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Visual Merchandising Basics in Modern Trade

If you have products to be displayed in retail, there are some basics which you need to know in the trade. Some basic terminology that can make you sound like an expert.

Display stand

A good display stand has direct impact on product sales. Usually made with corrugated fiberboard, fluted polypropylene and acrylic, they can be full color printed and supplied as flat-packs, ready to assemble in seconds.

The display stand has elements to interior design, and used to display goods and focus on the customer’s wish to purchase the goods.


When a display stand is placed at the end of an isle, it gives the brand a competitive advantage.

End caps are often built into the shelving or racks of the retail aisle system. In some cases, if there is an open space, the end cap is placed in that space, on a pallet.


A Gondola is a freestanding fixture used by retailers to display merchandise. Gondolas typically consist of a flat base (Palette) and a vertical component featuring notches or pegboards. The vertical piece can be fitted with shelves, hooks, or other displays. Gondolas placed end-to-end can form rows of shelving while stand-alone gondolas tend to be used for special themed displays. (See Kitkat display above) A gondola placed perpendicular to the end of a row of other gondolas can be used as an endcap.

Visual Merchandising

When visual merchandising is leveraged well, your products can stand out from your competitors. There are a few key basic tips to have an effective visual merchandising.

1) Contrast

You need to know where your products are going to be placed and how your competitors look in the isle. Having an understand of the location and competition allows you to plan on how to stand out.

Contrasting colors work to draw attention to your products. “Wherever the eyes go, the feet will follow. So use color to catch the eyes of your customers and draw them to your displays.”

Your displays need to “pop” out and grab attention of the shopper.

2) Repetition

Using identical elements and repeating them over and over again creates a very powerful display. This simple idea can have a lot of punch.

When your products are placed close together, do the lines flow and the series of different colors create a frame of similar style? This is powerful way in your packaging design to get attention.

3) Focal Point

Examine your display from the customer’s point of view: the top, the floor, both sides. Often the focal point is positioned too high for the customer to see. Check your displays to ensure customers can easily view the merchandise.

You may use props on your display to create an effect or tell a story. But make sure the focal point is on the products and not the props, and that props are not too distracting.

4) Tell a story

Effective merchandising tells a story. With proper signage, props and design, the customer can be attracted to your display and with 3 bullet points, tell the customers why they need your products.

Create a message with the display to help the customer better understand the product and enable the buying decision.

5) Place the maximum amount of products without creating clutter.

Customers would like to see a lot of products on display. With proper design on the packaging, the products placed together create an attraction to bring customers to it. However, too many products stacked in a sloppy mess can be a turn off.

A well-designed, impactful display exposes the customer to as much merchandise as possible. Putting more products out allows customers to buy more without having the retail staff to restock.

There are a lot more to learn for visual merchandising for a retail stand point which I will share again, but in the meantime, I this is informative for you.

Let me know if you have any questions and we will be glad to respond to you.

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