sales.
  • Strategic placement: Placement of the product plays a vital role when it comes to attracting customers. Positioning the product along with related products can maximize the sales. For example, if you are selling butter, you can place it just beside the bread section. You may rely on planograms to understand the best position for your product.
  • Hierarchy merchandising: Making the products visible and visually appealing to the customer is important to draw the attention of customers. The products can be placed in a place where every customer must pass, products can be arranged in unique shapes or stacked vertically to ensure that every customer notices it in the store.
  • Shelves customization: As modern trade has become a common thing now, the company can strategize for their  VM campaign by customizing shelves according to the brand. Adding the personal touch of the brand not only invokes purchase due to brand loyalty but also helps reach out the brand awareness to potential customers.
  • Product promoters: Most VM campaigns include deploying product promoters at retails shops to ensure better sales, get insights about competitors and ensure that VM strategies are executed properly. Moreover, presence of product promoters help companies to avoid stock-outs.

Why Visual Merchandising Audit is Essential for Successful VM Campaign?

Visual Merchandising is a necessary investment every company incurs. Auditing of VM campaigns help companies to understand whether there is compliance to their VM strategy in retail stores or not.

  • Assess VM performance: Store displays are placed in retail sores but VM auditing analyzes the data monthly, quarterly or yearly to assess if the store displays are providing expected performance in terms of sales.
  • Helps in decision making: Auditing helps the company to modify or change their VM plans if it has not been performing well.
  • Boost sales: Auditing ensures if the VM execution has been carried out in retail stores. A proper VM auditing can help companies to boost their sales through more effective implementation of VM strategies.
  • Encourage Brand Awareness: The visibility of products is the key to brand awareness. Auditing ensures that your products are placed at a visible site for the customers walking into the stores. 

VM strategies may not offer you the best results if VM auditing is neglected. Visual merchandising auditing helps companies with the insights about the ground execution of VM campaigns. Therefore, VM auditing plays an equally important role as strategizing VM campaigns to execute them successfully in retail stores.

How BeatRoute is the one-stop solution for VM Auditing?

Most companies conduct visual merchandising auditing monthly or quarterly through sales reps, internal auditing teams or a third party. BeatRoute is a CRM SFA software that helps companies audit their visual merchandising investments in stores. BeatRoute offers the following advantages when it comes to visual merchandising audit compared to that of third party or sales reps.

  • AI assisted audit: BeatRoute provides AI assisted photo audit that utilizes automated machine learning algorithms to analyze the performance of store displays, face counts of company and competitors and streamlines unbiased VM audit. Moreover, it rescues the cost of auditing as a whole.
  • Saves time: If sales reps or third parties conduct VM auditing, the reports are passed on to central audit teams and then the final analysis is handed. In the case of BeatRoute, it saves time through eliminating the central audit teams altogether by concising the lengthy process through generating a VM Score on the spot and cueing problems if detected to the responsible field sales manager.
  • Insights about store display payout: BeatRoute automates incentives and loyalty points for display schemes and provides insights about the effectiveness of store display schemes and target campaigns with visual feedback.
  • Report and analysis: While it takes at least 15 days for generating reports through manual VM audits, BeatRoute offers on-the-spot analysis of VM campaigns in the form of rating, as it is feeded with photos of store displays from time-to-time. The reports and analysis helps companies to make decisions about store visual merchandising quicker and more efficiently.

BeatRoute’s visual merchandising auditing is a powerful tool to make your visual merchandising audits quicker, accurate and cost-effective. It is the best way to maximize your returns from visual merchandising campaigns.

The Bottom Line

Visual merchandising is the strategy that can boost your sales and increase the conversion rate of potential customers to real customers if executed efficiently. Visual merchandising auditing enables the company to get insights about the execution of their VM campaigns in retails stores. Therefore, in order to execute Visual Merchandising campaigns successfully, it is important to focus on plan, execute, and audit them effectively for comprehensive ROI on VM investments.

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