Easy ways to create eye-catching displays

November 15, 2008

Visual merchandising is the art of displaying merchandise to encourage sales. Dispensing ophthalmology practices can create eye-catching displays by following some simple rules. Grouping frames by price point and brand helps to organize options for the customer. Displays can highlight individual brands through repetition, a pyramid design, using odd, rather than even numbers of items, considering the texture of background materials, and more.

Key Points

Vsual merchandising is the art of displaying merchandise to encourage sales. National retailers, department stores, and large eyewear chains have professional visual merchandisers whose job it is to create enticing displays that sell products. Eye-care practices normally don't have the luxury of professional help in this area.

You may be lucky enough to have someone on staff with an artistic bent who has a natural knack for putting displays together. Even if you don't, you can have good-looking and effective displays by following these visual merchandising tips.

Display different price points

Moderate-priced frames should be shown on frame bars or on a peg-system frame board where mirrors, shelves, and photos can be interspersed with single-frame holders for variety. Some of your brand name frames may fall into the moderate-priced category. Those frames need some shelf area that allows you to display brand-identifying props supplied by vendors.

High-end brands should never be shown on frame bars or massed together on a frame board. Glass or solid shelves and white backgrounds with bright halogen lighting are required to make frame colors pop and jewelry-like styles sparkle. The perceived value of those frames is tied to the brand name, so displaying each brand together as a collection is essential.

Your highest-priced frames should be displayed in showcases behind locked glass doors. Even if you don't lock the doors, presenting frames that way establishes higher value in the mind of the customer. Free-standing pedestal (single level) and tower (two or three level) showcases also are good for displaying high-end collections.

Never crowd high-end frames together. The closer frames are jammed together, the cheaper they look. Give your high-end frames some "breathing space." Show off their distinctive style that sets them apart from ordinary frames. You can group a collection together on a shelf, but leave some space between groups so patients can distinguish one brand from another and notice all the design details that make them special.

Brand identity

Designers and manufacturers put a lot of time, effort, and dollars into promoting their brand names to consumers. Your displays should help patients easily identify the brands whose image they relate to best. Make it easy for patients to spot the brands they want by selective use of a few of the point-of-purchase props and signage that the vendors supply.

For luxury frame lines, merchandising by brand is critical for price acceptance. No one will pay $500 or more for a "no-name" frame. The name gives the patient an assurance of value and quality, so make sure brand names are prominent in your high-end displays.

Image enhancement

Romance your frames by displaying your collections in ways that enhance the image of that brand. If you follow these basic visual merchandising principles, you'll have good-looking displays that sell:

Repetition. Using identical elements and repeating them over and over again creates a very powerful display. This simple idea can have a lot of punch. For example, you can line up a series of frames that are all the same style but different colors. It really doesn't matter how you support them. Just make sure they are all positioned exactly the same way or the display will lose impact. You get an additional benefit from this type of display: it reinforces the idea that you have a wide selection of frames.

Pyramid. If you place one frame at the highest point of the display and let all the other elements step down from that point, you will create a very effective design. That top focal point attracts attention and makes the display interesting to view. This strategy always works. You really can't construct a bad pyramid display.