In today’s competitive retail environment, Visual Merchandising is becoming much more than neatly arranging products on a shelf or dressing a mannequin in a store window. To stay relevant, retailers are having to meet the needs of shoppers’ today and successfully anticipate their expectation of tomorrow.

From intuitive touchscreens and giant installations to harnessing meaningful data, we’ve put together eight VM trends from around the world that are leading the way in attracting, engaging and converting shoppers through retail design and visual presentation.

1. The Quick Change

Who isn’t at least a little intrigued by something new or unexpected?

In a time when they say you only have less than two seconds to grab someone’s attention, retailers are catching on that the frequency in which they update the look and experience within and around their store (even if only slightly) is driving more foot traffic and having a significant impact on their bottom-line.

Photo of retail window display

A timely window display proudly showing off a range of boots at the start of the year’s wettest week or a clever interactive Pokémon installation in the entrance to a store that has been selling Pikachu toys for years. This isn’t just change for the sake of something different. What we are seeing is that the brands who are listening to their customers and showing that they are willing to invest in small and timely modifications that keep them deeply in tune with the way people shop are the biggest winners here.

2. The Flexible Build

Closely tied to the above, this emerging trend is seeing the best Visual Merchandisers creating brick-and-mortar environments that can innovate at the speed they need to keep up with their customers.

Treating their space as if an artist with a blank canvas, we are seeing increased flexibility in everything from display stands and product shelving to the location of the checkout and lighting. Utilising lightweight and flat packed materials such as ReBoard and B flute, retailers are becoming increasingly aware that great customer experience moments don’t always require a huge investment to garner a significant return.

Photo of ReBoard visual merchandising in retail

3. The Distinctive Personality

Let’s face it, unless we’re talking about our payslips or delivery of the Sunday morning paper, we don’t have much time anymore for predictability. How many times have you seen an ad with a cute monkey doing backflips only to be disappointed when you get to the store and not be filled with that same sense of fun and amazement?

Now before you get on the phone to RSPCA we’re not saying that each store needs a pet monkey, what we are saying is that retail brands who are celebrating their unusual and unique features through fresh new design and store layout are setting themselves apart and in some cases growing an almost cult-like following.

Photo of visual merchandising in retail

4. The Big, The Bold, The Beautiful

So you’ve just watched your face transform into a juicy tomato on Snapchat, however well intentioned, how likely do you think you are to notice a window display that doesn’t capture your imagination by doing something a little different?

Photo of visual merchandising window display in retail

One of the bigger VM trends we are excited about is the ability for brands to do a lot with a little. By crafting well thought out, visually engaging displays that use a mix of depth, materials, textures, effects, 3D, movement and digital. After all, if consumers just wanted to buy products they’d happily do so from their couch. Why not give them a reason to come inside?

When it comes to Visual Merchandising, Dashing has been a trusted partner to many of Australia’s biggest retail brands for several years. Click here to find out more about how we can support you:

Make sure to keep an eye out for Part Two coming to a News Feed near you soon!