Debunking the common myths about Visual Merchandising in the digital age.

Debunking the common myths about Visual Merchandising in the digital age

In a time where everything’s gone digital and our shopping habits are doing the cha-cha, it’s the flashy displays and first impressions that are the real MVPs in the retail game.

As a retailer, aren’t you always seeking innovative ways to increase your store footfalls, boost sales, and have a competitive advantage?

All these are integral when it comes to sustaining a thriving business. The world of retail is highly competitive. Now, more than ever, crafting a memorable and fascinating shopping experience for customers is crucial. You may say several aspects work towards a retailer’s overall performance, but providing an outstanding retail experience replete with personalization can help win customers’ hearts.

One critical factor that contributes to retail success is visual merchandising which has a direct impact on engagement, brand perception, and ultimately sales. However, there are a lot of myths around visual merchandising doing rounds, which might result in minor or improper implementation. Many retailers are clueless about applying VM mainly because of the misconceptions surrounding it.

As a provider working with renowned retailers, we recognize the impact of misconceptions and aim to dispel common myths surrounding Visual Merchandising in the retail industry.

An interesting tidbit before diving into details: Did you know that 82% of the shopping decisions are made by customers when inside a store?

What more compelling proof attesting to the effectiveness of Visual Merchandising.

Common Visual Merchandising myths

Myth 1: VM is only about aesthetics

Of course, Visual Merchandising is essential to make the retail outlet appear aesthetically pleasing, appealing, and beautiful, but VM is much more than just beautifying the store. In fact, it is an innovative marketing tool. On proper implementation, retailers can achieve all of the following:

  1. Having clear signage can streamline customer navigation throughout the store. Retailers can point customers in the direction of products that they want to focus on and increase sales. 
  2. Leave memorable impressions on the customers’ minds with engaging branding materials. It fosters both sales and engagement with the customers and wins customer loyalty.
  3. Strategic product placement can stimulate many impulse buys. This not only capitalizes on customer interest but also boosts sales.

Myth 2: Imitate the big retailers as they have expertise in Visual Merchandising

Many small boutique retailers presume that the big retailers know best about Visual Merchandising. In fact, they may assume that in all aspects of retail business. However, this is different when it comes to VM. The customer segment may be entirely different from the ones targeted by the big retail giants. The customers who visit your boutique store may not be enticed by the elements portrayed by the big stores’ customer segment. 

Imitating the big retail outlets very minutely can make the small retailers appear to be donning an exact copy. That will not justify the size and audience of the store at all. As a result, it is crucial to have your unique impression on the minds of your customers via the various aspects of VM. These can be in colors, signages, displays, and other techniques.

Myth 3: VM is an extremely time and energy-consuming activity

Retailers assume that putting up display arrangements that are big are complicated to set up. It may consume considerable time and effort, but this is not always true. We cannot always generalize visual merchandising as a time and effort-consuming activity. When the displays are smaller, they can be faster and simpler to execute. The primary purpose is to have clarity and know the real purpose of the display.

Myth 4: When executing VM, the checkout area is not that important

As we know, the checkout area is the final touchpoint before the customer exits the store. It is crucial to have the area uncluttered and spic-and-span to keep up the customer experience momentum. The last touchpoint of the store can make a lasting difference in the customers’ minds. It can give a positive impression and win customer loyalty. Furthermore, strategically placing items around this area can increase sales immensely. It is where customers wait in the queue and have the last urge to pick up things on impulse, eventually further boosting sales.

Myth 5: More square foot area results in more display space

A common visual merchandising myth is that a retail store with more square foot area will have more display space. This is a common myth, and it does not work like that. VM depends on the overall interior design of the space. For instance, if the front wall has big doors and windows, that will reduce the display space significantly.

In fact, retailers should ensure that they utilize the maximum space in the store. It requires a lot of planning to optimize space usage. Moreover, space requirements fluctuate due to product launches and additions of new products. So effective planning to maximize the space use is essential rather than having a higher square foot area ineptly designed.

Myth 6: You can see the results of Visual Merchandising immediately

A lot of different factors work in cohesion that results in boosting sales. Thus, it is a myth that you can immediately find the results of VM. Changing the store interiors, modifying the displays, and product placement may attract customers and temporarily increase sales. But there are several factors at play, such as offering discounts and offers, changing the product offerings, and more, along with reworking the VM of the store, which can significantly boost sales. Therefore, to calculate the ROI on VM, retailers must also consider these other factors.

Myth 7: The more the signages and branding- the better the VM results

It is a common myth to populate with marketing signages and branding materials, thinking it will create an impression in the customers’ minds. However, in VM, less is always more. Strategic placement and clear and concise marketing signs will encourage the customer to make the decision. Too many marketing signs can overwhelm customers, leading to confusion and decision fatigue. That is why visual merchandising should be minimal and clutter-free.

Myth 8: Follow the VM ideas suggested by vendors

Retailers often mindlessly adopt the Visual Merchandising ideas and trends suggested by their vendors. They do not need to do that as the shop owners understand their audience and needs better than their vendors. They would know what VM arrangements would enhance their store and attract more customers rather than their vendors.

Myth 9: Retail displays always have to be customized

A prevailing myth is that displays must always be highly customized to add brand value. While tailored displays work well and ensure the brand stands out, well-crafted generic displays also do well. In fact, if executed effectively, a well-designed generic display can be an absolute game-changer in Visual Merchandising. 

Myth 10: You cannot have consistent store displays across a retail company

Since there is a human element involved in the various stages of implementing Visual Merchandising, it can be challenging to maintain consistency. However, it is a myth. Retailers can have consistent store displays, arrangements, and overall ambiance that can significantly boost the retail experience. By adopting technology, maintaining consistency in VM is possible. You can check out the Proceso app for retailers that augments Visual Merchandising, enabling consistency across stores and also providing real-time insights for store managers and supervisors.

How to overcome

Utilizing process automation and checklists is not only a potent way to dispel visual merchandising myths but also ensures that organizational strategies seamlessly permeate the frontline. Through the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) embedded within detailed checklists, organizations can effectively communicate their visual merchandising strategy to frontline staff.

This systematic approach guarantees that every team member is equipped with a clear understanding of the desired outcomes, fostering consistency and adherence to brand guidelines. By incorporating automation and structured checklists into daily operations, organizations can strengthen the alignment between strategy and execution on the frontline, resulting in a unified and compelling visual merchandising impact that resonates with customers.


In conclusion, demystifying common myths about Visual Merchandising is pivotal for retailers aiming to gain a competitive edge and establish a consistent brand identity. By embracing technology-driven solutions like process automation, visual merchandising checklists, and SOPs, retailers can unlock the full potential of their frontline teams. These tools not only dispel misconceptions but also empower staff to execute strategic visual merchandising initiatives with precision and efficiency. The seamless integration of technology into daily operations ensures a unified and compelling brand image, driving maximum sales and customer engagement. As retailers continue to leverage these advancements, they position themselves at the forefront of the industry, delivering an unparalleled in-store experience that captivates consumers and fosters lasting brand loyalty.

If you are looking for a one-stop retail solution, check out the Proceso app, – a tried and tested solution embraced by leading retailers worldwide. This app goes beyond conventional boundaries, breaking down silos, empowering store managers and associates to seamlessly streamline all retail operations, including Visual Merchandising, task management, audit and compliance, and more.

Take the first step towards transforming your retail experience by requesting a demo now.

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