Use 3D Design to Enhance Visual Merchandising to Achieve Your Own “Target Effect”

Have you ever gone to Target for one item and walked out with several more? You have experienced the “Target Effect,” which is simply the pop culture term for effective visual merchandising. The layout of every Target store, while familiar, presents an integrated shopping experience that “facilitates a sense of inspiration and discovery” according to Target’s PR department. Shoppers are seeing more products and think “I need this too.” However, the Target effect is not limited to only Target stores. Any retail store, high-end or low-end, large or small, can create compelling visual merchandising with 3D design software before a single shelf is moved.

Design and Navigate Store in 3D

With a modern computer and video card, it is now possible to generate 3D environments that can be virtually walked through. And with cloud-based technology, the designer can be in a different state or country while you and your team are brainstorming.

A virtual store layout can be changed with a few clicks and a few more taps on the keyboard. Change color schemes, textures, change posters and displays, move the POS terminals around, and much more. Then, virtually walk through the aisles, visualize the brands and categories, and see if the retail concept experience is working before it rolls out to an actual store.

A store has to cater to its particular clientele, even large chain discount stores like Target. A Philadelphia Target in a trendy up-and-coming area is designed for young professionals and college students and stocks items for condo and apartment living, for example. Other Target stores are customized for their local clientele. City Target, for example, is a small foot-print store (compared to full-sized Target) for downtown or student grab-and-go crowds. Again, this is not just for discount stores. High-end stores know their customers and create experiences just for them.

Visualize Promotions Before Implementation

If you have a new promotion campaign, it is essential to visualize the promotion before actual implementation. No two stores are exactly alike, and the minor differences can lead to costly problems. Where are the posters and signs going, where should the overhead lights and spotlights be, and much more? You need the customer’s eyes to be directed to the right place, and discover items on their own, leading them to purchase more.

Online retailers can recommend items, but they can’t showcase related items the way a physical store can. Emphasize this advantage, get the customers into the stores, give them personalized service, and they will keep coming back.

Reduce Launch Time of Brands and Retail Concepts

New brand displays and retail concepts are launched all the time. Unlike interior design, visual merchandising is not meant to be long-term. You need a focal point, a unique story, and still must squeeze in the maximum amount of merchandise on display.

With 3D space planning and virtual store design, you can conduct virtual shopper tests by giving test shoppers the ability to virtually walk through your store, see what they see, look at what they concentrate on, how their eyes move around and focus on, and see if your focal point and visual branding worked. You can even create A/B testing and see which layout is more agreeable with your test audience. This reduces the cost of actual merchandise staging.

Manufacturers can show retailers how to best showcase their product. Retailers can demonstrate their branding and retail concepts to manufacturers or other clients. Using virtual shopper behavior data, you shall prove your brands and retail concepts actually work on consumers, instead of on your staff and insiders.

Don’t Forget 3D Printing

Visual Merchandising doesn’t have to only use shelves and walls. A new generation of ultra-large 3D printers can create props of several feet tall on-demand, often within a few hours. Imagine a 3D relief object or a 3D accessory instead of a flat poster as your focal point for your display.

➡️ If you’re looking for a firm who understands the ins and outs of visual merchandising – someone who goes beyond the basics and looks for a way to really conceptualize your vision, contact us. We can work with you to figure out exactly what kinds of displays will both draw in customers and fit with you as an overall brand.