VM Vanguards

Posted 24/09/14 by Your Studio

Earlier this month, YourStudio Creative Director Howard Sullivan attended the Retail Design Expo Visual Merchandising Panel Breakfast to discuss the top VM issues facing retailers today, including the role of VM in attracting customers and how VM is evolving in the digital world. Below are the key take-outs discussed:

1. Positive impact of online retail on physical shopping environments
Many retailers have responded speedily to the changed market in the past few years. Physical have been forced to up their game, resulting in highly innovative and compelling VM stories cleverly weaved through multiple platforms.

VM 1Kenzo Digital Pop-up, Paris

2. Successful windows to entice and share
The mission of a window is now two-fold, not only to entice new customers into entering the store but to create and prompt highly #shareable content on social media platforms.

VM 2 VM 3
Instagram users share Louis Vuitton window displays

3. High-end seduction
High-end retail remains steadfast in it’s proven strategy of creating sensorial and seductive, highly tactile and desirable product displays to tempt and entice shoppers.

4. Localised futures
Consumers crave connection and a sense of community and retail spaces have always been vital in performing this role. New retail display will tap into this need and create more localised window displays.

VM 4
Liberty Local Campaign, July 2013

5. Making sticky moments
Keeping time-poor urbanites in-store is a core goal for retailers, creating VM moments in-store that interrupt and inspire customers are vital to prolong the shopper journey. 

VM 5John Lewis, London

6. When do you tell, when do you sell?
Omni-channel retail must function to communicate brand personality and character as well as aid swift and easy transactions. Differentiate the physical environment from other channels by playing to its strengths: atmosphere, human interaction and immediacy.

VM 6
& Other Stories, London 

7. Faster & Fresher
Digital VM allows for highly agile messaging, engaging social media campaigns and out of hours shopping, but consumers becoming ‘screen blind’ is a risk. Choosing the right moments in the customer journey for digital is a must.

VM 7French Connection #canthelpmyselfie campaign

VM 8Kate Spade shoppable window, NY

8. Looking back to move forward
In the 60’s the vanguard of VM was all about creatively referencing current culture and the advancing film industry. The old rules still apply, tapping into cultural codes, but now successful VM not only attract and surprises, but engages, extends a customers journey and even converts through creative display.

VM 9AJ Freiman, Ottawa – Taken from: International Window Display, 1966

This report forms part of a series that will continue in the build up to the Retail Design Expo. in March 2015. For more information, please contact cassie@weareyourstudio.com.

Tagged:YourStudio, Retail, Trends, Design, Digital, Visual Merchandising, Kenzo, Retail Design Expo

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