Your store displays are key to attracting customers and selling your products. When you are creating displays, you should have a clear plan and purpose for each display.
Effective retail displays should:
- communicate a wide variety of information to consumers
- play an integral part of a coordinated sales strategy
- tell a visual story
- speak for you even when you are busy with other customers
Displays are an invitation to a customer to look a little closer at what you have to offer. It is a non-threatening way of enticing your customer to explore your product. With current technology, displays can be very powerful multimedia experiences, or with a little thought and design, simple, inexpensive presentations of merchandise can be dramatic statements.
By putting more thought and planning into your merchandising and display, you can have an impact on your bottom line. It might be a difference of one sale each day. Even if that sale is only $5.00, you have increased your monthly sales by $150.00. Imagine if each of your store displays could do that!
Consider all the potential display areas in your store. Take into account the store windows, the ends of aisles, the back wall, columns or pillars, point-of-sale displays, front tables, etc. These are all opportunities that can be maximized to become effective sales areas.
To present your merchandise in the most effective manner possible, your displays and merchandising need to do the following:
1. Attract Attention
When you are placing merchandise, you are not simply making it available to customers. There are many products out there competing for your customers’ dollar. How will you stand out from the rest? You may have the exact product they are looking for, but it may never be seen. How can that be, when it is right there in front of them?
Have you ever misplaced something, and looked high and low for it, and finally found it – sitting right in front of you all along? It is similar with consumers. People are bombarded daily with media messages all selling something. Stores are full of merchandise competing for attention. This becomes information overload, so the brain sorts out which information is relevant and which is not. People notice their favorite stores and develop particular patterns of shopping based on preferences and needs. These preferences become ingrained habits.
Strong displays help break through these habits and routines to attract attention. Suddenly, the brain is saying – “Wait a minute! This is new! It doesn’t fit in to my sorting system. It looks exciting and might be relevant to my needs.”
This is the goal of your display, to attract the customer’s eye and get him or her to stop for a moment for a closer look.
2. Communicate a message
The most obvious message you need to communicate is that you have products available for sale. If this was the only job you had to do, you could leave the products in boxes or on tables and let the customers fend for themselves. However, most consumers don’t want to work this hard. You need to at least let them know what type of merchandise you have available and what it will cost them. It is also helpful to say what this merchandise will do for them, whether it is a new product, if it will suit their needs and taste, how it works, etc.
Some messages you can communicate through displays:
- Product selection
- Product information
- Product demonstration
- New merchandise
3. Use displays to encourage action
- Get the shopper to stop or enter store
- Encourage shoppers to move through the store and browse
- Encourage them to try out or touch the merchandise
- Create desire for impulse purchases
- Suggest complimentary merchandise
- Create a sense of urgency (Why should the shopper buy now?)
4. Use displays to leave a lasting impression.
- Encourage the customer to return
- Update displays regularly
- Customers expect to see change, newness, excitement
Displays are key components of your sales toolbox. They will be most effective when planned to complement other selling strategies such as advertising, store identity and design, and customer service/personal selling.
Review your product displays. They should be boosting sales or they are not doing their job.