With stores on the high street in decline, more and more businesses are focussing on visual merchandising (VM) to try to get customers into their stores. However, even with this approach, customers are choosing to shop online rather than in brick-and-mortar stores.
With this in mind, it is worth questioning what the future holds for visual merchandising? Once actual stores are a thing of the past, where will VM fit into a world of E-Commerce? In this blog post, we look at what to expect from E-commerce in terms of visual merchandising in the future.
It’s a common misconception that VM is all about getting people into stores. Visual merchandising is, in fact, becoming more and more widely used by online shopping sites. Below are just some of the ways that visual merchandising can be used in E-Commerce:
Attractive and user friendly sites
It isn’t just about the appearance of an online site which will deem its success; but it’s a good start. Visual merchandising can work online to make a site more attractive to buyers. It can also ensure that the site works effectively to ensure the easy purchase of products.
In recent years, we have seen VM in brick-and-mortar stores become more and more about customer experience. As VM moves online with the retail industry, this is not set to change. Even though customers are now visiting sites rather then stores, they are still wanting to enter into the world of that brand.
For instance, The White Company is defined by its minimalist store layout, and has been transcribed onto its website in order to appeal to its target audience – those who prefer the brand’s simplicity.
Equally, online style-guides have been created by clothing brands such as J.Crew, which replace things like in store personal shopping services.
Acquisition and retention of customers
As retail stores move online into a world of E-Commerce, the acquisition and retention of customers is just as important as for stores on the high street. This is due to the higher number of online competitors. Online visual merchandising is employed to aid in the increase of average order value and the frequency of purchase. In short, effective visual merchandising for a store’s online website can increase sales and traffic.
From this blog post, it is clear to see that when asking whether E-Commerce will spell the end of visual merchandising, the answer is no. Although, like all elements of the retail sector, VM will have to change its tactics. There is a place for it in the E-Commerce sector in terms of trading, in much the same way as there is on the high street.
If you would like more information about how to improve visual merchandising online, then get in touch with 8RC today.