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14 Examples of Visual Merchandising

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Visual merchandising is the design of environments such as retail shops, showrooms and trade fair displays. This is an important component of customer experience and brand identity. The design of retail environments also has a direct and significant impact on revenue. The following are common examples of visual merchandising.

Display Windows

Display windows are glass enclosures on the exterior walls of a shop. They are often designed with elaborate displays to attract customers and capture the spirit of a brand. Display windows are one of the most creative aspects of marketing. A long list of well known writers and artists once worked as window dressers.

Store Layout

The floor plan of a retail location or showroom. This tends to be oriented towards encouraging customers to spend more time shopping. For example, people naturally tend to start at the left side of a shop. If you find ways to initially direct them to the right side they tend to stay longer.

Interior Displays

Eye-catching displays of products. For example, a car showroom may show a cross section of an engine designed to illustrate the technical complexity of the product.


Models of humans for interior or window displays. Allows clothing to be displayed as worn. Typically designed not to look too human due to the uncanny valley effect. Often mannequins are headless.

Point of Purchase Display

Product displayed at the checkout tends to sell well as people make last second purchases. As such, this area is often optimized with things customers are likely to buy on impulse.

Lighting Design

Lighting design has a significant impact on the atmosphere of an environment and how products appear. For example, blaring fluorescent lighting can feel cheap and discomforting while soft ambient light tends to feel more luxurious and calm.


Music has a significant impact on a customer's mood.


It is common to use aroma diffusers with essential oils and other aroma compounds to set a mood.

Interior Design

The decorative elements of retail interiors such as color, fittings, structural space, interior materials and architectural features.


Exterior and interior graphics such as signs.

Seasonal Displays

It is common to completely redecorate a store for a number of seasons throughout the year such as Halloween and Christmas.

Product Displays

The display of products. Discount shops may be designed to pack in as much product as possible into the available space. Luxury brands may present products with generous space that feels much like an art museum.

Product Categories

It is common for product to be displayed by category for an organized feel. Large retail shops such as supermarkets develop a system of product categories that puts like-items in close proximity.

Cross Merchandising

Cross merchandising is the practice of placing items in the wrong category such that they stand out or complement the category.
Overview: Visual Merchandising
The design of environments that display products such as retail shops and showrooms.
Related Concepts
More about visual merchandising:
Color Theory
Commercial Art
Cross Merchandising
Display Window
Flagship Locations
Graphic Design
Local Store Marketing
Merchandising Design
Store Within A Store
Trade Fairs
Visual Branding
More ...
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