It’s no secret for veterans of the retail industry: make it look good and it’ll sell. For shoppers looking to buy fresh produce and retail goods, visual cues can be the selling point for a particular item. According to a report from Culinary Visions’ Fresh Perspectives Study, cues that imply freshness will determine how much produce a grocery store can move off the shelves. The study polled a total of 1,500 U.S. shoppers as to what are some of the most important visual cues regarding visual merchandising.

Visual Cues for Merchandising

76% of the consumers polled stated that a fully-stocked display cooler, display case, or shelf was one of the key selling points to indicate freshness. Whether or not a fully-stocked shelf – in reality – actually indicates the ripeness of a product is irrelevant. What matters is how your customers perceive your product on the shelf. Having a fully-stocked beverage cooler or produce cooler at all times will help your store move product faster, as it indicates a state of abundance.

It also pays to be clean. A whopping 90% of the subjects stated that cleanliness was a major influence when determining whether a produce item was fresh or not. 66% of those deemed it was incredibly important when judging a food’s ripeness, while the other 28% deemed a clean display case as somewhat-important. So what does this mean for a retailer?

Clean Your Commercial Refrigeration Units

It makes sense to clean your commercial refrigeration units, as there is a long list of factors that indicate the perceived freshness of a product, much beyond the food itself. Everything from the state of the display case (whether it is need of visual repair, a paint job, possible leaks etc.), and the packaging of the food itself, to the perception and cleanliness of the store, and the amount of food stocked on the shelf is important. When customers determine freshness, they often take all of these factors into account unconsciously when deciding whether or not to buy a particular piece of produce.

Transparency in Grocery Retailshopping carts

Another 88% of the shoppers polled stated that transparency in prepared foods was an extremely important factor when gauging its level of freshness. This means proper ingredient lists, the date when the food was prepared, and nutrition labels will go a very long way when setting up your visual merchandising for success.

When we talk about transparency and reputation, many customers’ first line of judgment is your online reputation. It doesn’t matter whether it is a grocery store, a restaurant, or a convenience store; if there are multiple bad reviews indicating rotten or ill-prepared food, you will lose potential customers. This is simply the reality of grocery retail in 2019. This is why when it comes to visual merchandising, customer service is extremely important, as a picture of rotten food on a Yelp review is the opposite of what you want for your visual merchandising.

Buy Commercial Display Coolers Online

When it comes to successful visual merchandising, here are the key points you should take away as a retailer:

  • Always have a fully-stocked fridge or produce cooler. A produce shelf with half the product missing will not be a helpful visual cue for customers.
  • Have a clean display case at all times. This means any spills or rotten food should be handled and removed promptly.
  • Make sure your display coolers are working correctly. A puddle of water on the floor due to condensation or a leak will hurt the visual aesthetic of your produce shelf.
  • Customer service counts. A customer that is badly treated is much more likely to leave a negative review of your business than one who is not.

Excellence Industries is a national leader in the commercial refrigeration sector. We’ve worked with companies like Pepsi, Outback Steakouse, Kraft, Good Humor, Marriott, Remy Martin, and Conagra to deliver the best a commercial refrigeration partner can deliver. Contact us at (800) 441-4014 to talk with a commercial refrigeration representative. We are confident that we can deliver the refrigeration solution that you are looking for.