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Visual Merchandising in Fashion Design: Part II

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The methods of visual merchandising have always been interesting and evolving. They prove that creative ideation and psychological conditioning has always been at the base of a successful strategy for harnessing a strong customer base.

Visual merchandising is a pretty straightforward approach that invests highly in the obvious elements of influence; the senses. The psyche of the customer should be guided using the tools employed to influence the senses.

The scope of influence on a customer who enters a store or watches from the window is not limited to a specific area. The whole floor of the outlet needs to exhibit harmony in theme across every corner, even in the staff that attends to the customer. In a fashion designing parlance, a boutique should not only have mannequins but fashionable staff who can talk shop to customers.

Visual merchandising is a package of sensory impressions created to boost the virtues of the product to convince the customers that it suits them in a unique way. It’s an important skill to develop at fashion design schools. Building a strategy on best practices in visual merchandising guarantees that there’s always a way to sell when there’s a fresh story to tell.


Present a Story to Follow


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A thematic presentation of a product makes the customer imagine a scenario that he/she will begin to relate to with himself/herself. That will be the point where the conversion of desire to purchase starts. Students of fashion designing courses perfect the art of making a theme for presenting the garments. Rather than having just mannequins with no thematic setting, a visual frame with a suggestive environment set for the garments presents the apparel much more effectively.


Declutter the Floor


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Decluttering the shop floor makes a much positive impression on the customer. Without a proper walkthrough arrangement, the customer won’t feel welcome and won’t explore much of the shop. Where space is constrained, compensate it with personal attention and guidance. That’s how a curiosity from a window display is taken to the next level of conversion.


Cater to more than One Sense


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It is important to make the in-store experience turn a customer into a loyal one. So it will not be enough to just have displays that feast the eyes. Music that suits and plays along with the theme of the store, a whiff of fragrance in the air, spotlight on the model displays etc. are very common hacks that in combination is used to create a complete feel of the store in the minds of the customers.

Also making garment specimens accessible for customers to touch and check will improve their appeal to the store.


Present Garments in Real Life Combination

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It is best to display garments as they are used in combination in real life. When garments are designed in fashion design classes, the concept of conceiving the idea as a set is practised. Display a shirt along with the pants and accessories that look best with them to give styling ideas to customers.

It is also important that in such a scenario, the apt accessories viz. shades, scarves and fashion jewellery are made available at or around the store so that the customers get a feel of complete shopping at one spot, which, as any of the fashion design colleges will affirm is a wonderful strategy.


Apply Rules of Threes and Repetitions


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People register symmetrical product arrangement better than asymmetrical ones and hence, presenting products in sets of threes works best. Three or any other odd number can create the illusion of balance and proportion better than even numbers.

Also repeating identical garments with identical features with minor differences as in colour will firmly register the product image much easier than any other arrangement in the minds of the customers. The chances of selection from such arrangements are also high.

As effective an exercise visual merchandise is, it also demands a great amount of variety in application from time to time. It is for a fashion designer and an interior designer to devise the best creative and money generating strategy that suits a particular store on a particular occasion.

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