Merchandising to
all 5 Senses

When it comes to merchandising, most businesses think it only requires creating visually stimulating displays and perfecting their visual aesthetic. Many times, the other four senses we have do not get the same amount of attention from merchandisers. Having a complete sensory experience is the secret to an immersive and engaging shopping experience.​
The best thing to keep in mind while merchandising is your target market. This will make creative decisions down the line easier and your final product more cohesive. Here is a breakdown of how you can make the five senses work in your favor:


This is the sense that merchandisers usually understand the best. The possibilities of visual merchandising are endless. Sticking to the rule of three, proper lighting, keeping it current, and color theory are just some of the basics.These tools, combined with knowing your target market inside and out, can give you the power of being able to control where your customer looks first, how long they look, the direction in which they travel throughout the store and more. 


This can be broken down into two categories when it comes to merchandising. The first is the ambient sounds heard in your store. It’s hard to control the traffic outside your store front or the humming your heater makes when it kicks on, so the best way to manage the sound is by playing music. Remember to keep your target audience and general mood of the store in mind. The second set of sounds affecting your customers is the tone of the store employees. People can detect a range of emotions from your voice, so make sure the emotions they perceive are the ones you want them to feel while shopping in your store. Why would you want to buy something the salesman is clearly apathetic towards selling? You probably wouldn’t.


This is the primary advantage your brick-and-mortar has compared to your online competitors. A visual will bring them in, but the feel of the product will be a major deciding factor in their purchase. People want something that looks good as well as feels good. Make sure your displays are encouraging consumers to interact and ‘play’ with the product.


Having an aroma to your store can be a turn on or a turn off. Stick to a gentle, pleasant scent as your go to. Change it with the seasons to keep things current. It’s also a good rule of thumb to try and combat certain smells- keep your space clean, take out the garbage regularly, especially if there is food in it, and have your employees keep their lunches to the back/break room, and no fish in the microwave! Yuck!


This may be the hardest to control when your product is not centered around food or drink, but it’s not impossible. Having light refreshments for customers while they are waiting or browsing can drastically improve their experience. Even a small bowl of mints or chocolates at the register is just one small detail that can go a long way and help leave a lasting impact for the customer.

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