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Sales promotions visual merchandising

Exploring two traditional approaches to marketing used in the promotional mix—sales promotions and visual merchandising.

While sales promotions and merchandising are traditional methods of promoting merchandise, they have been elevated through the internet in order to target customers more effectively and provide a better user experience.

In this step, you will learn about the tactics used to target the attention of customers and convert them from passive observers to active consumers.

Sales promotions

Sales promotions are used to introduce a new product line, clear inventories, and/or temporarily increase demand and sales. These short-term tactics to increase sales used by fashion brand companies are aimed at both retail accounts (for companies who sell merchandise to multi-brand retailers) and the ultimate consumer. For example, a fashion brand company may offer retail accounts discounts on merchandise which the retailer may promote as a “special purchase.”

When aimed at ultimate consumers, sales promotions holiday sales, end-of-season discounts, loyalty program discounts, buy-one-get-one (BOGO) promotions, gifts with purchase, and other incentives for customers to purchase merchandise.

Visual merchandising

Visual merchandising is “showing merchandise and concepts at their very best, with the end purpose of making a sale” (Pegler & Kong 2018). Fashion brand companies implement effective visual merchandising at the wholesale level in showrooms and/or booths when showing samples to retail buyers and at the retail level when presenting merchandise in brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce. Regardless of whether the customers are retail accounts or the ultimate consumer, the goals of visual merchandising are to provide information about products and to create positive attitudes among customers that attract them to approach (and ultimately purchase) merchandise.

Both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retailers present merchandise to the customer through visual imagery. Visual merchandising for brick-and-mortar retailers includes window and in-store displays and in-store merchandise fixtures (e.g., floor cases, rounders, signage, point-of-purchase displays). Because the customer shopping online cannot touch, feel, or physically try on the merchandise, visual presentations rely on multiple images, technology (e.g., zoom, virtual try-on), and written descriptions.

A visual merchandising display by UNIQLO which involves exhibiting their merchandise on meticulously positioned and posed mannequins.

As part of their visual merchandising strategy, UNIQLO uses displays with mannequins.
Thus, at the retail level in both brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce, effective visual merchandising is designed to make it easier for the shopper to locate merchandise, to self-select merchandise, and coordinate and accessorize on their own. For example, cross-merchandising strategies as seen in the in-store Burberry display allow fashion brands to display total fashion images and demonstrate to consumers how their many product categories, such as apparel, footwear, and other accessories, work together. The results of effective visual merchandising are that the customer experiences a shopping environment that is convenient, comfortable, and stressless.
Burberry’s in-store displays are an example of effective cross-merchandising strategies.

You will continue to learn about more personal marketing methods used to target customers directly, such as direct marketing and personal selling. You’ll explore different examples of each method as well as the roles involved in the processes.

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Introduction to Fashion Brand Marketing and Retailing

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