12 Common visual merchandising challenges & how to avoid them?

What is visual merchandising, its common mistakes and solutions

Getting your store’s visual merchandising right can sometimes feel like you’re putting together a jigsaw puzzle; it takes patience, care, and attention to detail. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. Consider this your guide to understanding the secrets of making your store look amazing, overcoming challenges in merchandising. Here, you’ll learn how to place things just right, design eye-catching displays, and make everything in your store work together, avoiding mistakes in retail display design and mastering good vs bad visual merchandising.


What is visual merchandising?

Visual merchandising is arranging products in a store to attract customers and encourage purchases. It’s about using displays, layouts, and aesthetics to create an inviting shopping experience, tackling retail merchandising challenges. This practice taps into buyer psychology by leveraging colours, layouts, and product placements that evoke emotions and influence purchasing decisions, making the store more appealing and encouraging customers to buy your products.

Core principles of visual merchandising

It involves understanding the challenges of visual merchandising and retail merchandising challenges.

  • Know your customers: Understand who comes to your store, what they like, and how they shop. Arrange things in a way that makes them want to spend money.
  • Create good feelings: Make the store look clean and nice to put customers in a good mood. When they feel good, they might want to buy more.
  • Make it interesting: Don’t make things boring. Use colours, designs, and interesting setups to make the store unique and exciting.
  • Spark their imagination: Make it easy for customers to see themselves using what you’re selling. Create scenes that make them think, “I want that!”

Why is visual merchandising so important?

  • Customer attraction: Captures attention with striking displays, drawing customers into the store and encouraging exploration.
  • Brand representation: Communicates a brand’s story, values, and identity through design, fostering a connection between the customer and the brand.
  • Improved shopping journey: Guides customers through the store with well-structured layouts, making shopping convenient and enjoyable.
  • Increased sales potential: Influences purchasing decisions by strategically showcasing products and creating enticing displays that prompt impulse buys.
  • Competitive edge: Sets a store apart by creating a unique, memorable experience, attracting more foot traffic and fostering customer loyalty.

Common mistakes in visual merchandising

Poor displays: Imagine a store during holidays like Diwali or Christmas, but instead of exciting festive clothes or decorations in the windows, you see their typical everyday stuff. That misses a chance to bring in shoppers looking for holiday items and fun outfits that highlight the challenges of visual merchandising.

Inconsistent store look: Think of a big supermarket where each area looks different in terms of design and atmosphere. The lack of consistency in design and feel can confuse people and cause frustration if one part of the store isn’t as pleasing as another.

mistakes in retail display design and its solution

Misguided promotions: Consider a clothing store that advertises a “back-to-school” sale, but primarily stocks summer attire. This causes confusion and disappointment among customers who go to the store specifically looking for school-related clothing items.

Unappealing visuals: The look of a store should inspire customers to buy the featured products by making them visually appealing. If there are unappealing displays or a lack of care in showcasing the products, customers won’t feel inspired to make purchases, indicating mistakes in retail display design.

Neglecting customers and prices: Catering to a wider range of customers by offering a discounted section can help bring in more customers and keep loyal customers happy. However, if more affordable prices are lacking or products in this marked-down section are lacking, customers may look to shop elsewhere.

Difficult displays for staff to maintain: If a store is designed in a way that makes it hard for staff to keep things organized and neat, it can make it hard for them as well as customers to find items, leading to customer dissatisfaction and a loss of business.

good vs bad visual merchandising

Imbalanced product display: If a rack is overcrowded with various products without proper organization or labeling, it can be overwhelming for customers, making it challenging to focus on specific items they are looking for and intend to purchase.

Under utilized space: Empty areas in a store lacking displays or stocked aisles can make the place look bare and hurt a store’s brand which indicates the mistakes in retail display design. This also creates missed opportunities to set up attractive displays, like showcasing new arrivals or featured products.

Outdated displays: Failing to update your displays to change with the season or to remove old merchandise that is no longer available can hurt your brand. Customers will not only notice the lack of care in terms of updating your displays, but they can also fall victim to faulty advertising if you’re store is promoting things that are no longer available. More so, you’ll miss marketing opportunities to feature more on-trend products which will bring more attention to your business.

Neglected store layout: In a store with a confusing layout, customers will find it challenging to locate what they’re looking to purchase. For example, if home appliances are scattered across different floors, customers can’t find things as conveniently as they could if products were organized together. This disrupts their shopping flow and can cause frustration.

Dull checkout areas: If you set up a checkout counter with only the till and an empty counter, you’ll miss out on impulse sales that picture the good vs bad visual merchandising. Creating small displays with impulse buy items or last-minute deals encourages additional purchases before customers leave the store. Skipping this leads to lost sales potential.

Customer-pleasing products: If you fail to offer a wide range of choices catering to various interests and tastes, you’ll limit your potential to make sales. Instead of creating an overly niche store, choose to carry more diverse offerings. For example, if you’re a bookstore, offer several genres instead of one specific genre.

Solutions to overcome the challenges of visual merchandising

Transforming displays: Make them eye-catching

Poor display Vs eye catching display

Transform displays using bright lighting and attractive arrangements to draw customers in. Rotate displays regularly for a fresh look, addressing the challenges of visual merchandising. Experiment with different arrangements and showcase the most enticing products under spotlight lighting. Use festive, themed window displays during holidays to attract shoppers looking for seasonal items that distinguish good vs bad visual merchandising.

Creating consistency: Keep things together

Ensure a consistent theme and layout throughout the store. Use similar colours and styles for a cohesive feel avoiding mistakes in retail display design. Use clear signage and consistent design elements. Make sure every section tells a part of the same story highlighting the importance of good vs bad visual merchandising.

Clear promotions: Explain deals better

Make promotions clear with easily understood messaging and visible discounts. Use eye-catching signs and labels for promotions. Highlight the benefits of each deal, making sure signs and labels are large enough to be easily visible by the majority of customers.

Engaging visuals: Catch people’s attention

Invest in visually appealing graphics and displays that captivate customers. Add storytelling elements or interactive displays to engage customers emotionally.

Customer-centric displays: Cater to all needs

Arrange products based on customer preferences and various price ranges. Create themed sections catering to your customers’ specific interests. Clearly label price categories for easy navigation, implementing visual merchandising solutions.

Worker-friendly setups: Help staff work better

Design displays that are easy for staff to manage and adjust swiftly. Utilize flexible or modular setups for quick changes. Train staff in efficient restocking and rearranging methods.

Balanced displays: Highlight goods without overwhelming customers

Curate balanced displays that highlight key products without overwhelming customers. Implement focal points to draw attention while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing arrangement.

Smart space utilization: Maximize display areas

retail merchandising challenges and its solutions

Strategically use empty spaces to showcase products or enhance the store’s appeal. Use vertical displays or interactive elements creatively. Fill gaps with smaller items to capture interest.

Keeping displays fresh: Stay up to date

Regularly update displays to feature trendy and new products. Host events or seasonal showcases to introduce fresh elements. Incorporate modern trends to keep displays relevant.

Easy-to-navigate layout: Create clear paths

Revamp the store layout with clear pathways and strategic signage for easy navigation. Group related products together for a cohesive shopping journey. Incorporate focal points or themed displays at key intersections to guide customers visually. For example, you can use innovative displays to visually direct customers and encourage exploration.

Create a lively checkout area: Feature last minute temptations

good vs bad visual merchandising

Revamp the checkout area with attractive displays. Put appealing items near the counter for quick, last-minute purchases. Use inviting decorations to make the checkout enjoyable. Try themed showcases or shelves with impulse buys to encourage additional purchases, implementing visual merchandising solutions.

Balance purchases: Satisfy all sides

Gather customer insights regularly to refine product offerings and maintain alignment with evolving preferences. Then, align product selections with those preferences while ensuring profitability. Use customer feedback to curate products catering to diverse preferences. Offer a variety of options while promoting high-margin items strategically.

Ready to transform your store into an immersive shopping destination?

Envision your store transforming into an inviting haven, drawing in customers with captivating displays and seamless shopping experiences and addressing the challenges of visual merchandising. Like assembling pieces of a puzzle to reveal a stunning picture, mastering visual merchandising requires attention to detail and strategic finesse.

The right tools can help. Gofrugal is a reliable ERP partner. With features like automated purchase management, organized inventory tracking, quick billing, and strong data security, Gofrugal can enhance visual merchandising, offering visual merchandising solutions. Partner with Gofrugal and embark on a visual merchandising adventure that captivates hearts and drives business growth.

visual merchandising solutions