The first Macy's window display reportedly dates all the way back to 1874, and contained a vast exhibit of porcelain dolls from around the world.
Times have (thankfully) changed and window displays are no longer the main draw for stores. These days, visual merchandising has expanded considerably to include LED lighting, in-store tablets, digital signage, and even robots.
Regardless of the medium, consistent brand messaging is key for retailers. The in-store experience should match what the customer sees on your website, email campaigns, and social media channels. Consider these three ways you can align your visual merchandising efforts with your marketing strategy.
Integrate technology to bring out your brand story
Burberry and customized videos
In preparation for the holiday season, fashion label Burberry has pulled out all the visual merchandising stops at luxury department store Harrods. They've combined dynamic window displays with digital offerings like an animated film in the style of a pop-up book. Customers can even create a shareable, personalized version of Burberry's film for themselves on Harrods' website. Throughout this campaign, Burberry has reinforced their unified marketing message for the season, which is to "evoke magic and everlasting memories" for their customers.
Tip: By blending digital and physical elements, you can extend your brand story and deliver memorable content. Offer videos on your digital signage and in-store tablets, which you can tie into integrated campaigns on social media and email.
Communicate across teams to pull your message together
Flying Tiger Copenhagen and cross-department check-ins
Danish retailer Flying Tiger Copenhagen says that before they release a new product line, they schedule a meeting between marketing, PR, sales, and visual merchandising teams to get everyone on board. When posters and packaging can't prominently feature their focus product, they turn to digital measures, like videos on social media, to supplement their offline marketing efforts.
Tip: Communication across platforms and across teams is fundamental to your marketing consistency and success. Set up a centralized system that will enable your marketing pros to store, manage, and push out content on all of your channels.
Curate the products you display in-store
Nike and interactive screens
In Nike's East London shop, customers walk past motion-sensitive LED panels and use touchscreens to find product information while mirrors turn on and play videos of runners wearing Nike shoes. In fact, shoppers are surrounded by eye-catching digital screens, with only a select number of products on display.
Tip: In-store tablets and screens can show off your merchandise, while saving valuable space for customers to move around. You can also take advantage of the flexibility of digital signage to show your products being used in real-life situations. As Nike has demonstrated, it's far more compelling to watch a video of a jogger exploring a bright city street in a cool pair of shoes, than it is to see those same shoes on a shelf in the store.
A consistent brand message through visual merchandising
Retailers should keep their overall branding consistent across all channels, but adapt their messaging to each specific channel. For in-store visual merchandising displays, you can take advantage of available technologies to maximize the visual impact of floor displays and curate products that fit your campaigns.
Understanding your customers' behavior is also important. Learn more by viewing our post on shopper psychology facts to guide your visual merchandising efforts.
Feature Photo: fiphoto / Shutterstock.com