With the increasing number of retail companies focusing on selling experiences to customers, visual merchandising (VM) is taking the front seat in retail stores.
Today, brands are gradually realizing the fact that giving shoppers a superior experience not only contributes to the profitability but consequently results in improved brand loyalty and goodwill. However, visual merchandising in a store can become challenging, especially when some retailers, such as independent shops, do not have a clear idea about it. In such cases, it gets tough to succeed at visual merchandising a store and turning a profit. Furthermore, there is a lot of this technique than just attractively arranging products. Thorough planning, strategy formulation, and understanding of consumer behavior are highly essential for effective visual merchandising in retail stores. Here are five challenges that retail stores face in visual merchandising.
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Limited Display Space
Space allocation for various SKUs is a strategically pre-planned process. So, in case visual merchandisers want to make changes and allocate space for VM props, it becomes a highly demanding task. Also, with the number of products that keep pouring into retail stores, there is limited shelf space to accommodate them. This adds to the problem of space allocation for VM.
Competing suppliers want their goods displayed in the most prominent position in the store. Furthermore, large products require and occupy a considerable amount of space. They also need adequate circulation space that enables customer view from all angles. Moreover, it isn’t easy to create flexibility with large merchandise such as furniture, electric appliances, and home improvement tools. This affects the merchandising efforts to a large extent.
Retail stores generally tend to allocate low budgets for visual merchandising and related props. This is done to reduce costs and maximize profits. However, it becomes challenging for visual merchandisers to work within this allocated budget. The budget might fall short of getting the desired result. This limits the capabilities of the VM team to put out their best efforts and gain the expected outcome.
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Conflicting interests of top management, visual merchandisers, and staff can pose a major challenge in VM. In most cases, the decision as to where products are displayed is predetermined by top management and the supplier and not by the visual merchandiser. Furthermore, sometimes what the visual merchandiser sees as appropriate could be difficult for the sales staff to implement. These conflicting interests result in a lack of coordination and cooperation in retail stores.
Risk of Security
Theft and robbery often happen in retail stores and supermarkets, even in broad daylight. This is a common problem facing retail establishments, and even those equipped with security cameras and tracking devices still fall victim to this. Therefore, merchandisers have to ensure that their display also takes into consideration the security of the products.