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Introduction: IRUK Merchandising Dimension Report 2018

At ITS heart, traditional merchandising is all about showing shoppers the items they’re most likely to buy and making sure those items appear to their best advantage at the most persuasive points of the store, from the shop window to the end of aisle.

Digital merchandising has taken that further still, since it works to ensure that shoppers can always see items that are relevant to them, whether they’re using in-store technology or shopping from a smartphone. It’s about using high-tech solutions to show the shopper how a piece of furniture could look in their living room, or how clothing would look on them, using technologies such as augmented reality and virtual wardrobes.

Merchandising technology is going even further: the latest digital mirrors enable payment, organising the customer experience not only around the products that are relevant to the customer, but also giving them easy access to features and functionality in order for them to complete the transaction.

But such innovations must be built on solid foundations. Digital merchandising is just as importantly about the basics – about ensuring the product can be seen and understood clearly, via detailed product descriptions and clear images that illustrate exactly what a shopper is getting.

In this IRUK Top500 Merchandising report, the RetailX team has delved into the detail of what Top500 retailers are doing to ensure that they are pitching their merchandising well, from counting the number of images that each uses to illustrate a product to considering the effectiveness of personalisation.

The research is then explored through case studies, interviews and 12 practical approaches to merchandising. The aim of all this is to establish both leading and benchmark performance, as well as to understand what practical steps can make a real difference to how retailers approach merchandising, whether they’re in the IRUK Top500 – or Top 5000.

We think that you will find this report a useful read and we look forward to your feedback on new areas that we should consider in future iterations of this research.

Ian Jindal,

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