Professional Jeweler Archive: Display for Dummies

June 2001

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Display for Dummies

Good visual merchandising should communicate, not just look pretty


Think visual merchandising is just about display? Think again. Visual merchandising is a silent salesperson that helps consumers shop and encourages them to buy, says consultant Mark Bell. Following are what he considers the top characteristics of good visual merchandising:

  • A logical presentation the consumer understands.
  • A presentation that encourages multiple sales.
  • Fixtures that are correct for the design and function of the product.
  • Correct lighting.
  • Ticketing and signs that enhance the brand and provide needed information.

OK, it’s about appealing displays and glamorous window dressing too.

“When customers enter a store, they should understand immediately what the offer is, and they should be able to shop it successfully,” Bell writes in VMplus magazine.

Expensive fashions should be displayed in a minimalist setting “to underline the exclusivity of the product,” says Bell. (Is anyone thinking of those jewelry display cases filled with disembodied fingers, each demanding attention?)

Once attracted to an item, a customer should have all the information he or she needs immediately, including the price. Why should a customer suffer the embarrassment or sacrifice the time to find out? “No matter how rich you are, everyone wants to know the price,” says Bell.

And the store and everything in it should always appear orderly, even at the height of a sale. “All merchandise – whether it be expensive, cheap or reduced – should always be treated with respect,” he says. “You can’t merchandise full-price trousers as fabulous and then, when they are reduced slightly, screw them up and put them in a bargain bin.”

– by Mark E. Dixon

Good visual merchandising should be like this ad for The Wedding List, an online wedding registry. The display is well-lighted and shows a variety of cups and saucers while still evoking minimalist luxury. The “fixturing” (flowers) enhances the design of the china; the type at the end adds needed contact information (the company’s Web address).

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications