retail buzzwords

Retail Buzzwords

So – what IS a buzzword, exactly?

… word or phrase, often an item of jargon, that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context.’

We just love buzzwords in retail merchandising and visual merchandising so we thought we could share a few of our favourites with you:

Cross merchandising

The practice of displaying or putting together products from different categories to drive ADD-ON-SALES. It’s clever and strategic and is designed to tap into our emotions. Let’s look at some examples:

Grocery stores are doing this more often. Consider Woolworths – they will group Mexican ingredients from the fresh section together: capsicum, red onions, avocado, corn along with other items in that same ‘theme’ that would usually sit in a different area of the store: Mexican wraps, jalapeños, taco sauce – making it easy for us to picture the end result. They’ve just solved your problem of what to cook for dinner tonight, right? Everything you need for dinner tonight is at hand in the one spot.

Retailers are merchandising from a brand perspective, rather than category. You no longer see 10 brands of toasters, you go to the Smeg fixture and see, toaster, blender, kettle and food processor. In the same way as Woolworths they are telling a ‘story’. This time a brand story – where your kitchen can be decked out in the same brand appliances – many of them appliances you hadn’t even considered before you saw them all together looking shiny and match and fancy!

Just like the McDonalds add-on phrase, “Do you want fries with that?” – the upsell is the result. Customers may walk out with two items, when they only came in for one.

Like Tequila in a liquor store – only to be consumed with salt, lemons and Mexican hats!

Anchor Store

Known as ‘Draw tenant’ key and refers to the largest tenant, usually a retail chain. Think IKEA at the Rhodes Shopping Centre. Many consumers are going there to go to Ikea, but end up rising the food court and/or other retailers.

Augmented Reality (AR)

The concept of supplementing the user’s real physical world with virtual things, so they appear to co-exist in the same environment.

Brick & Click

Refers to retailers that integrate their bricks and mortar store with their e-commerce site. Think Bunnings as they spend the next 18 months forging towards a complete online store as well as their warehouses!


Powered by Bluetooth low energy technology. Beacons are devices that can transmit messages to other Bluetooth enabled gizmos.

Click & Collect

Buy online, pickup in your local store.
Stores like JBHiFi have lockable cages next to the counter, so you can purchase online, but pick up the item physically in store. Saves you paying shipping fees and having to wait at home.

Omni-Channel Retailing

The next generation of cross channel and multichannel marketing. Establishing a presence on several platforms including bricks and mortar, mobile, online and catalogue.
Aldi are doing this with their physical stores, in store catalogues, mobile app (not for purchases though) and traditional TV advertising. A multi-pronged approach.

Pop-Up Store

Short term shops, or sales spaces that come and go with set time periods.
These are increasing in popularity alongside increases in rent prices. In fact, entire retail shopping centres are popping up dedicated to ‘Pop Ups’ only. This also helps retain consumers interest with a constantly rotating retailer door.


An acronym for Radio Frequency Identification – a chip embedded in an items label or packaging.


Is a consumer practice of checking out products, getting an education about item, and then buying on-line.


Opposite to Showrooming. The customer checks items on the web but makes the purchase in a (Bricks & Mortar) retail store, usually with a price match from online.

So, there you have it. A round up of our favourite ‘buzz words’. Hopefully this helps you feel a little more savvy around your retailing friends and colleagues 🙂