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5 Visual Merchandising Techniques To Freshen Up Your Shop

Feeling a bit uninspired? Shop feeling flat? Stock levels low or nothing new coming in? Give your shop a quick refresh and revitalise you, your team and your customer with these 5 Visual Merchandising techniques;

1. Change The Fixture, Mannequin And Prop Placement

You can refresh your shop by simply moving the placement of more permanent props, tables, fixtures and mannequins. If you have a table, try moving it to another spot in the shop. Always have your mannequins grouped in the window? Try moving them to the middle of your shop and replace with a garment rail in the window. What about the props that are up on that shelf and have been sitting there for over a year? Pull them down, relocate them.

By simply moving these more permanent things around, you can refresh your shop for your customers, your team and yourself!


  • Keep a 1.2m clearance between fixtures so that customers can move through the shop with ease
  • Alternate the fixture heights, size and type of fixture through the shop.
  • Create flow to encourage shopping the entire shop. As you are setting up the fixtures, constantly walk through them from the front of the shop. Test to see how the flow feels, it should be easy and it should guide you into and around the shop.
  • Review and watch customers as they move through the new shop layout, or stop to look at something. Notice what is working and what is not. You can always change what is not working

2. Locate Your Visual Hot Spots And Use Them

So often props, signage or great product are placed in a location that isn’t optimal. By that, I mean it’s just not a place the eye visits with ease. To locate your shop visual hot spots, start by standing out the front of your shop. Close your eyes for 10 seconds, open them. Where do your eyes go to? Continue to do this as you enter your shop, walk through it and leave. Make note of these spots. These are your most visual spots. This is where you should place signage, new products, best selling products and props.


  • Find your stores visual hot spots
  • Place new or best selling products, props or signage here.

3. Add A Statement Prop To The Window/Front Entry

You can bring life to your front window/ entry using statement props. When you use props, you need to think about what your customer will be shopping for? What are they going to, what will they need? What products do you have coming in and what style/ colours are the products in?

If you can anticipate this, you will be able to support the product with ease.

Some props to consider are:

  • A contrast backdrop. Something that will compliment the product you have, but will also make it stand out. You can use colour or texture for this. For example, if you have a summer range of white, you may like to use a white backdrop, so that the entire window is white or you could contrast it with a fluro colour backdrop. What would suit the product you sell & the customer you sell to?
  • Large prop. You could use one, simple large prop to support your window,  or many small props to create one large group.
  • Eye catching prop. What’s going to be in your window? What could contrast against this? Movement, lights, contrast colour, random items all make great contrasting props.
  • A big sign. What’s the message you want to convey? It could brand, it could be a seasonal quote. Something quick, quirky or funny that will connect with your customer. Perhaps you had a popular quote or meme on your instagram feed that could be used in your window?

4. Use Your Best Sellers And Sale Trends To Make Decisions

This is a pretty crucial VM technique to use whenever you make decisions & changes in your shop. Numbers don’t lie. You can use the numbers to review what’s going on, what’s popular, what you were selling last year at this same time etc. The numbers can also help you to predict what customers will want at a certain time of year.


  • Review your top 10 selling items by profit each week. Make sure these items are fully replenished, fully stocked and visible for the customer.
  • Review last year’s top selling items. What were you selling this time last year? Where are those items now?
  • Look at current trends, relevant  to your customer to identify what customer may be looking for. Keep up to date with the media that your customer is influenced by. Be it magazines, instagram, celebrities, movies, music, local influences, weather.
  • Use the info from your findings to make decisions and changes

5. Create The Right Vibe In Your Shop And Make A Connection With Your Customer

Want to know how to beat the online shops? Create a vibe in your shop that will keep your customers coming back & get them talking about you. Today, more than ever, people are craving human connection. This is where physical shops can really win. There are some really simple actions you can put in place in your shop to help create this connection.

  • Right style at the right time for your customer. Not sure what your customer listens to? Ask them and start creating a list for your shop. Notice a customer singing along to a song? Make a note, because that’s a winner!
  • Does your shop have a smell? It should. Smells connect us to our senses & create good memories. Consider having a specific smell for your shop.
  • Welcoming service and connection. Customer walks into your shop? Stop what you’re doing, engage. This is the human connection we all crave. Strike up a conversation. Ask about their day. Treat every customer as your friend. You don’t need to try to sell to them.
  • Make them feel part of your tribe. What can you do in your shop, to make your customers feel like they belong and are aligned with the same beliefs as you?

Bonus Tips!

  1. Whatever you do, stay true to your brand. You might come across a great idea on Pinterest or Instagram, don’t straight out copy this. Take the idea and apply your brand, your customer, your belief to the idea so that it becomes your own.
  2. Pay attention to your customer. Ask questions. Listen. Watch how they shop. Treat them as your friend. If you pay attention, you will find that your customer has all the answers.
  3. Use your team to help transform your shop. There’s no need for you to go this all on your own. Visual Merchandising is a great team building exercise. Get people involved, share ideas and ask for opinions.
  4. Try new things. Test. Sure it might feel odd, different or not right. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know or worse, never change. Test. Watch how customers interact, move around the changes. If something doesn’t work, you can always move it back. If it does, then you’re evolving and this is great.

Using these 5 Visual Merchandising techniques & bonus tips you are sure to refresh & revitalise you, your team and your customer. The majority of these techniques are simply using items that you already have in a new way. Trust yourself & your team. Watch, listen and attend to your customer and you will find your shop refreshed in no time.



By Sarah Quinn- Co-Founder of TalkShop Bespoke Retail Consulting





Fashion Exposed Now

Hear more tips from Sarah Quinn at her Free Round Table Session, ‘Stand out from the crowd with visual merchandising ideas’ at Fashion Exposed Now, Australia’s only dedicated womenswear buying event. Registration is free and includes access local and international labels, seminars and round table sessions to help build your business. 

Fashion Exposed Now
Free, trade-only event
Sunday 2 – Monday 3 February 2020
Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

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