The pandemic and quarantine restrictions have led to global changes in all areas, including fashion retail. New conditions require adaptation. The client's solvency and behavior have changed significantly during the pandemic, the format of the work of most offices has changed to a remote one. SR expert Emina Ponyatova talks about how the standards of visual merchandising (VM) for shoe and accessories stores have changed, taking into account the life that has changed under the influence of the pandemic.
expert in the areas of “Assortment planning”, “Analytics and category management” with more than 15 years of experience in the fashion industry. Work experience: buyer and category manager - brands Replay, Pepe Jeans, Hugo Boss, Armani Collezioni, Stefanel, Missoni. Head of Analytical Department - TsentrObuv and Modis. Author and speaker at courses at Fashion Factory, SkillBox and Fashion Advisers schools, consultant and online coach, teacher at the Russian Economic University named after G.V. Plekhanov.
All retail began to change rapidly in 2020, and these changes continue. Online has become vital! According to experts, in the near future the share of online will grow rapidly against the background of a general reduction in consumption.
Shoe manufacturers and shoe retailers need to take into account the fact that the values and behavior of shoppers are changing, the shopper is rethinking the lifestyle and consumption volumes due to the decrease in their income.
If a store after a pandemic appears to customers with an overcrowded trading floor and constant discounts due to overstock, then for the customer this is a clear signal of the seller's problems. At the same time, price competition will intensify, as will the share of promotions, because your competitors are also faced with overstated plans, with delays in deliveries and a decrease in customer traffic.
Along with changes in assortment management, it must be recognized that VM also needs to be adapted to new realities. There are new requirements for visual merchandising, now there is online visual merchandising as well.
Let's take a look at the key steps to transforming VM standards for shoe and accessory stores, taking into account the changed life under the influence of the coronavirus pandemic. There are seven of them:
1. Analysis of the effectiveness of planograms and zoning schemes for a retail space
It is necessary to analyze the effectiveness of the use of commercial equipment, as well as revise the zoning, based on the decision tree.
Since the behavior of the client changes dramatically along with the change in the values of the target audience - the client in a pandemic tries to minimize the time spent in places of mass gatherings, tries to treat the purchase more rationally, taking into account the new restrictions on movement and organization of leisure. We need to evaluate the effectiveness of each type of commercial equipment, to understand the logic of making decisions about buying, changes in the level of income of the target audience.
If we have not done this before, now is the time to describe each type of equipment, prescribe the capacity by product groups and collect statistics on sales with reference to the period and sales results, identify the zones of the greatest and least traffic, the so-called "cold" and "hot »Zones.
2. Based on statistics, it is necessary to revise planograms based on relevant indicators and taking into account changes in client behavior in a pandemic
The buyer after the pandemic will be different:
3. Revision of commercial equipment, taking into account the adaptation of the principles of formation of commodity stock
Almost all companies had to adjust their orders for both the spring-summer 2021 and fall-winter 2021/22 seasons. In this regard, it is necessary to revise the list and volume (principle of capacity) of all types of commercial equipment.
That is, a decrease in orders and planned balances entails adjusting the depth of the presentation in the hall.
We reduce not only the number of shelves, hooks, but also create more comfortable aisles (remember the social distance), visually create more space in the hall (we make more distance between the faces or we share the faces with POS materials).
It is necessary to reconsider the approach to lighting - the more light, the more competently the equipment or types of shoes are illuminated, the more attractive the store will be in the eyes of the buyer.
4. Organization of high-quality remote work for the merchandising team
With the widespread transition to a remote work format, it is necessary to consider and implement visual online merchandising.
First of all, it is necessary to develop a system for monitoring the implementation of VM standards when a VM team works remotely. In current realities, it is possible to organize this through photo reports on a regular basis and recommendations for laying out with mandatory monitoring of implementation. That is, to describe the algorithm of the retail operation for displaying goods according to standards and instructions from the VM team in online mode and an algorithm for monitoring amendments.
All this can be done on their own through photo reports and meetings in the zoom-conference mode. Also, the "remote" mode will allow the VM team to use the time as efficiently as possible for detailed instructions for laying out the goods and revising the VM standards.
5. Implementation of checklists, regular monitoring of the implementation of VM standards, analysis of hits and outsiders
Everything is standard and simple! Without checklists and regular control, it is impossible to build a clear work of stores. Only through a commercially justified presentation of goods in the hall and using the basic tools of VM is it possible to keep the store's income level. Control is needed not only over photo reports, but also over the presentation of hits and outsiders of sales.
The bias towards a commercial VM was outlined earlier, but in a pandemic it has become a necessary element of interaction between VM and analytics.
On the basis of the report on hits and outsiders at the weekly level, decisions are made to stimulate outsiders and provide store balances for hits, based on the same reports for the season, stop lists are formed (models that SHOULD NOT BE IN ORDERS - absolute outsiders for the season) and lists -repeats (models that need to be REPEATED are absolute hits for the season).
6. Showcase and entrance area - a critical view and new realities
In a pandemic, the buyer is less likely to just walk around the shopping center or shops, a trip to the shopping center is now clearly justified.
Accordingly, the showcase and entrance areas should be as attractive and informative as possible.
Remember that the passing traffic must be pulled into our store, that is, to increase the percentage of capturing the passing traffic. To do this, you can attract specialists or your own resources to create a basic or conceptual design option for a showcase and an entrance area.
7. The devil is in the details!
Right now is the time to review all types of POS materials, price holders, navigation and equipping all zones with additional equipment.
These are shoe horns, elastic socks for fitting, rugs in the fitting room, competent illumination of mirrors, the sizes and types of these mirrors, their location.
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