Wednesday, June 5, 2019

How to Address Visual Merchandising Challenges with a Mobile App

Visual merchandising is a lot more than just arranging products in an attractive way in order to drive sales. It involves creating an all-around pleasant shopper experience and, as one would expect, has many challenges. However, the source for these visual merchandising challenges, especially for large CPG and apparel companies, can be traced to one main reason: Dealing with different channels sometimes in opposite sides of the spectrum.

The advent of smartphones and mobile apps has brought merchandising software that allows for digital in-store data collection, eliminating the traditional pen-and-paper and, with it, the dreaded error and delay-prone transcription.

However, for visual merchandising, checkboxes, text-, and number-type answers are obviously not enough. A mobile app must also capture time and location-stamped photos in order to help VM planners deal with the following:

Limited display space: GPS-stamped pictures help VM planners take different outlet types, layouts, and space constraints into consideration when designing props and product arrangement.

Limited flexibility: While displayed in stores, products are competing with other products, as well as with larger building or furnishing structures, for customer attention and visual merchandisers can better plan displays when they know these variables beforehand through location-accurate pictures and also verify the effectiveness of their props and arrangements with post-set inspections.

Conflicting interests: The decision of where and how to display products is normally made at a much higher corporate level than visual merchandising planners, who have to work around the constraints imposed by the conflicting interests of product manufacturers and retailers. GPS- and time-stamped pictures can help VM planners work around these constraints and find more shopper-friendly ways to display their product lines, as well as inspect compliance of existing displays.

VisitBasis is a mobile app that allows for visual merchandising managers to design their own custom store survey and post-set inspections of their products displays at geographically-dispersed stores. You can sign up for a free trial of VisitBasis at www.visitbasis.com or schedule an online demo at http://meetme.so/visitbasis.