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Professional & Academic Skills

Introduction

This assignment focuses on developing a personal reflective plan on a career in visual merchandising. It also aims at providing an annotated bibliography on the effect of visual merchandising on the purchasing behavior of customers and a literature review that properly discusses the topic. Total four to five academic journals articles are used in the literature review sections. They are related to the effect of visual merchandising on impulse purchasing behavior of retail customers, and change in consumer neural response to visual merchandising in the fashion environment. The articles are used for having an effective understanding of the basis of future research on visual merchandising.

Section 1: Personal reflective plan

Personal reflective statement

Statement about values

As a visual merchandiser, I want to create eye catching merchandise and product displays which are specifically designed for increasing the amount of profitability and sales for the company. I will also like to have a creative flair and an interest for exceptional designs and trends. It will also focus on keeping updated with all the developments in the industry and specific shopping habits and trends of the customers. This can help me in being aware of what is there currently in the industry. It will become possible for me to stay one step ahead from others. I will also be able to gain good analytical skills for assessing the working process of visual displays from the perspective of sales.

Relevant job adverts and different other sources of information

There is a job for visual merchandising coordinator posted on LinkedIn. The job is about a visual merchandising coordinator which is one type of brand ambassador. The requirement for the post is to ensure quality, consistency and sophistication of the implementation of visual merchandising of specific product categories. Another role is to provide support for developing strategy for business and contributing to increase the experience of clients in stores.

I have found that the job of a typical visual merchandising coordinator includes implementation of interior merchandising.  This involves proper planning, preparing, and implementing store zoning and rotations on a regular basis with an effective store management process. I believe that it is also necessary to manage the products properly, for instance back of the house preparation, changes in the database locations and developing the process of installation. Additionally, it also includes proper sharing of photographic and qualitative feedback after every rotation of the visual merchandiser of the country. The way I see it a visual merchandising coordinator alsorequired to pay visit to the competitors and make reports of important practices. Another important thing that needs to be kept in mind is visual merchandising.

In order to become a visual merchandiser, I have to have proper certification. Proper certification can help in ensuring that I have knowledge of all the upcoming trends. This can be useful for advancing in career from visual merchandiser to some higher positions. A good course in merchandising can help me enter the market with confidence because it is going to provide all the important skills required for thriving in the fashion industry.

Current Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths

  • I have effective communication skills. In visual merchandising work, it is necessary to have negotiation with the designers, providing the required marketing message to all the customers and convincing potential buyers. These responsibilities need good communication skills.
  • I have the ability to research past and present fashion trends. It will be possible for me to use all the latest materials like models, equipment, signs and props which are very trendy. I have the ability to identify all the trends which are known for dominating the retail market. It is easier for me to know the consumer preferences and apply important trends for implementing the visual merchandising strategy.

Weaknesses

  • I am not very good at developing important concepts and strategies for promoting specific retail products, brands and services. In addition, I do not know how to create striking displays for stores that can help in attracting customers and increasing sales.
  • I do not have the required organizational skills because these entail project management and coordination in visual display. I do not have the necessary skills for working with peers, subordinates and supervisors required for implementing strategies for visual merchandising.

Personal and professional development plan

Career planning roadmap

Visual merchandising is regarded as a competitive industry. Therefore, it is difficult to climb the career ladder. However, with proper preparation, correct attitude and knowledge, it will be possible for me to get a great position.

Data Analysis and Findings

At entry level, I can begin as a sales assistant and gradually advance in the career. I will get the opportunity of helping out all the current in-store visual merchandising stores and get the necessary experience. I may have to work overtime without reward prior to actually making it into my first role. It is also important to make sure that I apply for a job that supports my level. There are many roles which are useful for providing support to visual merchandisers like in store visual merchandising, creative manager and window dresser. It is required for me to ensure that the job description is read properly. I do believe that it is difficult to switch between markets or to go to the head office after establishing a career or making important decisions.

Planned actions for development, improvement of skills and experiences

I have set the following goals for development of skills and experiences related to virtual merchandising.

Development of organizational and management skills

I will focus on designing effective displays for appealing to visual merchandisers, customers and working with marketing executives and staff properly for implementing all important merchandising plans. I have the goal to improve organization and effective management skills for coordinating useful functions and sourcing supplies, materials and properties.  These skills can be useful for enabling me in guiding collective efforts to a unified objective.

Interpersonal skills

I will set a goal of developing important interpersonal skills. As a visual merchandiser, I may have to do supervision of staff and provide them specific instructions on using and creating visual displays. It will be possible for me to form and maintain several professional relations as part of the work. Requirements for developing robust interpersonal skills for working with marketing executives can appear for executives, buyers and retail representatives.

Customer support skills

I will aim at inviting comments and feedback for customers on a regular basis. This will help me in comprehending the customers in a better way and providing important ideas and plans for improvement. I will also aim at identifying customer services processes and strategies for luring the customers into purchasing important services and products from the store where I am going to work.

Review

So far, I have bagged a degree in art. I have also worked on sharpening my imagination and creativity skills. I have gathered adequate experience by taking internship at one of the reputed visual merchandising companies. It has helped me a lot in terms of understanding all the things that drive sales and how people give responses to specific visual displays. The internship has helped me in improving my experience to work with employees who know the specific requirements of the job and can gain important job skills. I have also gained relevant computer and IT skills. In addition, I have also learned design and IT skills.

Section 2: Annotated bibliography

Introduction

Visual merchandising is one of the important marketing practices which applies important colors, floor plans. Lighting, technology and displays and different other components for attracting the attention of customers. The ultimate purpose of this is to apply retail space for making more sales. For being a visual merchandiser, it is important to apply retail merchandising creativity and knowledge for using the layout and space of the store properly for presenting the inventory of the store positively. Visual merchandisers are professionally trained and can help in managing important tasks like installations of windows, and interactive displays.

Academic journal articles

Article 1

Thomas, A.K., Louise, R. and Vipinkumar, V.P., 2018. Impact of visual merchandising on impulse buying behavior of retail customers. International Journal for Research in Applied Science and Engineering Technology, 6(2), pp.474-491.

Visual merchandising has been used as an important marketing tool in the retail sector. The researchers have found that there is considerable effect of visual merchandising in the retail industry. On account of this, they have taken into account important reliance trends as important cases and have conducted effective research with the help of sample customers to analyze the effect of the purchasing behavior (Thomas, Louise and Vipinkumar, 2018). The research is very mch descriptive and is useful for developing the concept of establishing priorities clearly, divulging adequate information which according to the researchers can be useful for making important decisions for the enterprise. A structured questionnaire was applied for obtaining important information and developing access to the effect of visual merchandising on customer impulse buying behavior. In this study, a random sampling size was applied and proper care was taken for analyzing the diversified respondents properly. The findings of the research indicate that impulse buying is responsible for increasing sales substantially across ranges of categories in different stores. As impulse buying is considered as a pervasive customer behavior aspect and effective focal point for making strategic marketing plans, it is necessary for retailers to take into account important factors in the retail setting which help in triggering impulsive reactions of the customers (Thomas, Louise and Vipinkumar, 2018). Retailers are useful for helping customers to find the correct choices of products with the help of focused merchandising, intelligent layout, store design and many other merchandising practices like packaging, product displays and signage.

Article 2

Iberahim, H., Zulkurnain, N.A.Z., Shah, R.N.S.R.A. and Rosli, S.Q., 2020. Visual merchandising and customers’ impulse buying behavior: a case of a fashion specialty store. International Journal of Service Management and Sustainability, 4(1), pp.1-24.

Visual merchandising is regarded as  a very important component or the visual cue that can hae impact on the purchasing behavior of the customers. In this specific study, the goal is to find out all the visual merchandising determinants that are responsible for influencing the impulse purchasing behavior of the customers. The research aims at five important visual merchandising elements, namely window display, floor merchandising, mannequin display, promotional signage and lighting (Iberahim et al., 2020). Investigation was done at important fashion specialty stores based in Kuala Lampur, malaysia. Feedback from 150 customers was collected. Statistical data analysis results show that three visual merchandising elements are useful for influencing the impulse purchasing behavior of the customers. Mannequin display, promotional signage and window displays are generally linked and can be useful for determining visual merchandising for making effective purchasing decisions at specific fashion specialty stores for women. The outcome of the research increases the understanding of the adverse outcome of visual merchandising on the behavior of the customers. A common criterion is shared by the local traditional fashion stores. They generally target fashion followers who look for mid to low price range fashion. The conventional fashion specialty stores analyze the retail price and can be identified in almost every town of the country. It properly explains the kind of retail service management that keeps sustainability for more than fifty years (Iberahim et al., 2020). As a result, a niche market for middle and low income group customers is retained.

Market intelligence sources

Source 1

Kohantextilejournal.com (2021). Online-visual-merchandising-for-apparel-fashion-industry. Available at: https://kohantextilejournal.com/online-visual-merchandising-for-apparel-fashion-industry/ [Accessed on 11th Oct, 2021]

This article has found that with rise in the popularity of floor and window displays, visualmerchandising has been established properly. Recently, online garment popularity has increased which mandated the improvement of online visual merchandising for fashion as well as apparel sectors. It is regarded as the strategic presentation for the firm and all the products with the help of electronic retailing (Kohantextilejournal.com, 2021). It has the objective of drawing customers and making the buying process easier. It is regarded as a cutting edge process with important benefits and drawbacks. In the case of the apparel sector, intangibility is regarded as one of leading risk factors during online purchases. As a result, technologies have been developed for providing the non-touch experiences for shopping and instilling confidence (Kohantextilejournal.com, 2021). Nevertheless, they cannot be regarded as an alternative of in-person experiences. In this article, the visual merchandising process for the fashion and apparel industry has been presented. It aims at identifying the most important elements, analyzing the risks perceived and specific tools for online visual merchandising for fashion as well as apparel industries.

Source 2

beroeinc.com (2021). Visual-merchandizing-market. Available at: https://www.beroeinc.com/category-intelligence/visual-merchandizing-market/ [Accessed on 11th Oct, 2021]

From this article, it has been found that the estimated virtual merchandising market was $76 to $78 billion in 2020. High maturity markets have been found to be in Asia, Europe and North America. Key demand countries are India, China and the US and the UK. Three major industries responsible for contributing to the virtual merchandising markt are FBT, Retail and CPG. It is evident that virtual merchandising is becoming prominent across different markets on account of the consistent growth in retail industry. Important end users are FBT, Retail and CPG enterprises (beroeinc.com, 2021). With constant growth of the retail industry of retail, suppliers from all across the world are developing the service offerings and increasing their presence for meeting the evolving consolidation needs of the purchasers (beroeinc.com, 2021). With the development of an organized retail sector across different developing markets and with increase in technology dependent innovation, retail sector investment is increasing. This can help in increasing visual merchandising spending further. With the adoption of technology by different suppliers and improvement of market access and service portfolio, it has been possible for analyzing important drivers of growth in matured as well as emerging markets. The drivers include integrated technology, decline in technology costs, constraints and bundled solutions.

Section 3: Literature review

Introduction

Visual merchandising is the useful prowess of presentation, arrangement and display of products in a way which is useful for catching the eyes of shoppers and encouraging them picking up. They try to purchase the merchandise. At the time of learning the process of merchandising the store displays for drawing the interest of shoppers and selling merchandise, it is necessary to think about the story that has to be presented (Mehta and Chugan, 2019). It is very easy to store all the merchandise and turn the SALE sign ON to move full priced merchandise.

Analysis On External Judicial Practice And Internal Governance Mechanism

Visual merchandising and impose buying

According to Thomas, Louise and Vipinkumar (2018), visual merchandising is the process of communicating any company’s quality image and fashion value for all the prospective customers. The main objective of viral merchandising is to provide the education required to all the customers and improving the image of the store and encouraging multiple sales through showing apparel along with accessories. Therefore, it is necessary for all the companies to improve the image and concept of visual presentations. This is appealing to shoppers and can help in transforming the ito customers through improvement of brand loyalty and providing encouragement to the buying behaviors of the customers. Iberahim et al., (2020) have added at visual merchandising is the process of presenting any store or brand and the merchandise to the customs with the help of teamwork for advertising, display, fashion coordination and specific merchandising departments for selling services and goods provided by the company. However, Agila and Arumugam (2018) have argued that there are different ranges of visual merchandising. These are from window displays to interior displays including floor merchandising and promotions signage. It also takes into account the brand logo and advertising process. In store and window displays consist of form display, promotional signage and form display. Widyastuti (2018) has added that in store browsing can help in establishing links between external as well as internal factors. It is regarded as an important element in the purchasing process as well as developing a link between specific internal and external factors. It can also act as an important element in the process of impulse buying and improving the impulse buying behavior and retail settings. In-store business is regarded as an in-store analysis of merchandise of the retailers for fulfilling both the informational and recreational purposes without immediate buying intention. Customers who browse in any store make purchases which are unplanned than that on a browser in any regional setting of a mall. On the other hand, Cordova et al., (2020) have found that when customers browse for a longer period, they tend to gain more problems which can tend to raise the probability of experiencing impulse urges. This is useful for supporting impulse buying conceptualization as the response to the exposure of customers to in-store stimuli. It is possible for shoppers to develop an in-store planning for finalizing all the intentions. The stimuli of the stores act as a types of information aid which for all the people who visit the stores without any predetermination of what they require to purchase. After reaching the store, they get the idea of what they actually need for the store. In short, the impulse buying of the customers can be regarded as all the responses of confrontation with the stimuli that account for provoking the desire for motivating the customers to make unplanned purchase decisions once they enter the store. With the increase in stimuli of the store, like visual merchandising, it acts as an aid for shopping.  It is also known for analyzing customer buying behavior. However, Mehta and Chugan (2019) have argued that as the choice of consumers of any storeis generally influenced by the store’s physical attractiveness, the first impressions of the image of the store is developed at the facade, it can be stated that the window display can influence to some extent the choice of consumers of any store.

Theoretical framework and conceptual definitions

From the research of Thomas (2019), it has been found that visual merchandising is the technique which is widely applied by enterprises and shopkeepers for attracting the customers for purchasing in an unplanned way. Marketers and the shopkeepers make arrangement in their shops and develop different promotional activities which are useful for attracting the shoppers through analyzing the promotions, shops, atmosphere and the signboards. Additionally, there are cleanliness, section divisions and different other factors which are useful for attracting the shoppers for doing unplanned and impulse purchasing. Agdayemawer and Kumar (2019) have studied the visual merchandising constant on the impulse buying behavior of shoppers. They found out that there is a direct relation between impulse buying and window display. However, direct relation has been found with floor merchandising. The effect of form applies, promotional signage, window display and floor merchandising have been taken into account through taking a sample size with Pearsons’ correlation. From the findings, it is clear that there is positive correlation between impulsive purchasing and window display. However, store display and impulse buying have no relations.

References

Agdayemawer, A. and Kumar, M., 2019. Impact of Visual Merchandising on Consumers’ Buying ChoiCe with referenCe to Reliance Fresh. International Journal of Management, IT and Engineering7(12), pp.166-175.

Agila, D.G. and Arumugam, D., 2018. A Study on effectiveness of promotional strategies at Prozone mall with reference to visual merchandising. International Journal of Innovations in Scientific and Engineering Research5(6), pp.47-56.

beroeinc.com (2021). Visual-merchandizing-market. Available at: https://www.beroeinc.com/category-intelligence/visual-merchandizing-market/ [Accessed on 11th Oct, 2021]

Cordova, G., Surichaqui, S., Ricaldi, F. and Vi-cente-Ramos, W., 2020. Impact of visual merchandising on the purchase decision of consumers from retail stores in central Peru. Management Science Letters10(11), pp.2447-2454.

Iberahim, H., Zulkurnain, N.A.Z., Shah, R.N.S.R.A. and Rosli, S.Q., 2020. Visual merchandising and customers’ impulse buying behavior: a case of a fashion specialty store. International Journal of Service Management and Sustainability, 4(1), pp.1-24.

Kohantextilejournal.com (2021). Online-visual-merchandising-for-apparel-fashion-industry. Available at: https://kohantextilejournal.com/online-visual-merchandising-for-apparel-fashion-industry/ [Accessed on 11th Oct, 2021]

Mehta, D. and Chugan, P.K., 2019. Visual Merchandising and Consumer Demography: The Impact on Impulse Buying Behavior. Business, Economy and Environment: Corporate Perspectives”, Eds. Parag Rijwani, Samik Shome and Deepak Danak, Himalaya Publishing House, Mumbai for Institute of Management, Nirma University, Ahmedabad, pp.253-268.

Thomas, A.K., Louise, R. and Vipinkumar, V.P., 2018. Impact of visual merchandising on impulse buying behavior of retail customers. International Journal for Research in Applied Science and Engineering Technology, 6(2), pp.474-491.

Thomas, M.R., 2019. Role of online visual merchandising and personality attributes on purchase intention of customers in the apparel industry.

Widyastuti, P., 2018. Does visual merchandising, store atmosphere and private label product influence impulse buying? Evidence in Jakarta. Journal of Business and Retail Management Research12(3).

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