Visual merchandising props

According to research, around 80 per cent of all retail purchases are made on impulse. In brick-and-mortar stores, this percentage has risen sharply in recent years — thanks to the functionality and speed offered by online shopping. To succeed on the High Street or in out of town shopping developments these days, your store has to inspire impulse purchases subtly. The use of visual merchandising props can be a great way to get your customers to pay attention – and even make impulse purchases.

6 Best visual merchandising props

Here are 6 tried-and-tested methods to boost sales using display props. This list of examples of visual merchandising props will help you to boost instore success.

1. Tables and Islands

Tables and islands allow you to present anything from sweaters to books in an eye-catching highly visible way. Products that are displayed at waist height are easy to see and handle, and they grab the attention of shoppers in a way rails and shelving can’t. Ideally, choose products to display on your tables and islands that are likely to prompt spur-of-the-moment purchases. Both sale items and your premium products can be promoted using a neat and well thought out table display.

2. Point of Sale Displays

Once a customer reaches your ePOS area, they’re obviously in a buying mood. Not only have they been inspired to buy something, but they also have their method of payment ready. This is the perfect time to sell them smaller, cheaper products that complement their main purchases. A countertop or freestanding point of sale display grabs the attention of buyers and displays impulse purchases in a tidy and impactful way, making it one of the most simple but effective visual merchandising props.

3. Signage

Nothing draws the attention of shoppers to specific products like effective signage. The right font, colour combination and message can grab the attention of consumers and solicit purchases that may never have otherwise been made. But it’s important to position signage according to the customer journey. And when it comes to instore messages, less is definitely more.

Instore Signage (Anchor Magnets) - Visual merchandising props
Instore Signage (Anchor Magnets)

4. Tablet Computers

In the past, retailers have viewed retail in binary terms: it’s either online or offline. But more and more shop owners are coming to the conclusion that it’s a bit of both. The latest technology can be used to enhance the instore shopping experience — giving customers access to more information than ever before. One way you can achieve this is with the use of tablet computers. Complement your sales displays with interactive POS that includes quality images, product information and availability.

5. Mannequins

It’s very difficult for customers to assess an item of clothing if it’s folded away or on a hanger. While mannequins have had their critics in recent years, they serve an important purpose for fashion retailers. They demonstrate how clothes “hang” on the body, and when used in context they create a story that is perfect for prompting impulse purchases. It’s important not to stuff your store with mannequins, however. Use visual merchandising props sparingly and in the right places, and clear excess stock from the shop floor if necessary.

6. Furniture and Everyday Items as Visual Merchandising Props

Visual merchandising props are all about telling customers a story. By showing how your products can enhance the lives of ordinary people in ordinary situations, you can plant a powerful image in the head of the average shopper. For example, by depicting a family breakfast table you can showcase a range of products, including dining tables, crockery, tablecloths and cutlery.

More examples of visual merchandising props

If you’re looking for display ideas, there are many types of retail props and VM props that can be beneficial instore. Other examples of visual merchandising props can include:

  • Crates and boxes
  • Potted plants
  • Themed artwork
  • Jewellery displays
  • Decorative bowls
  • Fake snow, sand, or grass
  • Sports equipment
  • Garden furniture
  • Chairs
  • Unique hangers

How many VM props should you have?

Visual merchandising props, or retail props, should be used in moderation to ensure they have the maximum impact and enable you to meet your objectives. By using retail props to highlight specific displays, you can be confident that you are not stuffing your store with too many visual merchandising props.

Instead, a few here and there can tell a story that persuades your customers to make valuable impulse purchases, while growing instore sales and improving customer experience.

Visual merchandising props FAQs

What is the importance of props in a store?

VM props work to engage potential customers, telling the story of a product or tempting them to make a purchase. They should bring your visual merchandising strategy to life. Props have the ability to showcase products in the ways that they can be used, capturing consumers’ imaginations and encouraging impulse buys. Without display props, all products would be presented in piles, which is a lot less appealing than setting a scene.

What are props in retail?

Retail props can be anything that helps to display a product or convey a message, meaning there is a wide range of items that can be used to grow sales.

Where can you put props in a shop?

Display props should be placed where they are most impactful, depending on the retail space that you have available. Props can be in window displays, at tills, in checkout areas, throughout the store, or even outside the shop to draw customers in.

Click here to learn more about the best height to display products at.

Make the most of your visual merchandising props

There is no better time than the present to begin planning how to use VM props. For more ideas for instore design, click here to view our ultimate guide to visual merchandising.