07 Oct Retail Recovery: Managing visual merchandising standards during Peak
In London, the temperature has dropped, the leaves are changing colour and the rain has returned. This can mean only one thing – the return of peak trading.
Aside from the onset of autumn, compared to previous years, this time the lead up to peak looks unrecognisable.
Three months of full lockdown in the UK put incredible strain on retailers, leading to closures, redundancies and sadly– we said goodbye to some retail chains.
Even a few months down the line, decreased footfall in some of the UKs most desirable shopping destinations is still a fraction of what it once was. Changed consumer behaviour during lockdown means people are going out to stores less and less, and in some areas, local lockdowns are having an impact on visitor numbers.
Perfect brand presentation
With decreased footfall and Christmas only round the corner, it’s never been more important for retailers to focus on brand, visual merchandising and in-store experience to draw customers to store.
You brainstormed, designed and signed off on your peak displays months ago. You’ve picked a theme and chosen the colour scheme; you know what products you want to feature and how to use lighting to enhance your display.
Your design looked great on paper and even better on the 3-D mock-up but has that translated to the store window? Your London flagship store might be making headlines, but what about your store in Truro?
It’s never been more important to make sure your brand is presented perfectly in every window, as well as in-store.
It may have been ok to focus your energies on your flagship stores last year, but with changing consumer habits, less commuting to major cities and comparatively high footfall in regional hubs, you need to make sure all your stores are presented perfectly from Tunbridge Wells to Carlisle.
Doing more with less
Sadly, over the last few months to streamline costs, there were redundancies and retailers are having to do more with less. And one team who have been hit particularly hard is the Visual Merchandising team.
It was hard for VM teams to visit all their stores last year, so with a reduced workforce, it’s an even bigger task to ensure all stores are presented perfectly.
That’s why StorIQ have put together some advice to help your VM team manage the Peak period and do more with less.
Compliance to photo requests
It isn’t possible to visit every store on launch day – so you need to be able to easily gather photos of every store so you can provide the necessary feedback.
All retailers share images of their stores. Sharing photos is a quick and easy way to see what your stores look like and monitor the implementation of new season launches.
Unfortunately, most retailers don’t use purpose-built tools to share photos, so it’s difficult and time consuming to monitor photo submission. Sharing photos on email or WhatsApp may have once been enough, but it’s ad hoc and impossible to give structured feedback to stores.
You need a platform that makes it easy for retail teams to share, manage and review in-store visual merchandising standards.
By being able to see every store window, side by side, it’s fast to iron out any issues, and you can monitor the compliance on any tasks created from these photos.
Visiting stores remotely
Over the last few months, virtual technology has become part of our daily life. It’s how we’ve connected with loved ones and managed our mental health. So, it only makes sense that we can use this technology to see what’s going on in stores.
With the right technology you can help your VM team to support their stores remotely and make sure every store is presented perfectly.
We’re all familiar with a store visit form. For VM teams this peak season this can be a powerful tool.
Hosting visit forms online mean visits can be completed in a couple of ways:
- Store teams can complete a “self-audit” and provide feedback and photo evidence.
- Store managers can use video to guide Area Managers around the store. Area Managers can complete their visit report digitally and it can be shared with stores online with all their actions.
By giving this feedback digitally you’re able to set tasks for stores and monitor compliance, so all stores can be compliant sooner.
Looking for clear communication, easy photo gathering and advanced task management? Why not schedule a demo with StorIQ? Click here to see what our platform could do for you!