Appropriate merchandising strategy plays an integral role in the success of fashion companies. Fashion brands adopt appealing marketing strategies to sustain them ahead of their competitors. Merchandising strategies such as understanding customer needs, maximizing exposure in retail stores and personalizing the shopping experience in e-commerce help multiply customer turnover, thus increasing sales. Good merchandising strategies in the fashion and non-fashion industries help companies improve brand recognition and boost sales. Different hypotheses, such as the placement by pricing and themed environments theories, can be used to identify the steps relevant to adopting better marketing strategies for the non-fashion industry. The non-fashion sector, which mainly focuses on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), food products, and technology, can adopt similar merchandising strategies to promote products, thus increasing marketing. Building brand loyalty starts with constant engagement with the target audience, elevating their perception of the company’s brand, and promptly providing quality products or services. Adopting the retail merchandising strategies incorporated with visual and online merchandising for e-commerce as in the fashion industry will benefit the non-fashion industry.
Retail Merchandising Strategies to Drive Sales
To support the points of view in this scientific paper, a literary review was conducted. The most valuable data and information were added to the work to provide evidence-based research. Summarizing all the sources studied, it is worth noting that various literary sources were studied. Hence, the chosen study considered which merchandising strategies can be effective for non-fashion industries and which aspects are particularly critical in them. Among the methods that were used in the sources, there are surveys, secondary data analysis, focus groups, and various mixed methods. Among the main findings is the provision of valuable information about fashion theories, the importance of using the visual component in advertising, and aspects that should be taken into account when compiling a retail merchandising strategy.
Adopting the five retail merchandising strategies implemented by most fashion companies is important since it can help in the promotion of sales in non-fashion companies. Therefore, the article by Gamali (2021) showed that in this new age, technology has facilitated trade by making products available to clients via mobile applications or websites. Most shoppers prefer in-store to online shopping because of the ability to test the products or verify their quality. Stores are also present to those willing to commute and have one-on-one interactions with the products before buying. Gucci adopts a merchandising strategy that aims to be the hottest brand that produces products that appeal to everyone (Fantauzzi et al., 2019). Technological companies must adopt the same approach and provide equipment such as laptops or smartphones appropriate to each age bracket.
Fashion companies offer online services with door-to-door deliveries and even international deliveries. Customers no longer have to step into retail stores to get specific products. Orders are made easy and accessible via mobile applications or company websites; with a single click, the item gets bought. Fantauzzi et al. (2019) wrote that Nike products are made available online to all customers locally and internationally. Retail and online stores are accessible to all clients, maximizing customer reach and increasing profits. Nike, as a fashion brand, products such as shoes, jerseys, and shorts are made available within 24 hours of ordering while offering a range of products for all ages (Jayathilaka, 2021; Nike, n.d.). Other companies which do not create clothing or shoes, such as Amazon Fresh, which provides grocery shopping, can adopt this strategy to maximize sales. Potential customers may find it difficult to commute to stores and back. Online shopping and delivery is the best solution that grocery and food stores can adopt. Many customers find it hard to go to stores; thus, online shopping will be highly appreciated leading to more sales and profits.
Competition in the fashion industry has prompted engaged companies to add more products and services to the customers, which is essential for effective product distribution and the profit of the company. With the high competition in the fashion industry, designers aim to create long-lasting and quality design products. Nike offers 100 percent original products with a long life span, making them the leading sportswear producer (Fernando, 2021). The main competitors include Adidas, Fila, and Puma, who strive to produce products of the same quality. In recent research, United States adults above 18 gave Nike a quality score of 53 compared to 37 for Adidas (Fernando, 2021). Jayathilaka (2021) emphasized that Nike ensures quality standards are met by continually communicating with suppliers on the type of material they require. They offer training and support to their suppliers through the Total Quality Management (TQM) approach, ensuring they get quality products. Non-fashion companies, especially those dealing with the trade of food items and groceries, need to adopt similar merchandising strategies. Companies like Instacart and Amazon Fresh should provide financial and training support to the local farm producers to ensure the products delivered are of the same quality each time.
Customer choice is an integral part that can heavily influence the functioning of the fashion brands and organizations. Various company fashion shows promote their products in different universe areas such as Asia, America, and Africa. The fashion industry is relatively competitive, and numerous fashion brands offer stiff competition with the existing ones to lead in displaying modern trends in the market. Luis Vuitton makes efforts to keep up with the speed of the modem fashion trends and hence can maintain market share, sales, and profits (Gamali, 2021). The France-based fashion company only focuses on its exclusive stores making it not accessible to all potential clients. As a result, limited sales are caused due to low customer engagement with the store (Wickramasinghe, 2021). Companies that offer fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) need to identify the limitations that make their products, not to sale. Companies like Target and Kroger can adopt the fast delivery marketing strategy to ensure perishable products are delivered in the quickest way possible. It can be made possible through joint trading with local grocery shops, minimizing the distance to be covered by transporters.
Research Retail Merchandising Trends
Further, literary review showed that social retail allows fashion companies to use social media in their marketing strategies for customer reach. The two largest fashion companies in the United Kingdom are Burberry and Next Plc (Parker, 2022). In maintaining their superiority in the industry, the two conduct retail merchandising trends research to identify what their customers prefer. The research by Wickramasinghe (2021) underlined that the links to the companies’ websites are provided alongside each product on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. Virtual showrooms are also adopted to enable customers to navigate the range of products the companies have, which they find interesting (Wickramasinghe, 2021). Customers are free to browse and guide as they look for potential products or better options than their current ones. Samsung and other technology giants like Apple need to adopt the same strategy. Identifying the customers’ most preferred way of acquiring products will be essential in engaging them with company products. Interactive retail merchandising displays and virtual displays must be provided to ensure all customers can navigate through the range of products available. Most customers opt for digital assets from physical stores, while others opt for online reviewing and purchasing.
Challenging market environments and its insufficient management can lead to sales failing, thus causing supply chain disruptions. This highlights the importance of this aspect of the study. Out of stocks lead to lower loyalty levels, reduced customer satisfaction, and lost sales, which are bad for business growth (Shiwanga, 2021). Fashion companies prevent out-of-stores by using modern inventory systems that ensure data is accurate and reordered promptly. Adidas recently faced supply and demand issues by failing to meet the required number of sportswear demands by clients. Shiwanga (2021) showed that the result was the reduction of close to 2 percent of sales points growth, restricting it to between 5 and 8 percent. The article also provided information that the company adopted several strategies, such as using accurate demand forecasting and calculating reorder points to prevent similar scenarios in the future. Non-fashion companies can adopt similar approaches to ensure they stay relevant and maintain competition in the market. Companies selling grocery products need consistent supply as customers are always readily available. Constant supply of these products can only be made possible by ensuring good transport and enough produce from the farms or leading suppliers. Calculating reorder points will provide adequate information on the minor stock level the company needs to reach before restocking.
Influencer Marketing in Retail Spaces
Fashion brands implement social media as a tool to improve the marketing of a non-fashion companies. Influencer marketing is of critical importance since it can positively affect the functioning of the organization. They help to enhance sales and draw more customers to the products. Positive customer experiences are obtained by fashion companies that use influencer marketing techniques. Influence marketing is a fairly new trend in the field of product promotion and distribution. This is due to the fact that it has gained popularity with the spread of the influence of social networks and the media personalities who work in them. A particularly valuable feature of this method of marketing is the fact that people often take seriously the opinion of people who are authorities for them. Listening to the opinion of influencers, people will be more inclined to buy things that their favorite bloggers have.
Influence marketing can provide many opportunities to promote not only fashion industry products, but also non-fashion brands. Marketing is made easy when brands are exposed to the public as they are made aware of the benefits and accessibility of the services or products available. Most fashion-based companies utilize social media platforms to increase brand recognition. Nike, Adidas, Fila, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry participate in online marketing campaigns through adverts and promoters (Singh and Shukla, 2022). Therefore, YouTube demos help provide adequate information regarding the quality and fabrics used in making clothes or shoes (Singh and Shukla, 2022). Dior, Burberry, and Chanel are the most influential luxury fashion brands that use YouTube to engage with consumers and promote brand identity (Singh and Shukla, 2022). In addition, YouTube and other social networks, such as Instagram or Facebook, can also be actively used by companies to promote products. Therefore, it can be used by companies producing electronic gadgets to explain the uses and provide essential evidence why the products should be considered more. Food market companies should provide many adverts that indicate the types of groceries they have and how easy they can reach the customers to maximize sales.
The influence of customers’ opinions and preferences is of particular importance for the success of the company in selling the products offered. Their attention is easily attracted through the provision of signs and displays. Most fashion companies adopt monument signs that indicate the products available, the location they are found, and the number the company can be reached (Kim, Miao, and Hu, 2021). Each fashion company has its unique logo that can be distinguished from the others, establishing identity and position. Well-designed window displays have increased sales as customers get curious to see and buy the products (Parker, 2022). Dior has set up a Tokyo shop that displays Japanese cultural clothes (Kim, Miao, and Hu, 2021). Other brands have display shops worldwide that aim at one thing, promoting merchandise through visual help. Non-fashion companies can adopt this by ensuring their products are set up in transparent glasses that some passersby can see. Appealing products will create a sense of curiosity, and potential clients will enter the store to purchase the products available, be they electronic gadgets or groceries.
In all physical stores, shoes, slippers, and other foot products are located in a single location. Nike uses visual merchandising methods to help customers navigate its product range (Jhawar and Kushwaha, 2017). Women’s and men’s clothes are kept separately from children’s clothes. Products are also arranged by size, from the smallest to the largest. Grouping the products like this make them easily accessible, which makes the customer purchasing experience good. The merchandising strategy has proved to be sufficient as the company is known to be the largest fashion brand in the world (Jhawar and Kushwaha, 2017). In grocery shops, a similar trend can be applied to ensure vegetables are separated from fruits or any other edible product. Gadget-producing companies must also adopt the same by adequately separating each product based on size and usage. Laptops, computers and smartphones should be kept separately to help customers navigate their preferred category without limitation. The process will promote a good customer experience, leading to customer retention and profit from sales.
Online Visual Merchandising for E-Commerce
E-commerce constantly increases yearly, leading many retailers to focus on online marketing, which raises its role in the marketing strategy of a non-fashion company. Customers unable to reach physical stores opt to make purchases from online stores. Fashion companies offer great visual merchandising to ensure the products are well presented to online customers. Top online stores clothing stores like ASOS, Byrnie, and Mango present their products to the online world (Redler, 2019). The three companies are using the online visual merchandising strategy to create engaging and tailored shopping experiences with the customers no matter what page they land on.
Presenting Products in the Best Light
Products are captured from different angles ensuring online shoppers have the same experience as those visiting physical stores. ASOS presents its products to online shoppers through high-quality pictures (Redler, 2019). The visuals are paired with appealing descriptions and important information such as the fabrics used and color to the audience. Photos of customers wearing the products are also presented, which promotes and proves a good product. Food companies can adopt the same strategy by taking pictures of food items on a plate and providing sufficient information regarding the ingredients used. Companies like Nokia, Huawei and Google Pixel can use it to provide good pictures of the gadgets they produce. The electronic gadgets need to be accompanied by a sufficient description of the material used and the specifications that customers can refer to before purchasing the order. The adoption of this will promote customer experience and effective marketing.
Fashion companies adopting online trading have invested in creating mobile phone applications to facilitate easy marketing. Many online customers use smartphones to purchase goods and window shop, so technology and its implementation and analysis are of critical importance. Thredup and ASOS are among the many fashion companies adopting mobile applications to enhance customer experience (Choudhary and Sharma, 2021). The two companies optimize their online stores frequently, ensuring the readability and loading speeds are top on various screen sizes (Choudhary and Sharma, 2021). Through the apps, mobile discounts and payment options facilitate easy buying of products from the brands. Products such as groceries will be easily accessed from any country. The application will ensure customers easily get all desired food products in the comfort of their homes. It will result in increased competition with those companies that still offer instore only services.
Personalize Shopping Experience
Consumers especially appreciate companies that take into account their preferences and create the most comfortable experience for people. Customization of customer experience is easy through e-commerce, unlike fixed physical stores. Through e-commerce, Zalando company, located in Germany, became the leading fashion company in a research conducted in 2021 (Choudhary and Sharma, 2021). The company customized each customer’s experience based on their previous searches, purchases and personal information (Scarpi and Pantano, 2022). The company adopts an easy checkout process that enhances a good customer experience (Scarpi and Pantano, 2022). Past searched products are saved, and customers receive personalized communication and promotions if they make more purchases. The moves have made the company earn much profit and retain customers for longer periods. Non-fashion companies can adopt this similar trend to ensure they provide personalized goods and services to clients. Providing products according to what customers like is essential in showing them other products they may like. Customers who know they can access all their desired products on one platform are likely to be loyal and engaged with the brands.
Several theories of fashion can be applied to the topic raised in this work and are essential for its inderstanding. They will help to understand better what measures should be applied to improve merchandising strategies for non-fashion retailers. Thus, theoretical approaches emphasize that the fashion flow describes the procedures of emerging modern trends, innovation, and the process of distributing fashion trends (Rocamora, 2022). There are three main theories: trickle down, trickle-across, and trickle up, which were developed in the 20th century (Fletcher and Maki, 2022). Thorsten coined the trickle-down theory in 1889, depicting two significant fashion forces of change: differentiation and limitation (Fletcher and Maki, 2022). The main argument of the theory is it claims that the upper class in a society separated itself from the lower stator by adopting modern styles. The theory is paramount to the business as it predicts fashion changes in a community that will help create the most effective companies.
Trickle-up theory, described by Paul Blumberg in1970s, illustrates that the upper-class copies the fashions of the lower classes. subcultures develop their extraordinary style to distinguish themselves from the existing subculture (Vaníček, 2022). Therefore, currently subcultural styles are a major source of inspiration for the current designer and fashion professionals. This contributes to the better understanding of the fashion industry. Trickle-across theory claims that the latest styles move horizontally within the social group instead of vertically across the social class. In this model, exist a time lag amidst adoption from one class to the other (Vaníček, 2022). The argument that supports the diffusion of the latest styles is fueled by fast fashion retailers such as Zara (Vaníček, 2022). They copy high-fashion design items at typically reduced prices. It is worth noting that the literature provides qualitative data on various theories, which is especially valuable. However, further study of this topic is necessary due to the constantly changing merchandising trends and customer preferences.
Product Life Cycle Theory
The researched theory introduces new assets as the most important factor that promotes organizational growth. It developed by Raymond Vernon, who proposed that the product life cycle could be divided into four main stages (Wang, 2022). The four faces are introduction, growth, maturity, and decline, indicating how products change within a certain period (Wang, 2022). In the introduction, companies should invest heavily to make the brand recognizable through advertisements and marketing the products. Non-fashion companies, especially those producing electronic gadgets, must adapt to changes relevant to the current market. Heavy investments will need adequate research on what customers like to produce relevant products (Wang, 2022). In the second stage, growth is determined if the companies record high-profit margins and sales of the products produced. The maturity stage indicates the products produced by the company are past the critical period and could be outdated soon. In the decline stage, a company is subjected to fall as no innovations are coming to enhance its growth and market dominance.
The Marketing Mix Theory
The fashion industry is an extremely competitive arena due to the increasingly fragmented nature of fashion displays how different organizations can adapt apparel strategies to help them differentiate from the competitors and satisfy customers’ needs. The theory was formulated by Jerome McCarthy, who categorized it as the 4Ps: product, price, promotion, and place (Dadzie, Amponsah, Dadzie and Winston, 2017). By incorporating the following aspects, non-fashion industries can effectively adopt fashion marketing strategies to add value to their brands and fuel their business to success. The fashion industry creates products and services that meet clients’ demands. Their product features are defined as functionality, quality, and product service. Marketers’ by-products are in a more complex context than usually thought. Ralph Lauren and Gucci add more value to most products, such as cosmetics and bath towels (Dadzie, Amponsah, Dadzie, and Winston, 2017). Products containing those logos sell at a higher price than similar items without the names. Non-fashion companies can adopt the same to establish market dominance and set prices.
Price strategy depends on the demand for professional products and the cost of products using them. Numerous companies, for example, Carnival Cruise Lines, enter the market with low prices and maintain them (Dadzie, Amponsah, Dadzie and Winston, 2017). In contrast, others enter with extremely high prices and gradually lower them, like the manufacturers of high-definition televisions. In service products, high prices correlate with high value, such as prices for luxury items.
Promotion strategies combine personal selling, underdog advertising, public relations, social media, and e-commerce which are linked with the others, to produce a promotional blend. A suitable promotional strategy can effectively heighten a company’s sales since public relations play an important role in promotion as it displays the company and products’ good image (Boardman, Parker-Strak, and Henninger 2020). For example, advertisements give customers an insight into the company and initiate a way for a sales call.
Place covers most areas of the marketing endeavor, including the physical location, management system, transportation, and supply chain control. The location matters in ensuring the target market are reached and a maximum number of clients can be accessed. One aspect of the distribution method is understanding the number of stores present and the particular wholesalers and retailers accountable for a product in a geographical region (Boardman, Parker-Strak, and Henninger 2020). Store designs are usually deployed to establish an elegant atmosphere focusing on the product image and mirroring modern trends.
Non-industries dealing with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) can incorporate marketing mix strategies, serving as a delicious food recipe. Similarly, the vital ingredient for a standard marketing mix modeling, for instance, product, price, location, and promotion necessity, should be combined by the non-fashion industry in the right manner, time to produce quality and standard marketing techniques of products.
In conclusion, this work explored how non-fashion companies can use merchandising strategies of fashion brands can help in business promotion. Hence, non-fashion industries should adopt the four P’s of business to maximize profit and satisfy customer needs. In addition, the scientific paper explored various theories of fashion, which helped to understand how companies’ non-fashion strategies should be formed to increase profits and attract more buyers. Another benefit from the fashion industry that can be implemented is the introduction of new lines rapidly and lowering prices, and using influencer marketing, which will greatly profit the non-fashion company.
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