Updated: Oct 3, 2018
At the center of any showroom are the products. How those products are displayed and arranged has an enormous impact on the customer from the moment they set eyes on the store. Visual merchandising is a retail practice that has changed drastically in the past few years as technology has made its way into the brick-and-mortar world.
The main components of visual merchandising are floor plans and three-dimensional displays meant to encourage sales, but lighting, color, technology and style are central elements in creating a retail environment that attracts and sells.
There are a variety of merchandising techniques, any and all of which can be applied in a decorative plumbing showroom. Many of the top showrooms borrow techniques from the design and retail clothing worlds to build impressive spaces that really show off the top-of-the-line products they’re selling.
Here are 10 ways to make your showroom better organized, more attractive and easier for customers to navigate.
1- Make the most of your space
From the front door to the back corner, every inch of the showroom has a role to play. A proper layout (or floor plan) organizes the space, shows off the merchandise and guides customers through the showroom.
The most important thing is to ensure that customers do not miss a single product. By leading people through the store on an optimized sales path, customers get a chance to see every tub, sink, faucet and accessory while still having an enjoyable shopping experience.
While you have to use all your space to its advantage, that can also mean keeping a portion of the square footage open and airy. Customers walking into a showroom do not want to feel overwhelmed or bombarded by products. Some showrooms even keep the first 20 feet of the store clear, so customers have a moment to take in the whole space. Consider using some of those free spaces (no products or selling!) to entice clients to relax and feel at home; some showrooms offer drinks or snacks to complete the experience.
2- Keep Display Fixtures Consistent!
The relationship between consumer and product is different in a kitchen and bath showroom. Overall, showroom merchandising does not encourage grab-and-go shopping. While you want to show off products in a simple and organized way, you also need to encourage customers to stop and engage with the merchandise.
Using a mix of vendor-supplied displays, mismatched shelving and out-dated case goods don’t send the right message, especially if you’re selling high-end products.
The right display fixtures made with high-quality materials make merchandise do even more than make merchandise look good- it makes it look more expensive. There is no reason not to mix materials like wood, metal and tile as long as they are all top quality and work together.
Even if you include branded manufacturers’ displays in your showroom, the right showroom design incorporates display fixtures into the overall look.
Keep in mind that trends and product lines change; your fixtures have to adapt to these changes. Moveable display fixtures are a good idea if you want to refresh the space according to trends or seasons.
3- Cross Merchandising
By presenting customers with a mix of products in one display, you make it easier for them to visualize how the products work together. With this practice, you can offer the whole solution. Putting a sink, toilet, vanity and hardware options in one spot allow customers to imagine how the products will look in their house; putting faucets near sinks helps people make the right choice.
While this method does bring up space concerns and may stop customers from going through the whole store, it offers the convenience and ease most shoppers are looking for.
4- Vertical Merchandising
Perfect for hardware, faucets and accessories, vertical merchandising keeps products at eye-level (where customers tend to focus) and lets them stay in one place to take in all you have to offer in the product catego