Retail 101: Merchandising Tips for Brick-and-Mortar Stores

The best way to approach merchandising is to think about it as an ongoing, editorialized process, and not something you do just when new products arrive. Luckily, you don’t have to completely overhaul your store to make an improvement.

Here are five easy ways to improve your retail merchandising—today! 

1. Branded Hangers

When you go into a retail store environment and you see things are on plastic hangers, how do you feel? What about when they’re on wooden hangers? That’s definitely one way to elevate the atmosphere of your store, but an even better opportunity is to use branded hangers. It’s just another way for your customers to feel connected, understand your brand, and build a connection with your logo. 

2. Point of Sale 

Now that we have mobile POS available and there are so many different ways to sell on the sales floor, it’s a chance to really ask yourself, “What does my check-out or POS section actually look like? Do I need to have an area that’s for the cash wrap? Do I need to have an area for that iPad?” You might discover that you can simply have your sales team walking around with something in their pocket to ring up purchases. It’s a great chance to get creative and bring intention to the check out process in your store. 

3. Fitting Rooms

Fitting rooms are one of those areas that are often overlooked, and they’re absolutely an aspect of your brick-and-mortar store that can make a huge impact on customers. Companies like Reformation have done an amazing job of creating fitting room experiences. Customers have an opportunity to walk into a closet that looks and feels like it was curated just for them. Aerie has done an amazing job with the fitting room experience as well. Their rooms feature a set of curtains to walk through before seeing the mirror, which creates an unveiling experience. Customers can see how that product fits on their skin, but also how it feels emotionally before seeing themselves in the mirror. These are great examples, but make sure to find your own unique approach. Your brand can create a lasting impression on customers with the right fitting room design.

4. Selfie-Readiness 

One of the trickiest and most impactful merchandising strategies is to create Instagram-heavy retail environments with situations and decor that are ready for snapshots and selfies. Companies like Glossier have done an amazing job of incorporating branded stickers with fun designs and affirming messages in their environment. These little details around their store are the perfect material for Instagram stories. Customers are interested in sharing that they’re at Glossier’s store, but the messaging and the key verbiage on those different placards is also empowering and cool. 

Keep it simple—just think about how you can create Instagram-able moments in your store. Thinking about the mirrors in your space is an easy way to move in the right direction. Likewise, think about the signage that you have on a seasonal basis, and make sure that you’re constantly changing your merchandising with visual redirections to keep things feeling different and fresh—and not just when new collections come out. 

5. Furniture

It’s easy to spend so much on products for a new store that furniture falls to the wayside—and that’s one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to merchandising and staging. The right environment will make or break the shopping experience for your customer, and furniture and staging is key to a successful atmosphere. For example, companies like The Line and Apartment by The Line have done an amazing job of curating that at-home, atelier experience where customers feel like they’re shopping in their apartments. Simply put, your store’s furniture should create a vibe that’s in alignment with your brand values and ethics. 

These strategies evolve quickly, so it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse just as you would if you were an interior designer. Want to learn more? Take a deeper dive into merchandising with our post How to Design Your E-Commerce Store for Success in 2020.

If you’re looking for help with structuring your retail calendar or setting a productive cadence for your business, you need our free download, the National Retail Federation’s 4-5-4 Calendar. It’s one of our favorite resources and will streamline your merchandising planning as well as assist with timing things out in-store for retail.

At Scaling Retail, we’ve launched brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses all over the world. If you’re looking for guidance as you launch, grow, or scale your retail business, we would love to speak with you. Send a message to hello@scalingretail.com for a complimentary consultation. 

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