As specialty retailers and manufacturers, it’s integral we all remember to represent the value of our product. If we’re selling a high-quality product, the price should correlate. But just as important as the price is the presentation. The presentation should match the product value.
This is an important aspect of our new Visual Merchandising Mann U course. During the course of this two-day class, we spend a morning exploring some of Asheville’s retailers and analyze what they do well, what they do poorly, and how we can learn from them.
|Our Mann U Class on a Field Trip in Asheville, NC|
We recently strolled the streets with out first V.M. class, and the sentiment that came up again and again as we discussed our findings was the same: the presentation of the product needs to reflect the value of the product, and the entire shopping experience should also buoy that upscale experience. You’re telling a story—tell it well.
Let’s begin with the experience, the ambiance, the feeling. One of our students pointed out the quality of the music in one of the stores we surveyed. By investing in a high-quality sound system and well-though-out playlist, their product was immediately more appealing and its value more apparent. They created an intentional milieu that you want to spend time in and recreate—for which you’re willing to pay.
You’re selling an experience and a story, so everything about that experience should be appealing, which will in turn make the price justifiable. Your store should be easily navigable, your displays engaging and tactile, your atmosphere warm and inviting. By creating an experience, as opposed to a transaction, you’re adding value to your products. Customers are more than happy to pay more for an experience. You want to make it easy for them to envision themselves in this activity; help them anticipate the future and invest in it. You’re creating an experience and a community for which people will want to pay.
Alternatively, it’s easy to devalue your products with your visual merchandising. If your presentation is messy, disorganized, or simply aesthetically displeasing, it cheapens the products. It tells the customer that you don’t care about or value your product, and they shouldn’t either. Dust, empty displays, wrinkled clothes—these all decrease the efficacy of the experience, and therefore the efficacy of the price.
And most important of all, of course, is the customer service you pair with your presentation. The most beautiful of visual merchandising falls flat when it’s not paired with excellent customer service.