10 Tips for Creating Killer Retail Displays

Retail displays are usually the first thing a customer notices when they enter your store. Even when processed on a subconscious level, good displays still play a big part in attracting and retaining customers. In fact, an expertly organized display can often be a determining factor in why a customer prefers one store over another, even when both offer the same merchandise.

You could be selling the best products in the world, but if they’re not displayed effectively, you won’t move much merchandise. Here are ten tips for ensuring your retail displays are eye-catching, appealing, and up-to-date.

1. Change your displays regularly.

You want to focus on keeping your displays current and pay attention to seasons and holidays. Be sure to always feature new arrivals first, and keep items together if they go together. For example, if you bought handmade Christmas cards, gourmet candy canes, and hand-poured red and white candles, all from different vendors, wait until they all arrive and then put them out together. You could lose potential add-on sales if you put them out separately.

2. Rotate them.

When new merchandise comes in, rotate any existing displays. Front to middle, middle to back, newest merchandise goes up front.

3. Arrangement matters.

In general, you want to start your display area close to the door and make sure some of your newest and/or most expensive items are showcased. Include enough products so the customer is able to pick something up for a closer look without completely ruining your display. Have varying levels of height. Consider a branded box-type display for popular products, such as these retail displays made in Salt Lake City, Utah.

4. Don’t forget the lighting.

Light should shine on your display like it’s important, because it is. Adjust overhead lighting if you can. If not, get some small spotlights and light it up from below, or invest in adjustable overhead lighting.

5. Show instead of tell.

When possible, try to set up your displays in ways that people can identify with and that help them imagine the products in their own homes or on their person. Think about the bed setups in furniture stores or mannequins with example outfits in clothing stores.

6. On the right.

Research has shown that people tend to first look left and then right when they enter a store, and then right is the direction they most often go. Perhaps this comes from years of crossing the street? Who knows, but put your displays on the right.

7. Make it function as a group.

Choose products based on something they have in common, such as their use: items related to fishing, or baking a cake, or creating the perfect daytime makeup look. Another option is displaying by color – but never go monochromatic. Focus on either complementary or contrasting colors to grab attention. Black, red, and white is a strong combination.

8. Use signs.

Make your signs easy to read by using larger fonts with few words. Never display a sign saying “DO NOT TOUCH,” because you’re basically telling customers “DO NOT BUY.” Displays are made to be touched and examined!

9. Keep track of sales and inventory.

You should always be doing this anyway, but it’s helpful when it comes to displays. When you sell out of something, remove it from any displays and replace it with something else you have plenty of. If something on a display is selling fast, get ready to reorder it immediately.

10. Make prices visible.

No customer enjoys having to track an employee down to ask how much something costs. Mark your prices clearly and obviously.

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