Four Trends in Visual Merchandising to Follow in 2019

The future of visual merchandising is driven by consumer experiences and the internet of things. Retail outlets (and customers) demand cutting-edge experiences along with visually stunning displays.

In the coming year, forward-thinking merchandisers will find inventive ways to create innovative displays that do more than just drive store traffic but engage and enliven audiences across a multitude of social sharing platforms. A truly successful display in 2019 is a work of art that creates buzz and uses smart technologies to extend brand identity and messaging beyond brick and mortar locations.

The following four essential trends in visual merchandising will define the year.

Extraordinary Experiences

The future of visual merchandising and retail displays is rich with creative custom experiences. Much like this ahead-of-its-time literal window shopping experience at the Kate Spade Saturday touch screen pop-up store in New York City, experiential displays will transport customers from an ordinary shopping experience to an extraordinary one.

Of course, technology, particularly touch screen technology, can play an important and impressive role in creating cutting edge visual displays but sometimes a simple concept, creatively executed can result in an attention grabbing display. Vending machines are a popular idea that have had a moment, like this luxury handbag one in Fendi Paris or this fast fashion dispenser at Uniqlo.

In 2019, the sky is the limit in terms of creative experiences, but expect to see more displays inspired by ironic millennial sensibilities. An ironic diner scene where shoes are ordered from a menu and delivered on a tray by a waitress with cat eye glasses and roller skates? Maybe! An ironic flea market display stocked entirely with luxury items? Yes, please!

Leaders Cultivate Followers

Consider the ubiquity of the selfie. Why not create an aesthetically appealing, dedicated space for customers to engage with merchandise and take the perfect selfie? Provide your customers with a brand-specific hashtag to use when sharing on social media platform like Instagram and Twitter.

Promoting giveaways or offering to share properly hashtagged posts to your brand’s official social media channel further incentivizes customers to engage in social sharing, broadens your reach, and cultivates metrics for measuring campaign success.

Inbound-Inspired Visual Displays

Smart marketers know that a central tenant of a successful inbound strategy is the creation of relevant content that is helpful to prospective and current customers. Expect to see the same strategy applied to retail displays in the new year. Signage and other collateral that offers useful information can extend your brand’s identity and messaging while strengthening brand loyalty among current and prospective customers.

Think about creating signage that teaches customers all of the different ways to wear a capsule wardrobe collection. Or offer relevant recipes utilizing ingredients on display. Including Quick Response (QR) codes on this type of informative signage can allow customers to further engage with your brand on their smartphones while gathering useful metrics for your marketing department.

Smart Displays. Smart Tech

The single thread that connects all of these 2019 trends is the creative use of smart technologies. Now more than ever it is easy to engage with customers beyond brick and mortar locations. Smart technologies like QR codes and social hashtags connect customers do more than create rich experiences for customers and connect target audiences with your brand – they connect your brand with customers. Utilize these smart technologies to collect key metrics about target demographics that can be used effectively across internal departments. Look to integrate these smart technologies seamlessly into creative retail displays.