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36 Things a Visual Merchandiser Should Know How To Do

By on April 8, 2012

I am giving myself an assignment of making helpful list of important things that you [visual merchandiser] need to know how to do to become more effective, not just for the benefit of the company where you are working, but also for the advancement of your career – personal benefit.

Career Management

Let us always remember that we do not hold the future of the company where we are currently working. Who knows if there will be untoward problems that may happen next month or the other month or next year or the other year, and the store where you are currently working will be closed. [God forbid.] It is always important to be ready.

Most successful people are those who master the art Plan B.
[I just can’t remember whose line is this. Sorry, I forget. Just tell me if you know. ^_^]

There are much thing to talk about but we need to proceed now to our key points. Let’s start.

1. Make a Resume

An essential tool of a visual merchandiser to get a job is a resume. This serves as an advertisement to be called for an interview. When a visual merchandiser fails to make an effective resume, how could he then land a better visual merchandising job?

2. Answer an Interview

Oftentimes, applicants fail to communicate their value to the target employer. Although you don’t need to speak like a diplomat but at least you know how answer and interview which will guaranteed you to be hired.

3. Develop A Career Plan

A career plan is a roadmap to your career success. It will guide to become a better professional and help you make good decisions in times that changes may come in your career.

4. Make a Portfolio

This is a collection of your works, the best samples. The proof of your performance should be found on your portfolio; you can build credibility by showing people the sample of you previous projects because through it, they could presume what you can do for them.

5. Use Social Media Professionally

I have known many visual merchandisers online and most of them failed to use the social media professionally. They have their reason about it but if you are serious with your visual merchandising career, you can use the power of social media to bring you better opportunities.

6. Create an Accomplishment Report

Usually, visual merchandisers are not obliged to make an accomplishment report but if you are a visual merchandiser who does your job well yet get unnoticed, you have to do your accomplishment report even if you are not required, then pass it to your head. No one would know what benefits you have contributed to the company if you won’t tell them.

Productivity Techniques

I just don’t know if you have read my article about two principles to follow to be efficient and effective at work. If not, please read it. I give some points there about the 80/20 Rule and the Parkinson’s Law.

For now, we have her some techniques on how to become more productive as visual merchandisers; the additional things every visual merchandiser should know how to do.

7. Coach

As visual merchandiser, you are expected to know more and better techniques about visual merchandising and it is also part of you role to coach the sale staff about the basics especially the newbie in the retail industry.It is not only an avenue to share you knowledge and skill with your co-workers but it will also lighten your job id there are many staff who know how to do some of common tasks on the visual merchandisers.

8. Plan and Budget

We always hear that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail and if do not budget, you will be out of budget. Planning and budgeting is important for every visual merchandiser to carry through every project. Even daily tasks that are proper planned will make your job run smoothly.

9. Organize and Mange Time

Wherever you may be assigned as visual merchandiser; may it be it in a small store or in mall. The way you organize you things and manage your time always affects you performance. You have to choose to organized or to agonized.

10. Use Google Effectively

The internet has all the information you could ever imagine, from the best things to the worst and Google is the top search engine that could deliver you the accurate if not most related answer to your question.

11. Stay Safe at Work

Safety first because a visual merchandiser who falls on ladder and become injured is surely cannot finish his work. Not only that, some daily tasks of visual merchandisers are more risky than climbing a ladder. That is why extra care is necessary. You work as visual merchandiser to earn a living; don’t let hospitals to take the benefit of that earning.

12. Conduct Research

Trend is always a trend, it is never static. A visual merchandiser should always know what is “IN” and what is “OUT” enable to capture more attention of the customers. Conducting research is the portal to providing better visual merchandising strategies that would suit to the needs of the shoppers.

Basic Technical Skills and Knowledge

Some of these things are perhaps you already know but they are still listed here considering that there are still those who are starting to familiarize them.

13. Use Word Processing Program

This may sound funny but this is the truth, not all visual merchandisers know how to use word processing program. We are now in digital age; typewriters are now founds at the museums.

14. Use Spreadsheet Program

Tables and numbers and best done in a spreadsheet program (like Microsoft Excel). This tool could be effective when you are dealing with reports which need calculation of figures.

15. Use Presentation Program

The better with to communicate with your boss or with your group is to present your project proposal is to use presentation program. You are a visual merchandiser so perhaps you know that visual aids enhance the saleability of your idea. This is why you need to know how to use a presentation program.

16. Use Graphic Design Software

Graphic design is now an essential part of visual merchandising. The signage, posters and other graphics are very important on building a better store image. In fact, many companies are now hiring “visual merchandiser cum graphic designer” who obviously performs both visual merchandising and graphic design tasks.

17. Use DSLR Camera

You can produce more creative photos with DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) than compact cameras. You are in retail industry where knowledge and skill in product photography is important and DSLR Cameras has an advance features which allow you to customize; knowing how to use those advance feature will give you a good kick as visual merchandiser.

  • Refer to the manual of your DSLR camera

18. Take Good Photos

Knowing how to use a DSLR camera is not a guaranty that you could take good photos. It is not just important that you could take good pictures of your projects which you can add into your portfolio but because good photos are one of the elements of graphic design. You need to take product photos that could help sell the item.

19. Harmonized Color

The worst visual merchandisers are he who do not know color harmony. You cannot be called “visual merchandiser” if you omit he first word from it. Colors are proven to draw attention but if there are not used properly, they will become sore to the eyes.

20. Draw

Whether you will be making a window display design or conceptualizing poster, you would need first pencil and paper to sketch your idea. Aside from that, in time than computers and printers are not available, you have to manually write the prices using marker pens or chalk. The skills in drawing are useful in these cases.

21. Set up Window Display

Should you argue on this? You cannot absolutely be a visual merchandiser if you do not know hot design and set a window display. Window display is a legend and making an effective one is your greatest task as visual merchandiser.

22. Make Display Props

Window display and other indoor display could not be completed without the props because props beautify and props support the items. To rent props every time you needed them is very expensive and is not advisable to be done regularly. Paper crafts and recycled materials are the most cost effective props visual merchandisers could use.

23. Dress Mannequins

It is very easy to dress a mannequin. That’s true. But do you know that is not as easy as removing the arms and the legs of the dummy then put shirts and pants into it? To dress a mannequin is to think like a fashion design. Yes, to think like a fashion designer because not all visual merchandisers have background on fashion design and not all visual merchandisers know how to choose right combination of merchandise to be used for mannequins.

24. Set up Lights

Most store windows have fixed lighting system. What visual merchandisers need to do is to adjust where to point the beam on the spot lights but for some display which are to be located in a temporary place, the visual merchandisers have to set up lighting system by themselves and remove it together with all the display props after the duration of the display.

25. Flower Arrangement

It is the Art of arranging flowers to become more pleasing to eyes. Whether it is a set of fresh or dried flowers of the artificial ones, flowers are needed to be presented well are props or a decoration inside the store.

26. Cloth Styling

This is very effective especially when you store has special activities or promotion. Draping — to cover, dress, or hang with or as if with cloth in loose folds — is the most known cloth styling technique.

27. Table Skirting

This to cover the front and side of the table with cloth that often done with table throw or table runner. A well skirted table could enhance the attractiveness of the items on it. This is often done for perfume and cosmetics .

28. Style Balloons

Aside from cloth styling, the fastest way to decorate a big store during rush times is by using balloons. Just remember that floating balloons will only lasts for few hours so if the promotion or any activity in your store will lasts for three days, just use the natural air to puff the balloons.

29. Display Products

In whatever form of advertising, it is always important to remember that the product is the king. The same is true with visual merchandising, the effort of visual merchandiser should focus on how to increase the saleability of the products by displaying them attractively. How the products are being presented is very important in retailing.

30. Stick Large Stickers

Sounds funny? ^_^ This might be simple but if you tried doing this for the first time without any idea how to start, you will be surely sweating even the area where you are working is air conditioned. Make sure to have background knowledge before doing this task because once the sticker is not properly stuck or will be torn, you will be in trouble.

Advance Knowledge And Skills

I have identified these last six items as ‘advance knowledge and skills because these are those things that would be necessary if you are planning to have higher visual merchandising job position like visual merchandising manager or VM assistant manage. These items may be not required for an entry level visual merchandiser.

31. Use 3D design applications

Creating planogram is already a part of the job of a visual merchandiser, and learning to use a 3D design application is very important to accomplish such tasks. Though some company hire draftsman instead of giving such kind of work to visual merchandiser, it would be another good points for you as visual merchandiser if you know how to do it.

32. Master Consumer Behavior

To have deep understanding on consumer behavior is an essential part of your job if you the visual merchandising head and every visual merchandiser as well because this would be the basis on how you can create something that will make the consumer react on what you have presented inside and outside the store – something that may fill their needs.

33. Apply Merchandising Standards

Let us remember that visual merchandising is just a part of ‘merchandising’. We may think of ‘setting standards’ be be choking but it is a part of being professional. These are the do’s and don’ts of merchandising or shall we say, code of ethics.

34. Conceptualize Interactive Display

I am not saying that you will be the one to create an interactive window display but if you could, that would bee good. ^_^ To conceptualize an interactive display means to come up with a new interactive display idea.

35. Know Legal and Safety Requirement

To create a display that attracts people without considering legal ans safety requirements is putting yourself is a big trouble. Think about hanging a 50 kilograms of props on a ceiling that has capacity of holding 30 kilograms. Think of making a window display that promotes the use op illegal drugs. What would be the consequences if you going to do that?

36. Lead and Manage People

Don’t think of holding on you current potion. If you will be a good visual merchandiser, you will sure be promoted to lead the group of visual merchandisers in your company soon. Or may find another job which requires you to manage group of workers. Learning how to lead and manage people is the skills that are learned.  Have time to acquire them.

Visual merchandiser, what else I forget?

Have I not included something which you think so important to be learned by a visual merchandiser? Or are there something you agree or disagree about what are being mentioned above?  If yes, let’s discuss that on the comment.

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  1. tatess

    June 18, 2012 at 1:20 am

    There are a lot to consider being a visual merchandiser and if you want to be successful in this field,a career plan must be followed otherwise , you’ll not gonna cope up with the growing competition.
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  2. Clever Oliviera

    October 9, 2012 at 3:55 am

    It is perfect time to make a few plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I may I want to suggest you few fascinating things and advices. Perhaps you can write next articles regarding this article. I want to learn more issues about it!

  3. Somer Buccino

    October 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Just desire to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your publish is simply cool and that i can think you’re knowledgeable on this subject. Fine together with your permission let me to snatch your feed to keep updated with impending post. Thank you one million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  4. Ronan White

    October 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    This post is really helpful fir visual merchandisers who wanted to pursue his career in visual merchandising yet has no enough budget to spend in taking a formal education or get a course online.

    ‘Love the resources being provided here.

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  6. jason dixson

    May 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Very very helpful.

  7. Jeannie

    May 26, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    This type of very useful write-up. Quite interesting to read this particular article. I wish to we appreciate you the particular initiatives you’d created for pinning this awesome post.

  8. reni

    July 10, 2013 at 6:49 am

    how can i write a merchandaiser report for a electronic shop???

  9. Jaz

    August 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I noticed that you talk about a career plan – as does someone in the previous comments. How can I find out how to make a plan, and what it should contain for a visual merchandiser.


  10. Louis

    September 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Good list. It is like a reminder for visual merchandisers.

  11. Chin Liew

    September 4, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    This is a lot of things to remember, but it is a good reviewer of the things that we might forget.

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  13. Amy

    January 23, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    As I almost reach the end of my degree and I am looking into careers (this being one I feel most passionate about) this has helped me so much! Took so many notes and advice for my portfolio and I now actually feel excited to put these into action!

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