What Are the Four Elements of Visual Merchandising?

By Sam Iontton08/10/2021

Visual merchandising refers to the techniques used for presenting products and laying out a store in the most effective way possible to boost sales and revenue. The goal is to attract and engage customers and encourage them to make a purchase. There has been an extensive amount of research done into visual merchandising and how to get it right. Ultimately, there are four essential components to keep in mind. So, what are the four elements of visual merchandising?

The four major elements are:


Let’s look at these in more detail...



Colour plays a huge role in visual merchandising. It’s vital to get right when choosing your store window displays, signage and in-store visuals. Lots of research has been done into colour psychology and how retailers can utilise it to their advantage.

Did you know that different colours encourage different emotions in shoppers? For example, bright colours such as red and orange grab attention and prompt impulse purchases, while blues and purples can create a soothing atmosphere or denote luxury. So, when choosing your branding, think carefully about colour associations and emotion.

Remember, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to colour. Age and gender also play a role in colour psychology, so think carefully about your target demographic too. To learn more about the do’s and don’ts of colour, check out our blog on the psychology of successful retail design.



In visual merchandising, landscaping refers to elevating products to make them more noticeable to customers. For example, placing certain products higher than others on a display table will promote them over the ones underneath and let customers know this is your star offering. If you want to highlight a product range or specific item, use taller risers, blocks or plinths to showcase their significance and draw the eye to them.

Retailers typically use symmetrical or asymmetrical landscaping in-store. Symmetrical landscaping is great if you want customers to look at all the options displayed. In contrast, asymmetrical landscaping encourages attention to one specific area you want to stand out.



Since the rise of internet shopping, the way we shop in-store has changed. Retailers must offer a different experience to customers that they can’t find online – face-to-face contact and closer interaction with your brand. That’s why storytelling is one of the four major elements of visual merchandising. It helps to create a connection and leaves a memorable impression.

When storytelling, be clear about what you want to get across. What’s unique about your product or service? What sets you apart?

The aim should be to engage, entertain and educate your customers about your brand and your products. Tell them what your products will do for them and why they need them. From your window display to the lighting and layout, think about creative ways to get this message across.



Signage is another vital element of visual merchandising. Customers need to be able to find everything they need quickly and easily. If not, they’re likely to leave. When shop workers are busy, signs provide clear directions throughout your store. If done well, signage can tell your customers all they need to know about pricing and promotions and provide important information about products. Signs also prompt a call to action, for example, ‘pay here’.

To make the most of your signage, opt for:

  • Outdoor signage, such as pavement signs, to capture the attention of window shoppers.
  • Large elevated or wall-mounted signs detailing specific sections or ranges, so customers can easily navigate your store.
  • Snap frames on the wall to showcase promotions and discounts.
  • Small signs on product shelves with ‘best-seller’ or ‘employee favourite’ to encourage a purchase.

When choosing your signage, remember to opt for bold colours and use clear typography and graphics to ensure they’re easily read and understood.

These four elements of visual merchandising go hand in hand. Done right, all these aspects work together to create a clear brand message, promote the upselling of your products and ultimately increase sales. From pavement to payment, these visual merchandising techniques will play a vital role in your customers’ journey through your store and their experience of your brand. For more on the importance of visual merchandising, read our blog: how does visual merchandising affect your store?.