I hate to break it to you but (in case you haven’t figured it out) “looks” do count. As a Marketing Manager for a shopping center, I have learned the importance of visual merchandising. Vendors, who rent carts, are often at lost when it comes to the visual presentation of their products.
Let’s take for example, a vendor who sells handbags between $30 – $40 price points, who was afraid to leave any “style” out. Let’s call him Vendor “A”. He had some stylish bags available but the problem was that he didn’t take the time to visually plan his cart. He was more astounded by the “deals” that he was making with his wholesale dealer that he failed to think about what his cart would look like with bags that didn’t complement each other. To add more horror to the dilemma, he displayed them like books – packed and showing only the side view.
After researching a few “handbag displays” google images, I showed him how to improve his display to urge people to buy. Looking at other stores, specifically Loui Vuitton, Gucci, and other high end brand stores, I noticed how their handbags are isolated with matching accessories. These stores didn’t show all their styles up front. They showed the newest, the best, and their best sellers.
Talking to Vendor “A” was the next challenge. He seemed receptive but when I didn’t see any change in the next few days, I took matters into my own hands. I have never held a visual merchandising position, but I knew when something needed a little “makeover”. The beauty of today’s generation is that you can find almost anything you need online. I took a few images of handbag display samples and put myself to work. In the spirit of going above and beyond, I stayed after the mall closed one night and decided to strip his cart down to show only 30% of what he originally had on his cart.
At first, he didn’t like his newly designed cart, but after realizing that he was selling more handbags than before, he quickly admitted to the fact that he doesn’t like women telling him what to do. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tell him “I told you so” or be offended. Beyond it all, I was just relieved that my hard work paid off. Of course the ultimate challenge is maintaining the display. He had a hard time doing so, and I refused to do the work for him. I organized his cart and took a photo of it so he can learn to care about visual merchandising.
If we have to make displays visually appealing in order to sell, don’t you think we ought to think the same for our image? Trust me, if you look good, you can make deals happen more than those who don’t take the extra effort to polish their looks before a meeting, interview, presentation etc… Neat hair, light make up, professional outfit that shows your figure, white teeth, tantalizing perfume and manicured nails… they are all essential in order to sell yourself!