Initiating visual merchandising contingenciesBY ARA Retail Institute
Once identified, visual merchandising issues need to be rectified. Timeliness is of the essence here as the majority of visual merchandising (VM) issues have the potential to negatively affect the customer experience and as direct result business profitability. When monitoring and evaluating the impact of displays always return to the visual merchandising plan and VM standards to gauge what the display is intended to achieve.
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Have sales achieved the projected targets? Can customers easily find the products they are after? Do customers engage with staff for further information? Have attempts been made achieve targets more quickly? Have any unforeseen issues arisen that have negatively affected the display?
Sources of information that may help you to monitor displays include asking your supervisor for feedback on the effect of displays and for details of relevant sales figures, observing the behaviour of customers, and asking sales staff to assist with general monitoring activities such as asking customers if they noticed the display. By involving others you can also encourage staff to take responsibility for maintaining the visual merchandising power of the store. You need to make sure staff clearly understand all the criteria if they are involved in monitoring displays.
One of the positive outcomes of identifying and rectifying visual merchandising inconsistencies is the opportunity to use what has been learned to inform future visual merchandising decisions. Recording the type and frequency of issues flagged and dealt with can help improve VM standards and how they are achieved.
It can be surprising how tracking 3-6 months of issues can clearly highlight ongoing consistent challenges that otherwise would continue to be dealt with on an ad hoc basis. Reviewing the type and frequency of issues then helps identify ongoing problems and gives rise to recommendations for solutions. Any recommendations for improvements should be made through appropriate channels and reviewed by relevant stakeholders, as is common practice in the business.
Recommendations are best made aligned with the achievement of business objectives including: detail issue type & frequency, propose solution with justification according to: how customer appeal, attraction and interaction will be impacted and how commerciality of VM initiatives will be improved.
About ARA Retail Institute
ARA Retail Institute is Australia’s leading retail training provider for both accredited and non-accredited learning programs. For more information, please visit: www.retailinstitute.org.au
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ARA Retail Institute
ARA Retail Institute is Australia’s leading retail training provider for both accredited and non-accredited learning programs. The ARA Retail Institute is a Government Registered Training Organisation (RTO) making it fully qualified to offer retail education programs to ARA members and broader retail industry.