Merchandising Basics

Selling through suggestive styling. It's one of the most essential concepts to have while working in a retail environment. Merchandising is both an artistic and business related subdivision of the retail market. For many retailers, both large and small, the impact of merchandising can not only be seen in monetary value, but within customer satisfaction as well. It is within this satisfaction that the cycle ultimately comes full circle and monetary return can almost definitely be seen.

Merchandising is a simple idea that has an overwhelming complexity of artistic and monetary opportunity. Though it is vastly used throughout the industry, there continues to be a lag in retailers not taking advantage of this simple concept. Whether it be a lack of time or the inability to conceptualize; merchandising is an easy skill to learn and once it comes into place, is difficult to do without.

// img via Jack Silva Garcia
In recent years consumers have begun looking for a heightened sense of inspiration within the retail environment. The ability to make their shopping experience as effortless and time effective as possible is key. This is done through the simple act of adding merchandise to a focal product. Introducing complete outfits and pieces to accessorize are a great way to influence profits and consumer satisfaction. This also creates an area of suggestive selling that adds dynamic to an otherwise potentially mundane space.

// img via Bonobos
Enabling a consumer to quickly observe trends and allow them to focus on key products, a focal point can be as simple and complex as a merchandiser chooses it to be. Typically it consists of outfit suggestions or clean product visualization, it ultimately leads to a lifestyle presentation that entices consumers to spend more time visualizing themselves, or their spaces, in a similar way. The benefit for a retailer can be seen through impulsive purchases and return customers.

// Gap in partnership with Pantone

Color coordination is not as easy for some as it may seem; however, it is one of the best ways to catch a consumer's attention and push product. Color not only creates a seamless presentation but also allows a merchandiser to get creative. It can create a sense of emotion or evoke an idea of use. Whether it be a streamline presentation of solids or a mismatch of wondrous vibrancy, consistency is  key here.