Merchandising one of the most popular marketing techniques and is expressed in the set of activities intended to promote and advertise goods and services inside and outside your company in order to strengthen your brand identity.
Merchandising, whether done in the physical world or online is an effective tool not only for attracting new customers, but also for retaining those already acquired and to increase the satisfaction of employees and professional network, and for this reason it is necessary to pay due attention to all its aspects.
So what are the tips to follow to do merchandising effectively?
1. Establish an appropriate merchandising plan
The creation of a solid operational plan, or a merchandising plan, and the definition of activities.
The merchandising plan is a systematic approach to planning, buying and selling all of this, to maximize profits of what is, to all intents and purposes, an investment made by the company.
The three most important moments in the life cycle of a merchandising plan are the pre- and post-seasonal analyzes and the infra-seasonal corrections. The season varies according to the specific businesses, depending on whether they are dedicated to annual, summer, Christmas products, etc.
2. Pay attention to merchandising mix, management and retail
Three particularly important elements in merchandising are mix, management and retail.
- The merchandising mix is the merchandise offer of a store, be it physical or digital. At its base is the principle that in order to sell more, it is useful to diversify your products or services.
- The merchandising management is the study, management and planning of the life cycle of a specific product or service, from its conception to its sale to the final consumer.
- Retail merchandising concerns the organization of merchandise within a store, positioning goods so that potential customers not only find what they are looking for, but are also encouraged to explore the physical store or online. Retail merchandising therefore has to do with the visual aspects of promoting a product and is closely linked to another fundamental element to take care of, namely visual merchandising.
3. Study appropriate visual merchandising
Visual merchandising concerns the strategic arrangement of the elements that form a sales point, above all physical, but also digital, with the aim of encouraging the purchase by using the space to create an attractive environment from a sensory and emotional point of view.
The goods on display must be able to attract consumers and to achieve this it is necessary to correctly harmonize all the factors that contribute to defining the experience offered by any type of point of sale, such as lighting, perfumes, shop windows, colors, furniture, etc.
Visual merchandising, contrary to what the name suggests, does not serve to strike only the sight, but all five senses of potential customers: it is important to offer them the possibility to touch the goods to better evaluate them, involve them thanks to music and sounds in line with the brand's philosophy, stimulate their sense of parfumes and smells as one of the best ways to rekindle memories, and, when possible, allow them to taste food and drinks.
4. Take care of digital merchandising
The digital merchandising is the capacity of a company to appropriately display its merchandise on an e-commerce site.
While it is important to always remember that physical stores and online stores are not in competition with each other, but are moving in the same direction to bring benefits to the brand, the differences between the two channels must be considered.
Not defining an appropriate strategy for the digital one, reporting on it the same visual merchandising strategy applied to physical stores, could prove to be a great missed opportunity.
The biggest advantage of digital merchandising is the possibility to customize the offer according to consumer preferences, which is impossible in the physical world.
The online showcase can be done: in fact, it adapts to user demand and this is one of the biggest leaps in quality that an e-commerce site can do over the competition.
5. Focus on trademark and co-branding merchandising
To make your company better known, it is useful to leverage collaboration with other important brands or companies with a good reputation among consumers.
The trademark merchandising consists in exploiting a well-known trademark for commercial purposes, such as the image of a product or service or that of a known person (be it real or fictional), to market goods that are completely different from those for which this brand is been registered and used.
The main advantage of trademark merchandising is the opportunity to bring their own business in new product sectors, without however having to create a new brand from scratch.
Co-branding merchandising, on the other hand, indicates the combination of two or more brands known to create a single product or service. The two brands can alternatively be marketed together to pursue objectives, common or not, as long as they are compatible.
Through a co-branding contract, therefore, two companies undertake to collaborate to pursue shared projects and generate mutual benefits. In general, it is seen as an effective tool for strengthening the reputation of a brand, which is thus extended to other market segments, with the brand consequently reaching a higher market share and more revenue.
6. Personalize and customize your merchandising
More and more companies personalize the goods they sell, for example by printing their own names on them. In a highly competitive market, this action succeeds in bringing out and distinguishing one brand from the others.
Thanks to customization, even the most common goods, such as pens or bottles, are made unique and customers subconsciously end up associating what they have purchased with the brand.
Customization represents a further step forward, which in any case starts from a business idea defined with the data at its disposal. With customization, in fact, the consumer himself participates in the creation of a product, communicating with the company in an almost confidential relationship.
7. Keeping up with the times
Properly doing merchandising allows you to stay one step ahead of the competition. Thanks to the Internet, anyone can advertise your goods or services quickly and easily.
Ignoring the many potentials offered by new technologies brings a number of disadvantages to companies, while exploiting them in the best way demonstrates to consumers that a brand is innovative and in step with new trends and new markets.
Don't fall behind and adapt quickly makes a brand image attractive and trustworthy in the minds of consumers.
8. Create engagement
Thanks to merchandising, it is possible to generate a certain engagement, increasing the trust of customers and making them feel part of a big family.
In particular through digital merchandising, it is possible to better engage the customer, making him interact with the brand and creating tailor-made experiences to reduce the abandonment rate of the site and maximize conversions and the value of the cart.
To create engagement, it is also important to use social networks correctly, for example to explain in the most appropriate way, why certain choices are made and what are the values of the company, but also to make users interact quickly and easily with the brand.
9. Look at customers and employees
Merchandising is not just about attracting new customers and expanding your market share, but also strengthening existing relationships. An appropriate merchandising strategy makes it possible to improve the perception that everyone has of a brand.
Every company must also look not only externally, but also internally, and don't forget its employees, who must always be satisfied in order to work at their best, and the whole network professional with whom it collaborates, so that relationships can be beneficial for all parties.
10. Advertising without paying
How many times has happened to have a branded pen from a company that we have never heard of before?
An event of this type happens more often than you might think, and it is a great way to make your brand known and impress it in the memory of consumers without setting up a real marketing campaign.
Go ahead then to print your brand and logo on as many objects of common use and wide circulation possible, which will make you easily to enter people's homes and make you famous without huge advertising investments!