7 Visual Merchandising Tips That Will Help You Increase Retail Sales

Have you ever wondered if visual merchandising is all that important to the success of your retail store? We can list off a bunch of resources that will tell you why it’s necessary, but we think this quote from design agency, Rubber Cheese, says it best:

“In considering the importance of visual merchandising on retail businesses, the single and most important reason is to engage and inspire shoppers, to encourage them to buy more of the products you want them to…”

Research indicates that 83% of the information our brains process comes through our sense of sight. With that in mind, it makes sense that visual merchandising can provide what UTALKMARKETING refers to as a “‘silent service”’ for customers, one that helps them find products more easily, offers product information and provides inspiration and solutions, etc.

Because every square foot of your store costs you money, it’s important that you create appealing and effective visual displays throughout your business space. In fact, your retail space should essentially function as a “salesperson” that enhances the aesthetic appeal of your products and store to attract more customers and increase sales.

So what can you do to optimize every square foot of your store with visual merchandising that will boost in-store sales? Read on for tips that will help you create more effective product displays:

1. Know Your Customers – Successful visual merchandising starts with being familiar with the demographics of your target customers. The more your company understands your consumers, the better you can define and fine-tune your visual marketing efforts to deliver satisfying in-store solutions that will not only draw more people to your business but improve the customer experience as well.

2. Create Captivating Window Displays –  Make a great first impression on customers with window displays that “wow”. Since your store windows are the first thing customers see when they come across your business, creating appealing window displays, or an attractive exterior, is one of the best ways to drive customers into your store.

Windows are a “stage” where you can communicate your products and brand to your audience. That makes them a key place to display new products, best sellers, or other items you’d like to advertise at special rates. To continually generate or renew interest, you’ll want to change out your window displays on a fairly regular basis.  

Holidays and changing seasons are perfect opportunities to create themed window displays that appeal to shoppers. Make sure that you keep your windows clean. Additionally, you’ll want to avoid clutter or busy window displays that make it hard for the customer to quickly digest the message your trying to communicate.

3. Make it Easy For Customers to Find Your Featured Products – It’s not uncommon for successful businesses to place their newest and most expensive items near the front of their store so customers don’t have to look too hard to find them.

Make sure the products you display in the windows can easily be accessed, without having to disturb your merchandising. Customers who like what they see in the window will probably want to take a closer look at those products in the store. Consider carrying your theme inside to create a visual experience that flows through from the windows to enhance the customer experience.

4. Train Your Staff – A visually appealing store and the strategically designed displays within should be supported by an awesome staff that can reinforce the selling process originally initiated by your merchandising. Make sure your staff has the training and tools necessary to knowledgeably and confidently promote and successfully sell the products in your displays.

5. Visual Merchandising Should Support Your Advertising – Whether you’re running an advertising campaign via print, television, or radio, your visual merchandising should strengthen and support your marketing efforts. For example, if you have a special tagline or slogan that you use in advertising, you should repeat that same slogan in your retail displays. This helps you create and/or maintain a consistent brand image, as well as ensuring that your marketing and visual merchandising are in sync.

Advertising a sale or special event? You can use signs outside your business and in your store to guide customers to the visual merchandising you want them to see and the products you want them to buy.

6. Use Product Grouping – Grouping products in your visual merchandising is a good way to attract customer attention and spark their imagination with ideas on how they can use your products to enhance their lives. For instance, if your business is a furniture store, you might set up displays with a group of products that make it easy for people to envision how the same products would look in their own home.

You can also use product groupings to “tell a story”. Want to capture the interest of aspiring bakers? You can place intricate cake platters alongside cake decorating accessories and a cake mix. Or, group items based on colors or themes (just make sure you tie them all together).

7. Take Advantage of Technology –  As you know, we live in an age in which digital media is becoming increasingly popular. And according to one report, digital signage is a pretty effective means of capturing the attention of consumers. In fact, 63% of those they surveyed said they were drawn by digital media used in advertising.

Interactive touchscreens that allow shoppers to search, browse, and share, are being adopted by many retailers, and some fashion retailers now have “memory mirrors” that save images of consumers in various garments and allows them to compare or share the images with others.

Experimenting with various digital media elements will help you engage tech-savvy consumers and keep your visual merchandising relevant as technology continues to evolve.


Visual merchandising can have a major impact on consumer engagement, as well as improving the customers’ experience and influencing how much merchandise they buy. Displaying products in visually appealing, accessible and attractive ways will help you drive foot traffic and increase in-store sales.

Displaying products in visually appealing, accessible and attractive ways will help you drive foot traffic and increase in-store sales. There are hundreds of ways to create visual merchandising that will “wow” customers. But if you’re not sure where to start, use the 7 tips above to transform a visit to your store into a memorable experience for the customer…and a fulfilling and profitable one for you!


Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.