As our work life starts to return to something close to normal, I finally had time to scan some business publications, and in the Jan/Feb Issue of VMDS something caught my attention.

Attracting the interest of shoppers in-store is extremely important. While more and more people are shopping online, brick-and-mortar retailers need to keep up with trends to engage customers right at the point of purchase.As I reviewed top shelf ideas for window and store-displays, I noticed a trend: very little lifestyle visuals. Has visual merchandising gone away from needing lifestyle visual reinforcement to represent the user experience in best-of-breed instore visual communication?

Visual merchandising is a marketing strategy in which retailers arrange products to attract the attention of shoppers and increase the chances of them purchasing a product.As I dug deeper into this, what jumped out at me was the in-store displays were more product vignettes and less lifestyle.Is this truly a trend, or I am just noticing it now? Granted, the pandemic has forced me out of brick-and-mortar retail but less lifestyle and product images will have a significant impact on our visual communications industry and the way we present our services to potential clients.

Instagramable displays

It appears that store designers want to see how to create textures and elements with upscaled displays from the imaged and fabricated products we make. This trend is connected to social media’s impact in visual displays. People are spending 145 minutes on social media every day. They share content and watch content produced by other users. Creating Instagramable shelves with textures and elements on displays encourages people to take pictures and share them with their friends and followers.

Hence, samples that emulate the products we have been using for years for lifestyle and product imagery are now focused on textures and eye-catching bright shiny objects in an overall vignette.

Am I correct?

Help me find my way.

Does this mean that a capabilities presentation should now focus on textures that can be used in vignettes, not on color fidelity, or our quality of rendition is better than our competition? Do innovation and alternative use drive the bus? Is this what is now the scares resource? Are our true value material specifiers based on design concepts, linked to fabrication specialists to make it work, focused on shipping logistics and store level install?

Let me know your thoughts.