Category: "visual merchandising"

How Visual Merchandising Can Help you Compete with Online Shops

As we become more immersed in the digital age, the appeal of ecommerce and online shopping is seemingly on a never-ending increase. Shoppers are trading in Saturday trips to the high-street in favour of browsing the web for all they need – from clothes to food to digital downloads of music and books, everything can be done online. This has been quite a hit to high street shops. Not only are you now competing with the stores around you, but also the endless brands online! To ensure you don’t lose your customers to the convenience of online shopping, you need to remind them of the appeal of actually stepping out to the shops and bring back the value of the experience. A great way to do this is through visual merchandising.

Shop Windows

A shop window is something that online shops don’t have the access to, so use this to your advantage. Make the most of your space, creating eye-catching and engaging displays that will entice your customers in store; customers should be looking forward to seeing your displays, and you should make it part of the appeal of the high-street shopping experience. Advertise products in creative ways and incorporate seasonal or topical designs.

Bring in the Digital

The appeal of digital in regards to shopping is something that can’t be argued and can’t be ignored. A great way to incorporate this modern way of shopping into your store is by using digital signage and displays which will attract the digital junkies. Install screens that show moving advertisements or even a behind the scenes look at your brand – how the products are made, catwalks and anything else that will interest customers.

Connect with Customers

You can also use digital visual merchandising to connect with customers by creating interactive displays. Allow customers to scan QR codes that will link to extra information about a display or your brand, or allow them to take pictures of themselves with your products that can be displayed on screens in your shop window. You can also connect with customers by using friendly, targeted visual merchandising services that will appeal to your target demographic. Creating a connection with customers is essential – it emphasises that high-street shopping is personal and social, unlike online shopping.

Show your Shop’s Personality

Branding has never been more important. A good brand image that differentiates yourself from competition both on the high street and online will help to attract customers to your store. In particular, use visual merchandising to express your values and ideals, for example you might be a family run business or support eco-friendly and ethical causes. Online brands put less focus on what their brand stands for and more on price and product, so this is an opportunity to show customers what you have that your online alternatives don’t.

Use Professional Visual Merchandising Services

Bringing in the help of expert visual merchandising services can give stores a huge boost in terms of enticing customers in store and making more sales. Their experience can help you create displays that will directly draw in your target customers and push aspects of your brand that online stores miss, and visual merchandising training will teach your team how to effectively display products and design displays that will maximise sales.

If your business needs help with standing out from online competition and wants to learn more about how visual merchandising can work for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Winter Window Dressing Ideas


As the nights get longer and the days get colder, shop fronts around the country light up in seasonal décor. Winter is fast approaching and, with it, perhaps one of the most exciting times of year for visual merchandising. It’s a time for theatrics and extravagance, adding a bit of warmth and life into the cold months ahead, and, of course, a brilliant time for sales with Christmas just around the corner. If you need a bit of inspiration for winter this year, VM design has got you covered, and as a top visual merchandising company you can trust our advice.

Modern Vs. Traditional

One of the main focal decisions of your theme should be whether you go down the modern or traditional winter route. For traditional, think cosy; dark hues, full displays and play to the nostalgic emotions of the consumers. Modern winter displays are usually more pared back, often quite minimalistic and use whites, blacks and grey rather than warmer tones. There is no right or wrong choice here, simply go with what best suits your store and target market and also the stock that you want to display.

Interesting Materials

Using unique materials to create your window displays is a winner all year round if done right, but with the often overused, cliché themes of winter, it can turn a very ordinary display into something far more visually interesting. Snow and ice are always great ones to play around with in regards to materials, and using soft textures such as wool and velvet to recreate iconic winter items such as Christmas trees can add warmth and comfort to your window; a definite consumer win in these cold times!

Be Extravagant

Winter is most definitely a time of extravagance and theatrics, so pull-out all the stops for this seasonal display. You can use an abundance of gold and silver, that at the other times of the year may just look a little tacky, and create eye-catching visuals that don’t even consider the term ‘over the top’. Be theatrical. Be excessive. Consumers will lap it up.

Play to Consumer’s Emotions

As any visual merchandising consultant will tell you, winter is a time when visual merchandising companies and marketers all-round love to tug at the heart-strings of consumers. It’s an incredibly romantic season, and one where family values take a rise in focus, so play to this. Create a story within your display that will evoke emotion from your audience, whether it be a nostalgic time-travel back to Christmas’ past or highlighting the importance of love and friendship at this time of year. If you need a better idea of how this works just look at the Christmas TV ads on during winter and see how they use emotional stories to promote their brands and encourage sales.


It’s always important to consider lights in your window displays, but especially in winter. Not only does it get dark much earlier so the need for lights is far more apparent, but it also creates that magical feeling that is synonymous with this season and the Christmas period. Choose your lights according to your theme; for example, a white, snowy scene should use bright white or blue-tinged lights, and a cosier, darker hued theme should use low-lit lighting.

If you need more help with your window dressing inspiration, it’s a great idea to hire a visual merchandising company. Get in touch with VM Design and speak to one of our expert visual merchandising consultants for more information on how we can help you.

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Tips for Eye-Catching Window Displays

A shop window dressing is just as important as the cover of a book. Sure, your products and services might be amazing, but without a front that entices and engages, customers just aren’t going to be that interested. It may seem shallow, but appearance really does matter. This is why it’s vital that your retail window dressing is up to scratch and catches the attention of passers-by, so we have put together a little guide to help you out.

Stay Original

This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s so crucial to a good display that it needs to be included. To get noticed, you need to go against the norm and create a display that surprises customers with originality and inventiveness. Use unexpected materials for everyday items or create large-scale versions of small products to create a surreal display. Be whacky and create something people will want to stop and look at, and even take pictures of, before being lured into your shop. At all costs, avoid cliché seasonal themes – there are enough of those already!

Be Bold and Bright

Displays that are bright and colourful are instantly more noticeable than bleak, grey windows. Don’t be afraid to use colour – and lots of it! Pick a colour theme of a few bright colours to base your window around, or go completely out there with a rainbow palette. People are attracted to colour so make the most of it. Just be sure that, if you are using a lot of colours, they all work well together and won’t give passers-by an instant headache; be tasteful with your tones.

Think About the View

It’s important when shop window dressing that you consider the view from the street. Windows aren’t usually at ground level, so from the inside where you’re working, the angles and height will be a lot different from where the passers-by are looking in. Head outside and mark out where eye-level is on your window from the street (you could use wash-off markers or tape) and base your display around that point. This will make your window a lot more visually pleasing to viewers, and you can set the focal point directly in their eye-line.

Don’t Clutter

Having a cluttered display is a big no. If you have too much going on, your display will just look busy and confused, and passers-by will struggle to spot what you’re actually advertising. Stick to advertising a few key products rather than trying to get your whole shop in the window display, and make sure that whatever you’re trying to get across to the customer is clear.

Keep it Fresh

Don’t ever stick with the same retail window display for months on end; it’ll end up just fading into the background as passers-by will have seen it so often. If you want to keep people looking to your shop, you need to keep things fresh. This means that you should be changing it up at least every 2 to 4 weeks. A new display means more attention, and that often leads to more customers.

Your shop window display is absolutely crucial to attracting new customers and enticing passers-by into your store, which is why you can’t get it wrong. If you think you need some help, or just want to stay on the safe side and ensure you’re getting those customers, get in touch with VM Design. A visual merchandising consultant can make the difference between a floundering and a flourishing business.


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Autumn Visual Merchandising Ideas

It’s time to bring those woolly jumpers out of hiding, stock up on pumpkins and get your conker game in gear; the arrival of the autumnal season is soon upon us. Visual merchandising companies like us at VM Design love autumn for its refreshing colour palette and diverse themes, a welcome change from the many months of spring/summer windows. This is a great opportunity for you to kick off the colder season and inspire autumn shoppers with your own displays. If you want to step up your visual merchandising this season, we have got a few ideas that could help you out.

Colour Trends

By the end of summer, shoppers are bored with bright and bold, so it’s time to tone it down. This season should be about earthy, warm tones; think browns, reds, oranges and yellows. Dark greens can also work well in autumn displays, as long as they’re paired with more traditionally autumnal shades so as not to fall into the summer palette. People want to feel cosy in autumn, so warm colours are your go-to.

Nature Lovers

Visual merchandisers know all too well the appeal of sticking some leaves and trees into an autumn display, but it can get a bit boring if every shop is doing the same. A good idea is to insinuate the idea of nature within your themes without being too obvious. For example, use interesting materials such as leaves made from glass or patterned fabric – the theme of nature will become more subtle and your displays will be far more unique.

Use Light

As with the colour choices of this season, your lighting should create that cosy atmosphere that autumn lovers crave. Ditch the LED’s and bring in warmer, less invasive light to enhance your displays. Lamps and fairy lights can be great for this, as long as you don’t over-use them, as well as coloured lights in muted shades such as orange and red or a few lone hanging bulbs.

Feathers and Flowers

Following the nature theme, two great accessories for an autumn display are feathers and flowers. The soft texture of feathers in bright, autumnal shades can be very pleasing to customers and by being inventive with how you incorporate them, you can create a very unique display. With flowers, avoid bright colours as these will create too much of a summer feel. Instead, use pressed, dried flowers in muted tones.

Seasonal Highlights

Reflecting on the main events of any season is a sure-fire way to create a relevant display. The two main events of the autumn are Halloween, of course, and the less obvious harvest. If you go for a Halloween display, try to think outside the box so your window doesn’t end up looking the same as every other on your street. The harvest is a less obvious theme, but one that will resonate with customers none the less. Get creative with props and textures for this to create a unique and interesting display.

If you are experienced in visual merchandising or someone with a little less experience, it’s important that you put a lot of thought into your store displays. Creating something unique and eye-catching is key to attracting the customers’ attention and you should always be thinking of how you can add something different to a traditional theme.

Please check out our visual merchandising portfolio for some creative ideas!


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Window Dressing for Beauty Business

Recently a beauty business needed our help.

Beauty business window dressing 01

Part of the beauty business is beauty medical and the other is pure beauty – facials, massage etc.

As part of our window dressing exercise, one window was transformed from a virtually empty space into a fully functioning space advertising the full range of medical procedures offered.

The white cubes and perspex boxes give height to the window and are perfect for displaying products.



The addition of the green twisted bamboo in white bottles completed the holistic look. Beauty business window dressing 03 Beauty business window dressing 02The second window promotes the beauty side of the business. We used folded towels and cerise peonies as a prop to compliment the products selected.

The pink props in this window and the green in the other are perfect partners as they are opposites of the colour wheel and so are complimentary.

The window run now looks more professional and cohesive.

We are an independent visual merchandising company that take pride in quality. For any tips and advice on visual merchandising and window dressing, please contact us.

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Hair salon window dressing

This hairdressing salon now has two product windows where there used to be sofas.

Hair salon 02 Hair salon 01


Hair salon 03  Hair salon 04

We relocated one of the sofas and removed the other completely.

The white boxes look clean and contemporary and allow the coloured product to stand out.

The tall driftwood bundles give a calming effect and the addition of perspex bubbles make the product groups fun and different.

For help and advice for your shop window dressing, please contact VM Design. We are an independent visual merchandising company that take price in the quality of our work.

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Window Dressing for Homeopathic Pharmacy

IMG_4266 IMG_4260 IMG_4261

We have just re designed and installed a new window for a client specialising in homeopathic remedies and products.

We used white units and a table to create different heights. The perspex boxes look contemporary and the addition of prop apples complete the clean look.

An interior table display is a must for add on purchases. Block your merchandise in a neat and ordered way and keep everything clean.

For help and advice for your shop window dressing, please contact us. VM Design is a specialist visual merchandising company.

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Impact of Visual Merchandising

Customer Experience

Engaging your customers effectively is one of the best forms of promotion and a strong use of promotional material can help customers feel as though they are interacting with a company and obtaining the information they need to know.

An effective way of engaging with your shoppers and leave a positive impression about your shop and your brand is to assist them with their needs when they visit your store. This is very likely to result in future visits and sales from the customer.

Interestingly this engagement is not all about asking the shoppers about their requirements explicitly. The design of the store environment, from all visuals at all locations to the treatment and support of the customers, will all contribute to this.

Impact of Visual Merchandising

First impressions are formed within the first 10 seconds. And, customers remember the worst impression more vividly; not the best impression.

Countless factors affect shoppers’ decisions; from the first glimpse of a product through to its purchase. Research shows that all 5 senses come into play even though sight and hearing are the key ones:

Sight: 83%

Hearing: 11%

Smell: 3.5%

Touch: 1.5%

Taste: 1%

Common mistakes to avoid in Visual Merchandising

Even the small and invisible things influence your customers’ experience and it is very easy to get things wrong without the right knowledge.

Some of the most common visual merchandising mistakes that the store owners and managers make can be classified in 7 categories:

  1. Too much signage
  2. Confusing traffic patterns
  3. Too much propping
  4. Disconnect between exterior window and store contents
  5. Poor lighting
  6. No point of view
  7. Inconsistency in visual executions

As a store owner or manager, if you are not confident with your visual merchandising skills or if you do not have the creative ideas, please contact us for advice. We can provide a wide range of visual merchandising and shop window dressing services. We can also provide bespoke visual merchandising training as well for you and for your staff. Please also check out our visual merchandising portfolio.

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Key retail visual merchandising terms every retailer needs to know

The world of visual merchandising could be very confusing with a lot of specific terminology. If you have ever wondered what certain terms actually mean in the retail and visual merchandising world, we have compiled the definitions of some of the commonly used terms.

Basic Visual Merchandising Terms:

  • Merchandising – using effective presentation techniques to entice customers to purchase products.
  • Fixtures – Shelving, cabinets, tables, rods, counters, stands, easels, forms, and platforms on which merchandise is stocked and displayed for sale in the shop.
  • Optimise – planning, implementing and reviewing steps to improve the likelihood of a purchase being made.
  • Inventory – The items for sale in your store.
  • Layout – The way in which your store is laid out, and how the products are arranged for sale.
  • ROI – Acronym for Return on Investment. This is a way of working out if the money you are investing is profitable.
  • Consumer – a person who purchases goods and services for personal use, or the decision maker for business purchases.
  • POP/POS – This stands for Point of Purchase/Point of Sale. The place where the transaction is complete (and a great place to put impulse products!)

More Advanced Visual Merchandising Terms:

  • Themes – This is the topic of your display. It should represent the message you would like to convey to the shoppers. Consider the way that your products are used, and build your theme around that.
  • Planogram – Shortened to POG, this is a visual representation of the products and services in your shop. Planogram is essentially a model that indicates the best positioning and placement of your merchandise.
  • Hot Spot – A place that customers gravitate to in your store. Place your most profitable items here.
  • Props – Objects added that support the theme of the display. These items are used for building ambience and theme in your shop; they would not be for sale.
  • Sightlines – a line of vision from someone’s eye to what should be seen (determining good or bad visibility). Good merchandising would have long sightlines, so customers can see a lot of the store at once.
  • Ambience – Difficult to put your finger on, but this is the character of a store. Sensory information will combine to create this (I.e. sight, sound, smell, textures)
  • Proportional Merchandising –In simple terms, this is the technique of giving more space to your best sellers and less space to your poor sellers Knowing which items are most profitable, and assigning space to them in your store proportionate to their profitability.
  • Product Engagement – When your customer engages with a product, they pay it more attention, maybe by touching or picking it up. Increased product engagement will lead to increased sales.

For more information and advice on visual merchandising, please contact us. We are proud to be one of the independent visual merchandising companies with a wide ranging visual merchandising portfolio.

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Planning out a Visual Merchandising Project

Before you embark on a new shop window display or shop layout, having a clear plan is very important. Starting such a project without a firm plan is not likely to cost you time but likely to cost you money as well.

Here are 4 key areas you can consider for a successful Visual Merchandising project:

  • Good shop layouts
  • Using the right merchandising style for the product type
  • Incorporating appropriate props and displays to support the product
  • Adding the correct signage and graphics to communicate to the customer

Store Layouts

The right shop layout will encourage customers to explore different products. Consider presenting them with a layout that facilitates a specific traffic pattern. Here are some of the things you will need to consider:

  • Space Planning
  • Segmentation
  • Fixture Layout


This is about choosing the right style for your products. Merchandising focuses on how the shop looks and how the products are styled. Understand who your customers are and how they shop is vital to get this right.


To create high converting displays, you can consider using a number of product display techniques. Below are some aspects that you must keep in mind:

  • Adding interest
  • Adding character
  • Supporting the brand


Coordinating signage and graphics with the image of the shop will act as a bridge between your potential customers and your products. Here are some aspect you need to keep in mind while planning out:

  • Add interest
  • Add character
  • Support the brand
  • Communicate
  • Sell

Keep in mind the old adage goes if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! So, if you need help and advice on your visual merchandising and shop window dressing, please get in touch with us. We have a wide ranging experience in different projects. Please also review our visual merchandising portfolio.

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