Four Visual Merchandising Techniques For Retail Success

by | Jun 30, 2024

For this month’s blog post I wanted to share with you all the most important techniques to always have in mind when creating window dressing or in store Visual Merchandising. In my experience, the four Visual Merchandising principles are my main toolbox of techniques that I refer to with all my Visual Merchandising consultancy work. I would recommend that retailers have these in mind before setting up the Visual Merchandising in their stores.

These four principles are;

Symmetrical – Symmetrical compositions create a very balanced/ mirror image group which is comfortable on the eye. The symmetrical way of dressing merchandise comes from the concept of the pyramid. This will allow customers to look at all merchandise within this composition very easily and quickly – hence creating an eye-catching display. The top of the symmetrical pyramid creates an eye level focal point for the customer. This is the most important location, as this is the place where the customer eye focuses upon first, so position priority merchandise/ brands here.

Asymmetrical – The Asymmetrical way of dressing a group of merchandise comes from the concept of creating a half / graduated pyramid shape.This type of composition creates a very eye catching, inspirational group of merchandise, often leading to link selling opportunities. Asymmetrical works well for the retailer as you can display more volume of merchandise, as there’s not as much focus upon the composition being symmetrical. This principle creates a pointer due to the graduation on one side of the pyramid, which the eye naturally follows. Naturally our eyes in the western world are used to running from left to right, so Asymmetrical compositions tend to run the same way – creating natural eye flow. However, if your store entrance is positioned on the left of the window, you will need to turn the pyramid graduation to this side, as seen in the pictures opposite.

Repetition – The use of odd numbers, particularly groups of three, create a strong and balanced group. When displaying a composition of three, your eye focuses on the middle one – which in turn frames the other products either side. Repetition can work well to advertise a key brand or new product launch centrally within the composition.

Alternation- Alternation is a merchandising method meaning the alternation of associated products. This can include alternating colours, patterns and fixture type or equipment. Try to use products which link or connect.

All four principles can be used for window dressing and design however for in-store merchandising the principle of Asymmetrical should only be used to create a display. Therefore, use this principle within high level shelving or in store display areas only. The reason for this is that Asymmetric compositions look too dressed and will cause confusion for your customers, upon wherever they are able to shop from these areas.

The other three methods, Symmetrical, Repetition and Alternation can be used successfully when merchandising products for your customers to shop and buy.

All photos & copy are copyright of VMC.

VMC Sarah Manning VM Techniques Symmetrical
VMC Sarah Manning VM Techniques Asymmetrical
VMC Sarah Manning VM Techniques Repetition
VMC Sarah Manning VM Techniques Alternation