Traditionally, Visual Merchandisers and Marketers have relied on intuition to develop merchandising and promotional strategies. But as retailers compete against other stores and websites to win the attention of customers, it is critical to stand out from the competition.
Online retailers have been able to A/B test their sites quickly (and affordably) for years. Physical stores, however, have only recently had access to the metrics and insights needed to improve their layout and merchandising strategies.
A/B testing store design drives sales and improves the customer experience:
1) Understand the Impact of Seasonal / Temporary Displays
Halloween is this week — what’s the first thing a customer sees when they enter the store? Does it remind them to pick up candy and decorations for the upcoming holiday? Is it what they came to the store for? Does it encourage them to buy additional items? What impact do these displays have on the flow of customer traffic? By assessing the impact of new displays, you can stay ahead of the curve as different seasons and holidays bring in specific traffic.
2) Observe Fixture / Display Arrangements
Changes to displays and fixtures can significantly affect the paths customers take as they explore the store. In order to help customers navigate to best-sellers or big-ticket items, it’s important to understand the way they move in order to best cater to their in-store journey.
3) Validate the Effectiveness of Promotional Signage
Is your external signage effective at driving traffic into you stores? Is your in-store signage effective at drawing customers to a particular department or product? By analyzing traffic patterns before and after the addition of signage, you can quickly understand and iterate on these findings.
A/B testing can help provide actionable insights to better serve and relate to your customers. It shouldn’t be a one-time fix, but rather an ongoing process since the retail space is always evolving.