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Visual merchandising encompasses all of the physical elements that merchandisers use to project an
image to customers. It is the practice in the retail industry of developing floor plans and three-
dimensional displays in order to maximize sales. Both goods and services can be displayed to highlight
their features and benefits.

Visual merchandising starts on the outside of the store or its exterior presentation and carries on to the
interior presentation. It may involve the ability to create window displays in fashionable colours and
patterns that make customers think the store has what they're looking for and the art of creating other
types of displays or dressing mannequins. Keeping up with trends and fashions in the design industry
can be useful for these purposes. Visual merchandising also includes determining in-store traffic flow
patterns to calculate the best places to put displays so the greatest number of people will see them.


Retail professionals display to make the shopping experience more comfortable, convenient and
customer friendly by:

Making it easier for the shopper to locate the desired category and merchandise

Making it easier for the shopper to self-select

Making it possible for the shopper to co-ordinate & accessorize

Providing information on sizes, colours & prices

Informing about the latest fashion trends by highlighting them at strategic locations

Merchandise presentation refers to most basic ways of presenting merchandise in an orderly,

understandable, easy to shop and find the product format. This easier format is especially
implemented in fast fashion retailers


Educating the customers about the product/service in an effective and creative way

Establishing a creative medium to present merchandise in 3D environment, thereby enabling

long lasting impact and recall value

Setting the company apart in an exclusive position

Establishing linkage between fashions, product design and marketing by keeping the product in
prime focus

Combining the creative, technical and operational aspects of a product and the business
Drawing the attention of the customer to enable him to take purchase decision within shortest
possible time, and thus augmenting the selling process


Too much signage

Confusing traffic patterns

Too much propping

Disconnection between exterior window and store contents

Poor lighting

No point of view

Inconsistency in visual executions


Makes Products Easier To Locate

When a product is properly displayed, it will catch shoppers' attention, guiding them towards it. For
instance, displaying a new bathing suit on a mannequin will obviously help shoppers find it, as the
mannequin will catch their attention more so than a rolling rack.

Move Product Faster

With the help of visual merchandising, we can move products faster. If we have a surplus of a particular
shirt in stock and need it gone, we must try displaying it on a couple of mannequins near the front of our
store. We can further encourage shoppers to buy the product with prominent "FOR SALE" signs next to
the mannequins.

Promotes a Positive Shopping Experience

Visual merchandising makes stores more enjoyable for shoppers. By displaying and promoting our
products in a manner that encourages higher sales, we will subsequently create a more enjoyable
shopping experience. Shoppers will appreciate the attention to detail that goes into our window displays
and other visual merchandising material, because it's the small things such as this that will make our
store stand out from the rest.

Help Explain New Product

Conventional wisdom should lead us to believe that not many people will buy a product if they don't
understand how it works. Sure, some may purchase it simply out of curiosity, but the majority will
choose to pass. Through visual merchandising, however, we can help explain new products to shoppers.


The visual merchandiser function is to plan the store design according the image of the retailer. The
objective of a good store design is to provide space for the consumer to move, the fixture should be
flexible [movable] and cost should be controlled.

The store design and image of BARISSTA is created to match their targeted consumer [15-60 years]
whereas COFEE CAF DAY store design and image matches their target customer youth [14-29years].


The exterior element of the store design draws the customer to the store. The exterior element is the
combination of the location, parking, and ease of access, frontage, and display space, health and safety

The interior element of the store design is a function of the fixtures, flooring, ceiling, lighting and
signage used to create a look. The layout is meant to aid the movement and the flow of customers.


The ways goods are hung, placed on shelves, or otherwise made available to customers


Only one side shows


Hanging garment so full front faces viewer








The exterior of a business. It includes:




Window Display


There are four different types of signs are:

1.Promotional Signs- For off-price events or specials.

2.Location signs- For direction to specific departments

3.Institutional signs- Signs for the store policies

4.Informational signs- For product related benefits/ features/ prices etc.

Marquees: This special type of sign is used to display the name of a store. An effective marquee must
stand out from the other businesses to attract attention. It can be used to announce a change in
seasons, a special event or a promotion.

. Entrances that allow shoppers to come into a store without being aware of their entering, is also
becoming more popular. An example is a v-shaped window display that funnels window shopping traffic
into the store.

The entrance to the store leads the customers to the store and merchandise. Stores with selling racks
and tables outside the store should always ensure entrance is not blocked. Decorative tile work on the
floor of the entrance could reflect the image of the store. At the entry we can put a tropical tree on
either side which makes the entrance more attractive. At the counter it is better to keep products that
are close substitute or complimentary to the main product. But the counter and the entrance should
not be clogged with excessive products.

Window Displays: Special emphasis should be placed on a store's window displays because they are the
information link to the potential customer. A good window display enhances communication of the
product, brand and image. As many as one in every four sales, could be the result of a good window
display. Window displays should attract attention, create interest and invite people into the store to
purchase goods.

A retailer's window is the most controllable element in relation to image and must match their
merchandise's target demographic. Display Window may communicate style, content, and price point.
They can be seductive, exciting or based on emotional stimulus through stimulation, or evocation of all
five senses. Another direction taken by retailers who rely on volume sold is price-based selling. These
clearly emphasize value for money with easy and obvious ticketing.



The retailer and visual merchandiser conclude which layout best suits their purpose of effective
utilization of space and achieve maximum productivity and exposing the customer to all the products in
the store. There are five layouts that are available to choose from that are typically used in store design.
They are known as

1] The Grid Layout

Counters and Fixtures are placed in long rows or runs usually at right angles, throughout the store.
This layout is used in grocery, discount store and drugs stores, like- Reliance fresh
Has parallel aisles with merchandise on shelves on both sides of aisles, Cash registers located at the

Well suited for shopping trips in which customer needs to move through entire store and easily locate
the products they want to buy. Eg grocery supermarkets.

Cost efficient, less wasted space, all aisles are of same width.

Use of shelves- more merchandise on sales floor.

Low cost standardized fixtures

Not visually exciting design

customers not exposed to all of the merchandise

2] The Loop (Racetrack) Layout

major customer aisle begins at the entrance, loops through the store and returns customer to the front
of the store Used in departmental stores such as-: Shoppers Stop.

Provides a major aisle that loops around the store to guide customer traffic around various depts. To
direct customers through the stores, aisles must be defined by change in surface/color. cash register
stations are typically located in each dept bordering the racetrack

Facilitates the goal of getting customers to see the merchandise available in multiple depts and facilitate
impulse purchase. Customers forced to take diff viewing angles.

Customers forced to take diff viewing angles.

3] The Herringbone Layout

Herringbone Circulation is used for a narrow store of maximum 40 feet width where the highway is a
single two way one, bisecting the store along its length with side roads leading to the walls from it.
Example: Music World, Plant-M

4] The Spine layout

The major customer aisle runs from the front to the back of the store, with merchandise departments
branching off to the the back side walls Heavily used by medium- sized specialty stores ranging from
2,000 10,000 square feet Example-: United colors of Benetton, Footwear etc.

5] The Free Flow Layout

The free-flow layout philosophy is almost a rejection of the others. With free-flow, there is no deliberate
attempt to force customers through predictable traffic patterns; wandering is encouraged.

Boutique layout, arranges fixtures and aisles in an asymmetric pattern. Use in small specialty stores or
within depts of large stores

Provides an intimate and relaxing environment that facilitates shopping and browsing

No well defined traffic pattern, customers are not drawn towards the store naturally. Personal selling
becomes more important . Layout sacrifices some retail storage and display space to create a more
spacious environment


Mannequins are used by apparel retailers to display their products in-store and in the window display.
They are a tool used to show consumers what their products look like on a person. The mannequins will
commonly be styled to match trends as well display the latest products available.


The visual merchandisers uses the elements of light, colour, and scent, and sound, touch to create an
exciting ambience to satisfy the customer and to get them to repeat their visits thereby increasing sales
and creating loyal customers.


Fixtures encompass a wide range of products made specifically for display purposes. Due to the high
level of demand placed on store fixtures, it is essential that you choose something with an exceptional

Fixtures: Goods can be effectively displayed on a variety of fixtures such as gondolas, tables, cubes,
mannequins, waterfalls and other racks, display cases, and manufacturer point-of-purchase displays. A
fixture should not only complement the merchandise, but also the atmosphere created in the store.
Each fixture should present the merchandise to the public and thereby act as a silent salesperson.

One of the most common fixtures in stores are gondolas; movable shelving approachable from all sides
used in self-service retail stores to display merchandise. They can be lined up in rows as in grocery,
hardware and drug stores, or used singly to create an island. End-caps are units at the end of aisles. End-
caps are important selling locations and should be used for high-profit impulse or seasonal merchandise.
Nested tables



Visual merchandising is a multi-sensory tool used by retailers to catch the attention of customers and
attract them into a store to make a purchase. The first piece of visual merchandising customers
encounter with a brand is the window display. Window displays are used as an initial attraction to bring
customers into a store and are also used as a marketing tool to communicate the brand's image to the
consumers as well as to distinguish itself from its competitors.

1. Closed Windows large glass panel at the front and solid wall at the back.

2. Semi-closed Windows large glass panel at the front and half-covered at the back so that the inside
of the store is partially visible.

3. Open-back Windows large glass panel at the front and no wall at the back

4. Open Window (or No Window) no glass panel and no solid wall.

5. Elevated Windows it can either be closed or open window that is located in a higher level.

6. Corner Windows windows that are located at the corner of the building and are seen from two

7. Island Windows these are the stand-alone windows that are often located at the lobby of a big

8. Shadow Boxes small box-like windows that are usually used for jewelry and cosmetics displays.

The visual merchandisers uses the elements of signs and graphics provide information and to add
personality, beauty, and romance to a stores image .The purpose of different signage used by the visual
merchandiser is explained in the below:

Location signage it is used to indicate the location of product.

Category signage it is used to highlight product.

Promotional signage it is used to promote special offers.

Point of sale signage it is used to highlight interest the customers.

Lifestyle images signage it creates moods by displaying pictures of people and places.

Print signage developed at corporate office and installed by employees.

Digital signage the visual content is displayed on the monitors or flat paneled screens delivered
digitally through a centrally managed network.

End of cap are displays used end of the aisle for higher margin impulse buying.

Promotional aisle are displays used for products being promoted i.e. seasonal merchandise or sales.

Walls are used to display products.

Windows they are displays used to pull the customers and convey a visual message of the type of

Cash wraps/point of sale they are places where impulse items like magazine, batteries, etc are
displayed. It can be in each department or centralized check out.

Importance of signages and graphics

Help customers locate specific products and departments, provide specific information, and suggest
items or special purchases

Graphics- can add personality, beauty to the stores image

Location: use to identify the location of merchandise. Large stores display directional signage to guide
customers around the store and from one area to another.
Hanging signs from the ceilings to enhance visibility


A Plano gram is a diagram that visually communicates the location of the merchandise and props are fit
into a store for proper visibility and price points. The visual merchandiser uses a planogram to use space
effectively and economically as space equals to cost. The visual merchandiser provides enough of shelf
space given to all products. The products are place in a way that it is accessible, signage and fixtures are
used to locate the products easily. The visual merchandiser assures that there is enough stock of the
product on display. The visual merchandiser collects data of the sales of each product, segment and the
cost and returns received per inch, thereby come to a conclusion on the profitability and justifiability of
space allocation.

To be a successful in the art of being visual merchandiser it is essential to understand the retail strategy
of the retailer, his reason for establishing the number of brand and thereby covering segments also why
certain segments are prioritized. The use of various elements like store, store design and planogram to
enhance the image of the retailer, create an atmosphere and ambience with effective accessibility,
space utilization and flexibility that entice the consumer to come again and again to procure sales.


When new merchandise comes in

Just to change around the pieces of a group that has been on the floor for awhile

Gives the group a new look

The same customers walk through your department every week you want it to look fresh

You want to give them a reason to buy



Alternatives to mannequins




Semi realistic




Resembles the everyday person rather than a movie star.


Is like realistic mannequin,

But its makeup is more Decorative & stylized.


Is concerned with creating an overall effect rather than reproducing natural lines and proportions.
Features such as elbows, fingernails are rarely indicated.


Is more stylized than the semi-realistic mannequin and its feature may be

painted or suggested rather than defined.


Has a full-size or Semi-realistic body with Arms and legs but no Head. It offers no personality or image.


Closed Displays

Look but dont touch

Require sales person assistance

Expensive or fragile merchandise

Jewellery cases
Open Displays

Handle merchandise without a salesperson


Used for most clothing

Architectural Display

Actual room setting



Actual room setting


Store Decorations

Actual room setting



Comprehensive Coverage

Promoting a product in multiple venues is a key element in sales success. Visual merchandising needs to
encompass advertising, window display, shop design and packaging appearance and placement. By using
a consistent visual theme that runs through all of these contexts, we can increase awareness of the
product in the consumer's mind and increase the chances that she will buy it. Repetition is a key
element in lodging a message in the brain. By presenting a repeating product theme in the front window
of a store, in the interior displays and on the product packaging itself, we create a powerful and
persuasive message.

Seasonal Marketing

Many holidays have developed powerful visual elements that act as cues for consumption. The orange
hues and creepy images of Halloween, the blue colours and cute animals of Easter and the warm, home-
and-family-themed images of Christmas all resonate within consumers' minds because they have been
exposed to them every year for their entire lives. Visual merchandising can take advantage of this
familiarity by marketing appropriate products at the right time of year, connecting visual cues to the
receptive minds of consumers.


Staging is the art of presenting a product in an appealing light. Sometimes this is done literally by setting
up special lighting that makes an indoor-display more appealing. Staging is most obvious in television
commercials, where products are idealized to perfection in a way that doesn't exist in the real world.
Staging is most common for higher-end purchases such as jewellery or cars. Consumers who are seeking
a buying experience as much as the product itself respond well to staging because it increases the
pleasure that they have in buying something.


While familiar themes and triggers are important for getting consumers to buy, it is also effective to
maintain an element of novelty within the retail environment. Particularly for customers who regularly
visit a venue, new products or arrangements will catch their attention. Even if a store's physical layout is
changed while offering the same products, many customers will respond with renewed interest. When
new products are introduced, they should be emphasized by setting them up on a prominent display in
the front of the store. This will increase their sales, because customers can't miss them when they enter
the store.


A Clean Image

Visual merchandising is enhanced by colourful cardboard displays and sound or lighting effects, but the
foundation of a good visual marketing campaign is the overall appearance of your business. All aspects
of our visual marketing displays become enhanced when we keep our retail store clean. Develop a
comprehensive cleaning schedule that is dedicated to following local health department laws and keep
all of the areas that customers will see clean. Customers will be more inclined to notice, and be
negatively affected by, a collection of noticeable debris in our store than a colourful merchandising

Eye Level

To maximize visual impact, keep visual displays at the eye level of your target audience. For example,
electronic displays that rotate information regarding pricing specials on car accessories should be at an
adult eye level. Animated cardboard displays that promote the newest video game or toy should be at
the eye level of the target age group. For example, marketing displays for toys targeted for young
children will sit at a lower eye level than video game displays intended for teenagers.

Maintaining the same visual merchandising displays for weeks on end will not help improve store
revenue. Customers want to feel like they are getting introduced to something new when they come to
our store, so we should change our visual displays at least once a week. Find new products to feature
each week and encourage our manufacturers to send us new displays to help make your visual
merchandising more appealing.


Todays successful retailers make the most profitable use of every square foot of space in the store and
in the warehouse. Since this space is so costly, we must take a strategic approach to its use. Floor
patterns, location of merchandise, levels of inventory and appropriate displays are all key factors in the
proper use of space. Misuse of space can be as detrimental to your success as poor buying or careless
hiring. It is very important for every store to create a suitable atmosphere and appealing presentations
in order to trigger the consumers buying decision. In a world where you can find
identical merchandise in more than one store, layout and presentation become key differentiating

Visual merchandising, until recently called simply merchandising, is the activity of promoting the sale of
goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets. This includes combining product, environment,
and space into a stimulating and engaging display to encourage the sale of a product or service. It has
become an important element in retailing that is a team effort involving senior management, architects,
merchandising managers, buyers, the visual merchandising director, designers, and staff. Visual
merchandising starts with the store building itself.

Visual merchandising is not a science; there are no absolute rules. It is more like an art in the sense that
there are implicit rules but that these also exist to be broken for striking effects. The main principle of
visual merchandising is that it is intended to increase sales, which is not the case with a real art. Visual
merchandising is one of the final stages in trying to set out a store in a way that customers will find
attractive and appealing and it should follow and reflect the principles that underpin the stores image.

Recently visual merchandising has gained in importance as a quick and cost effective way to revamp
retail stores.

Visual Merchandising is the most useful creative art as far as retail business is concerned be it a
department store, specialty store, hotels or even petrol pumps. Though it has emerged on the
international scene as one of the most important aims of retailing, it is slowly establishing an identity in

How to Encourage Impulse Buys in Your Store: A Deeper Look at Unplanned Purchases

Impulse purchases account for a significant chunk of the consumer spending pie. According to a study,
about one-third of all consumers make a sizeable impulse buy every week, with a median purchase of

The numbers look even better if youre a brick-and-mortar retailer because shoppers are more inclined
to make unplanned purchases at physical stores compared with e-commerce sites.

This is likely because brick-and-mortar stores have more control over customers shopping experiences
compared with e-tailers. You can make better layout and staffing decisions, not to mention you have
more opportunities to engage peoples senses and to influence customers purchasing decisions.

Yep, as a brick-and-mortar store, you have a lot of things going for you in the impulse buy department.
The question is, are you using your powers and resources wisely? If not, here are few pointers:


getting customers to see your product is the first and most important step in impulse buying.

Being in their faces and placing the focus clearly on what youre selling so that they can make a quick
selection sums up what a kiosk operator (or in our case retail store owner) needs to do,

How can you get shoppers to see your impulse products? One effective tactic is using signage. Get the
merchandise noticed by using eye-catching signs announcing sales and promos.

Also, be sure to pick your color palette wisely. Hues such as red and yellow have proven to draw
attention, but feel free to test out other colors depending on your product and audience.

To encourage impulse purchases, the retailer uses big red signs to promote its low-priced items.
something similar by placing impulse products together with a sign promoting that days deal on the
checkout counter. But instead of using the usual eye-catching hues (i.e., red or yellow), it stays true to
its brand colors by opting for blue and white.

Part of increasing visibility (and sales) with impulse purchases entails placing the merchandise where
customers are sure to see it. In retail stores, the two most effective ways to pull this off would be
positioning impulse products at the checkout area and placing them near your bestsellers.

Placing products at the checkout zone is a common and highly effective tactic. Shoppers who are at the
point-of-sale area are likely already in the mood to buy, so the chances of them making additional
purchases are relatively higher.

Victorias Secret executes this quite well. In most of its stores, it has attractive displays and fixtures
containing inexpensive lip glosses, trial size fragrances, and other novel items near the checkout
counter. These products typically come with a promotion (i.e., Buy two get two free) to further entice


Another strategy is to position products near your stores prominent sellers. What parts of your store do
customers frequently head to? What are the items that customers usually go for? Strategically place
merchandise near these areas or products to increase their visibility.


The best impulse products are the ones that are easy to graspboth physically and mentally. Keep them
simple. As business consultant Lynn Switanowski told ABC News, Such products dont need a lot of
explaining. It sells itself (because) you understand what it does.

In other words, if the customer has to ask what the items are, they wont make for good impulse buys.

Ideally, impulse products should be small and inexpensive. These are items that people can pick up
and easily add to their baskets or hand to the cashier.

Going back to the Victorias Secret example, the retailer chose to place trial size products near the
checkout area precisely because these items meet the criteria above: theyre uncomplicated, handy, and

Keep these principles in mind when youre deciding on which impulse items to display.


Make your impulse buys more noticeable and enticing by pushing the right consumer buttons. Here are
some suggestions:

Urgency Trigger peoples sense of urgency through limited-time promos. Consider the Bath & Body
Works example above. It included a Today Only description in its signage to make the impulse buy
more compelling.

Value Make people see that theyre getting a good deal with generous offers. Victorias Secret for
instance runs Buy two, get two promos with its impulse products to further encourage shoppers to

Excitement or Novelty You dont always have to throw in an offer with your impulse products. Often,
if a product looks fresh or novel enough, people will notice them. If you have new and original items in
your store and they fit the above-mentioned criteria (i.e., handy and low cost), then consider testing
them out as impulse buys to see how customers react.


A 2012 study on shopping behavior found that social media, mobile apps, and SMS marketing can drive
unplanned visits or purchases.
Mobile Commerce Daily cited that 21 percent of respondents say they make more unplanned
purchases because of shopping apps, 20 percent do the same because of retailer texts and 22 percent
for retailer social media. These were the highest scoring tools in terms of encouraging shoppers to make
more unplanned purchases.

Be sure to leverage online and mobile tools to increase impulse store visits and purchases. Keep your
mobile app updated so users can see the latest happenings in your store. If youre on social media, make
sure your fans are in the loop by posting news about any events or promotions.

Do the same thing via e-mail and text. Grab the opportunity to bring people into your shop by alerting
subscribers whenever you have something happening in your store. (Just dont overdo it. Keep messages
relevant and only alert people who have opted into your list.)

Beacons can also be used to encourage impulse purchases. A retailer using the technology can, for
example, send You might also like messages to its shoppers depending on the aisles that theyre
browsing or the products that theyre looking at.

Common Motives Used by Salesmen in their Sales Talk

(1) Fear

A salesman selling life assurance may utilise the motive of love for the family and loyalty, but the chief
motive would be fear. An insurance salesman should not hide this motive from the prospect but should
so parade it by emphasizing on the uncertainty of human life and the absolute necessity of protecting
ones loved ones.

A salesman must therefore find out the fears involved. It maybe fear of death, fear of loss, fear for the
future, fear of poverty, fear of obscurity, or fear of social ostracism.

(2) Profit or Cupidity:

This motive is very closely related to the desire for personal adequacy as a person wants money in order
to satisfy his other desires. Money by itself is of little value as it only becomes important when it is

The salesman must therefore show the customer as to what can be done with the money to be made or
saved by purchasing the salesmans goods or ideas.

(3) Vanity

Vanity is a motive which plays very important part in the life of all human beings. The parent who strives
to make his child like himself is actuated by vanity.

A dealer in automobiles placed in front of the mirror always sold the quickest. The dealer on giving this
observation sufficient consideration realised that the reason was vanity.
The prospect who sat at the wheel saw him in the mirror and was so pleased with the improved effect
the car had on him that he bought the car. This American dealer capitalized on this fortunate
observation by placing mirrors all round his showroom and thereby considerably increased his sales.

(4) Pride

Pride in personal appearance is equaled by pride in accomplishment or attainment of high business or

social position. Every individual has a desire to feel important, be appreciated or complimented. This is a
powerful motive which sells all style merchandise.

This desire to feel important and receive recognition of their importance leads persons to do things
because society has laid down certain behaviour as correct.

Another way of putting this would be that the customer was lost because the salesman did not make
the customer feel important and thus wounded his ego.

This happens on the slightest provocation of the salesman, such as lack of promptness in coming to
greet the customer. Certain persons wish to make their own decisions and the salesman should be
tactful with such customers and should suggest rather than dictate.

(5) Fashion

Closely related to the motive of pride is that of fashion. Fashion is at times described as the tax imposed
by the clothing trade on vanity or as the fantastic becoming universal.

This desire to copy others and do the right thing according to their imagination or to gain admiration of
others by so doing is a motive which sells good clothes, expensive cars and numerous articles from tooth
brushes to shoe-laces.

(6) Sex or Romance

Sex is a very important motive in the case of sale of articles such as fancy clothes, cosmetics,
ministrations beauty parlours and tickets to dances.

In the absence of sex little interest would remain in style for men or women. It cannot be denied that
women spend money on clothes, hairdos and cosmetics in order to appeal to men. Neither can it be
concealed that men dress their best so that they may appeal to women.

(7) Love or Affection for Others

This appeal is in contrast to the one just discussed. It is an unselfish motive. Many men can be motivated
into immediate action by an appeal to their sense of duty or love for the family or their desire to be of
service to humanity.

(8) Physical Well-being or Health

The sale of articles such as health food, vitamin pills, patent medicines, weight lifting sets and reducing
belts are due to this motive.


A womans curiosity is almost as great as mans. Curiosity is described by psychologists as a desire for
new experience. Persons go to new places, do new things and travel in order to obtain from life new
thrills. News satisfies curiosity and the salesman utilizes this motive by saying to that effect that the
article is the latest thing on the market.

11) Habit

Habit is a very important motive for the salesman as about three-fourths of the purchases are due to
habit. Out of habit, a person smokes a certain brand of cigarettes or drinks a certain make of liquor or
has his clothes tailored in a certain shop.

This does not mean that if the salesman is selling goods of a brand which the particular customer is not
habituated to purchase, the salesman cannot make him change his brand with tactful and persuasive

Push and pull strategy in promotion of sales

Push Strategy

A push promotional strategy works to create customer demand for your product or service through
promotion: for example, through discounts to retailers and trade promotions. Appealing package design
and maintaining a reputation for reliability, value or style are also used in push strategies. One example
of a push strategy is mobile phone sales, where manufacturers offer discounts on phones to encourage
buyers to chose their phone. Push promotional strategies also focus on selling directly to customers, for
example, through point of sale displays and direct approaches to customers.

The different ways a company can use a push strategy to increase awareness of a product include:

At trade shows and showrooms, businesses can demonstrate the product's features to potential

Companies can encourage retailers to stock a product. Sometimes a company has to negotiate with a
retailer to stock a specific item because retailers have limited store space and need to stock items they
know will sell.

Companies can create a supply chain so that retailers can obtain the product in sufficient quantities

Pull Strategy
A pull promotional strategy uses advertising to build up customer demand for a product or service. For
example, advertising children's toys on children's television shows is a pull strategy. The children ask
their parents for the toys, the parents ask the retailers and the retailers the order the toys from the
manufacturer. Other pull strategies include sales promotions, offering discounts or two-for-one offers
and building demand through social media sites such as YouTube.

The different ways a company can use a pull strategy to promote a brand include:

Advertising strategies that include mass media promotion of a product

Customer relationship management that makes existing customers aware of new products that will fill a
specific need


Sales promotions and discounts

Using these strategies will create a demand for the product.

Combination Strategies

Some companies use a combination of both push and pull strategies. For example, Texas-based textile
producer Cotton Incorporated uses a push/pull promotional strategy. They push to create customer
demand through constantly developing new products and offering these products in stores; and pull
customers towards these products through advertising and promotion deals. According to marketing
expert Blair Entenmann, in an article he wrote for his company MarketingHelp!, there is no single
correct combination of push and pull. The amount spent on each type of strategy will depend on factors
such as budget, the type of product, the target audience and competition.

When To Use

Push promotional strategies work well for lower cost items, or items where customers may make a
decision on the spot. New businesses use push strategies to develop retail markets for their products
and to generate exposure. Once a product is already in stores, a pull strategy creates additional demand
for the product. Pull strategies work well with highly visible brands, or where there is good brand
awareness. This is usually developed through advertising.

scrambled merchandising

A situation that occurs when a retail business offers a mix of unrelated products that do not reflect the
company's original focus. Scrambled merchandising often reflects a scattered product management
approach and can make a negative impression on consumers since they might not be sure what sort of
products the retailer offers
Multichannel retailing is when a company provides numerous ways for customers to purchase goods
and services. This marketing strategy could include selling through traditional outlets such as catalogs,
brick-and-mortar stores, mail, and telephone. But, it also includes nontraditional electronic and mobile
outlets like websites, chats, emails, apps, and social networks.

Multichannel retailing is a way to build a brand and reach a lot of consumers. You want to target
channels that give you the most return on your investment. Let's review the benefits of multichannel
retailing and look at Sears as an example.


Flexibility for consumers when purchasing and paying for goods and services,

More opportunities to build a brand among diverse audiences,

Additional chances to solicit and use consumer testimonials,

24-hour access to customers to build brand loyalty,

A greater degree of visibility among various demographics, and

Improved analytics to help understand consumer behaviors.


Decreased Economies of Scale

If you physically deliver your product to different wholesalers, retailers or distributors, your shipping and
service costs might rise. Concentrating your sales in one marketing channel lets you decrease your staff
time working with different partners, decreases the use of resources such as trucks, fuel, drivers and
warehouse staff to deliver product, and reduces the amount of on-site promotional materials you need.
In addition to sales fulfillment and support, youll need to add tracking and assessment work for each
channel you use.

Increased Sales Costs

If you sell through one marketing channel, such as a wholesaler, your only cost of distribution is to
service that wholesaler. If you add online sales, you will need to hire a fulfillment company or hire staff
to take and fill orders, buy software to take and process orders and pay to promote your online sales
capabilities. Working with different partners might require different advertising or promotional efforts,
based on the partners specific needs.

Lack of Control

The more people who sell for you, the less you control your brand message. Wholesalers and retailers
will be more concerned with their commissions and profits than helping you manage your brand. You
might emphasize quality, service and use consultative selling to create long-term partnerships, while a
wholesaler, reseller or sales rep might focus on discounts, promotions, sales and other gimmicks that
can damage your brand. If youve decided not to sell your product next to a competitors, your
distributors might not honor this strategy.

Production and Cash Flow Stress

If you have several people or companies selling your product, they might all want product at the same
time, even if its just to keep their inventory levels high. This can put a strain on your resources and cash
flow, especially if you are creating product based on inflated inventory demands, rather than actual
sales. Depending on your credit terms, or if you only get paid when sales are made, youll have to pay
suppliers and pay interest on the creation of products that might not sell for weeks or months. Work
with your distributors to plan product delivery well in advance, taking into account seasonality and any
planned sales or promotions an individual partner plans on running.

Store Atmosphere

The store must offer a positive ambience to the customers for them to enjoy their shopping and leave
with a smile.

The store should not give a cluttered look.

The products should be properly arranged on the shelves according to their sizes and patterns. Make
sure products do not fall off the shelves.

There should be no foul smell in the store as it irritates the customers.

The floor, ceiling, carpet, walls and even the mannequins should not have unwanted spots.

Never dump unnecessary packing boxes, hangers or clothes in the dressing room. Keep it clean.

Make sure the customers are well attended.

Dont allow customers to carry eatables inside the store.

Acording to Kotler (1973-1974) the four dimensions of atmosphere are therefore:

Visual (sight) dimensions - colour, brightness, size and shape;

Aural (sound) dimensions - volume, pitch, tempo;

Olfactory (smell) dimensions - scent and freshness;

Tactile (touch) dimensions - softness, smoothness and temperature.

Bitner (1992) in his seminal work proposed a framework for understanding environment-user
relationships in service organizations this framework is a complex one and environmental dimensions

Ambient conditions - tempetature, air quality, noise, music, odor;

Space/Function - layout, equipament, furnishings

Signs, Symbols & Artifracts - signage, personal artifacts, style of decor

Multichannel retailers(tri channel)

Multichannel retailers are retailers that sell merchandise or services through more than one
channel. By using a combination of channels, retailers can leverage the unique benefits provided
by each to attract and satisfy more customers.


Stores offer several benefits to customers that they cannot get when they shop through catalogs or on
the internet


Customer Rapport

In a retail setting, customer rapport benefits both you as a buyer and as a seller. Retail outlets allow
customers to see what they are buying up close and, as opposed to online stores, they provide instant
gratification, because the customer walks away with their purchases immediately. A friendly and helpful
staff also helps to build customer loyalty, ensuring that customers return again and again. From a
business standpoint, retail outlets allow you to reach a customer base that might be put off by the
online marketplace.

Greater Inventory Options

When considering wholesale vs. retail, retail sales provides you with greater inventory options, because
not all merchandise is available on the wholesale market. To provide a bit of perspective, wholesale
goods come straight to the manufacturer to a wholesaler, usually mass produced at a low cost. The
wholesaler may sell to a retailer or sell to the public directly. But because not all goods can be mass
produced at a low cost, the wholesaler is limited in terms of inventory. By contrast, a retail business can
produce goods for itself, purchase from wholesalers, or directly from manufacturers.

Greater Sales Potential

With a retail outlet, you can sell a variety of products and expose customers to items that they didn't
even know they needed. For instance, a customer might enter the outlet looking for a pair of jeans, but
then wind up purchasing jeans, three shirts, a belt and a tie. By consolidating a variety of merchandise in
one central location, you dramatically increase your sales potential.

Less Drama

If deciding whether to sell in a retail outlet vs. online, consider that a retail outlet spares you from
having to charge shipping costs and from having to deal with lost packages, tracking codes, customer
addresses and complicated online sales databases. With a retail outlet, you can make each sale with
greater confidence and fewer conflicts.

Benefits from Consumers

If you are consumer and are considering reasons to shop at traditional retail outlets, as opposed to
online, consider some of the same benefits. You can save on shipping costs, receive instant gratification,
inspect your items carefully before making your purchase and not have to worry about packages getting
lost in the mail. You also can have all of your questions answered immediately by helpful staff, rather
than having to rely on email messages and phone calls.


Catalog channel provides benefits to customers that are not available from the store or internet

A catalog merchant (catalogue merchant in British and Canadian English) is a form of retailing. The
typical merchant sells a wide variety of household and personal products, with many emphasizing
jewelry. Unlike a self-serve retail store, most of the items are not displayed; customers select the
products from printed catalogs in the store and fill out an order form. The order is brought to the sales
counter, where a clerk retrieves the items from the warehouse area to a payment and checkout station.
Catalogue retailing that was expected to take Indian retailing by storm is still struggling to find its feet in
the wide horizons of an opportunistic scenario where physical retailing is still preferred, given the
attraction of high rise malls, beautiful shops and attractive schemes that retailers are inventing every
day to woo consumers to the shops.

The format is in a flux, and signs of trouble are widespread. Expectations remain high. But realities are
disturbing. Despite all this, the benefits of Catalogue retailing in terms of cost and convenience cannot
be ignored. At this moment of truth, we can only wait and watch its development pattern

Catalogue marketing has several advantages:

1. Catalogue marketing ensures that only interested customers respond to the companys offer, or visit
their retail outlets.

2. The catalogue provides a prospective customer with some idea about the companys offerings to elicit
interest in its products.

3. If the customer is even slightly interested in the product, there is a high probability that he would
retain the catalogue for future usage. Therefore, the catalogue acts as a constant communication link
between the company and the consumer, with a onetime expense for the company.

4. Catalogues can be useful for start-ups and small firms as it does not involve setting up expensive
marketing and selling infrastructure.

Disadvantages of catalogue marketing:

There are several disadvantages of catalogue marketing:

1. Producing the catalogue is very expensive.

2. The degree of success of catalogue marketing rests on the accuracy of the database, and how
descriptive the database is about target customers. Collecting such information is a difficult and time
consuming task.

3. Readying the catalogue is only the first step in selling the product to the customer. Companies may
fail in ensuring timely delivery to the customer, or may not have the ordered product in stock.

4. Product offerings may be easily copied by competitors, because of which catalogue marketers must
look for other means of differentiation.


Shopping over the internet provides the convenience offered by catalogs and other non-store formats.
The internet, compared with store and catalog channels, also have the potential to offer a greater
selection of products and more personalized information about products and services in a relatively
short amount of time.


Advantages of online retail

The benefits of retailing online include:

Easy access to market - in many ways the access to market for entrepreneurs has never been easier.
Online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon allow anyone to set up a simple online shop and sell
products within minutes. See selling through online marketplaces.

Reduced overheads - selling online can remove the need for expensive retail premises and customer-
facing staff, allowing you to invest in better marketing and customer experience on your e-commerce

Potential for rapid growth - selling on the internet means traditional constraints to retail growth - eg
finding and paying for larger - are not major factors. With a good digital marketing strategy and a plan a
scale up order fulfilment systems, you can respond and boost growing sales. See planning for e-

Widen your market / export - one major advantage over premises-based retailers is the ability expand
your market beyond local customers very quickly. You may discover a strong demand for your products
in other countries which you can respond to by targeted marketing, offering your website in a different
language, or perhaps partnering with an overseas company. See exporting - an overview.

Customer intelligence - ability to use online marketing tools to target new customers and website
analysis tools to gain insight into your customers needs. For more information on driving sales through
online advertising see how to develop an e-marketing plan, and for advice on improving your customers
on-site experience see measuring your online marketing.

Disadvantages of online retail

Some negetives of online retail include:

Website costs - planning, designing, creating, hosting, securing and maintaining a professional e-
commerce website isnt cheap, especially if you expect large and growing sales volumes. See common e-
commerce pitfalls.

Infrastructure costs - even if you arent paying the cost of customer-facing premises, youll need to
think about the costs of physical space for order fulfilment, warehousing goods, dealing with returns and
staffing for these tasks. See fulfilling online orders.
Security and fraud - the growth of online retail market has attracted the attention of sophisticated
criminal elements. The reputation of your business could be fatally damaged if you dont invest in the
latest security systems to protect your website and transaction processes. See security weaknesses.

Legal issues - getting to grips with e-commerce and the law can be a challenge and youll need to be
aware of, and plan to cope with, the additional customer rights which are attached to online sales.
See the law and selling online.

Advertising costs - while online marketing can be a very efficient way of getting the right customers to
your products, it demands a generous budget. This is especially true if you are competing in a crowded
sector or for popular keywords. See generate business from your e-marketing plan.

Customer trust - it can be difficult to establish a trusted brand name, especially without a physical
business with a track record and face-to-face interaction between customers and sales staff. You need
to consider the costs or setting up a good customer service system as part of your online offering.
See manage your customer care.

Retailing channels


Single-channel marketing strategies focus your business on a single means of reaching your customers.
Your choices of marketing channels might include a retail sales force, online commerce, or a business-to-
business partnership. Each channel has its own benefits and limitations. A multiple-channel strategy
takes advantage of more than one channel to optimize your outreach to consumers. For example, Jamba
Juice uses the single-channel strategy of franchises located in multiple regions of the U.S. and the
beginnings of international franchising as well. By contrast, colas such as Coke and Pepsi use a multiple-
channel strategy that includes placement in grocery stores, bars, restaurants, stadiums and vending

The term multi-channel describes the experience of a customer who shops using the different channels
made available by a company, such as brick-and-mortar stores, catalogues, website, mobile application,
TV commercials, and call centres.

Multi-channel is not a new concept. Before the advent of the Internet and mobile, it was possible to
purchase via different channels including shops, call centres and mail order catalogues. What is new,
however, is the growing number of channels used today, and the multiplying devices used to access
them, such as desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, interactive terminals, and smart TV. These
channels will continue to increase as we see more smart devices develop, like cars and fridges.

The term cross-channel describes the experience of a customer who has used a combination of several
different channels for the same purchase. For example, a customer prints a product configuration on a
companys website and then goes in-store to make the purchase. A customer may also choose the
product he or she wants to purchase from a companys catalogue, and then buy the product directly on
the companys website. Another example is a customer who purchases through his or her TV set, and
then collects the product from the nearest store.

The term omni-channel describes the simultaneous use of two channels, like using a mobile phone while
in-store, or a tablet while watching TV. The term is also used to describe the consistency between
different channels that facilitates and streamlines customer interactions.

This means that a customers configurations and preferences saved on one channel must be memorised
and accounted for on all other channels. As a customer, could you imagine if you had to recreate an
account for each different channel used (desktop computer or tablet, or in-store checkout)?

These new terms also support an underlying idea put forth by service providers and championed by
digital marketing experts, which can be summed up as follows: Businesses who do not think multi-
channel are doomed to disappear. But as always, we must exercise caution when making categorical
judgments such as this one, especially when there are no figures to rely on. Just because everyone
repeats the same thing does not make it an absolute truth.

channel Perspective

Value is a series of activities and processes in the value chain at every point - that provides a certain
value for the consumer.

A retail value chain represents the total bundle of benefits offered to consumers through a channel of

customer Perspective

Value is the perception that the shopper has of the value chain

It is the view of all the benefits from a purchase versus the price paid.

It is the customers view of all the benefits from a purchase (formed by