a product is displayed has a direct influence on the customer’s path to
purchase. When a display is nicely done you’ll sell more product, and when it’s
not even the best product can sit gathering dust. Fortunately, there are plenty
of strategies, tactics, tips and techniques to help you encourage shoppers to
come closer and interact with the merchandise. Here are five hot display
strategies you can put to work right now:
1. Create windows
that stop traffic.
a fact that pre-occupied shoppers will spend approximately eight seconds
looking at store windows as they pass by. Your job as a visual merchandiser is
to expand that time frame. Think about the product you want to feature, your
desired message, props you will need, signing to add, lighting, etc. As you
create your display, step outside and check it frequently from different
angles. Is the display easy to take in from all directions?
start with what not to do.
This type of display assumes that shoppers will place themselves at the center of the window
and pause to take it all in. Some shoppers will do that, but the majority will
take a quick glance around and keep walking. There is no clear focal point and no
clear theme. The foam core board props fill space but don’t add much to the
a Spanish clothing design and manufacturing company founded in Barcelona, Spain,
now has locations all over the world. In NYC, this window display uses two
techniques to stop traffic: Bold color and the Power of 3. We are attracted to
the color red, that’s why it’s frequently used in product packaging. Here, red
catches the eye and then becomes a backdrop to the fashions.
the cluster of three mannequins. This technique works because our brains are
hardwired to seek things that are asymmetrical. Displays that feature products
grouped in odd numbers – especially threes – cause our eyes to move about the
display. We see more and potentially buy more.
window by creative-minded Anthropologie works a prop heavy holiday theme. The shades
of green are pleasing to the eye and are subtle enough to allow the clothing on
the mannequin to stand out. We love the partying penguins! Did you notice the
tree made of fish? Anthropologie displays always add an element of fun.
brand J.Crew carries the plaid theme on the walls of the window onto the sales
floor. Other than connecting the window display to the store interior, the
plaid hides the back of the window and prevents shoppers from taking the
display apart for a closer look.
Uniqlo is a global brand with over 1000
stores worldwide. Realizing that selfies are here to stay, the retailer created
a greenery wall outside of its SoHo NYC store. The window wall invites
passers-by to play, putting the store on the potential customer’s radar and their social media feeds.
2. Choose creative props and merchandising
know that dresser you picked up on the curb, cleaned up, and repurposed as a
display fixture? You were upcycling, practicing one of today’s hottest trends.
is all about taking something that is no longer in use and giving it another
life and a new purpose. Banana Republic did some brand upcycling in 2021 when
it went back to its origins with its Imagined Worlds campaign that “reflects
Banana Republic as it was originally conceived – a fictitious territory –
far-away and unknown place that is part of explorers’ folklore and adventurers’
lore.” Props and fixturing carry out the theme in-store.
Republic utilizes a primitive wood table that’s populated with suitcases,
wooden trays, glass boxes, books, and geodes to highlight its jewelry
selection. Commitment to its origin story is visible all over the store, even
down to its bags and tissue paper, both of which feature a map of the afore
mentioned fictitious territory.
old steamer trunk that’s been gutted and repurposed as a fixture is the
centerpiece of the children’s department. We can think of so many uses for a
trunk like this on a sales floor. We bet you can, too.
a close look at the Strand Books sign. “18 Miles of Books” isn’t a boast, its 96
year old New York City flagship store contains more than 2.5 million new and
used titles. This location, part of the Bowery Bay Shops, a 15,000 square foot
retail space in the newly remodeled LaGuardia Airport, is a stunner. Note that
most of the books on the wall are displayed “spine out”, with enough cover
presented “faceout” to keep it interesting.
we find the top shelves in stores to be an unplanned tangle of overstocked
merchandise, but not here. Giving a nod to the Strand’s flagship store’s high-ceilinged
rooms, these upcycled books finish the wall. They subliminally let shoppers
know that the important product can be found below so there’s no reason to look
3. Slow shoppers
down with speed bump displays
approximately 10’ inside the front door, speed bump displays build an instant
first impression. Their job is the same as their cousins in the parking lot: to
slow you down. Speed bumps create the perception of what shoppers can expect
while perusing your sales floor, so use them to feature new arrivals,
cross-merchandise with related items, and to tell product stories. Remember to
change them weekly and zhuzh them daily.
9’ speed bump table at Uniqlo works because the store front is wide, but in
most boutique size retail stores it would become a barrier, cutting off easy
access to the rest of the store. Always consider the scale of your speed bump
displays, choosing a fixture that fits your unique footprint. You need enough
space for customers to comfortably shop each side of the display.
DEAN, a fashion-forward men’s emporium located in the Bowery Bay Shops, offers a
classic example of cross-merchandising. Everything you need to build a casual outfit
is available on this display. The faux stone on the two-tiered table adds
interest, as does the sign that invites shoppers to join the Hugo Boss
Experience, the brand’s loyalty club.
tables are the most versatile speed bump display fixtures. This Jet Set Candy
display at the Bowery Bay Shops shows the tables in use as a set, but they can also
be separated to form two, three or even four different displays.
4. Increase your
add-on sales with cross-merchandising
is your best friend, and an easy way to increase your average sale. How? By
displaying complementary items next to each other. If you are buying scrapbook
paper you might also need glue sticks, and if those glue sticks are hanging on
the paper rack on a clip-strip, you have a better change of encouraging an
also includes the use of Merchandise Outposts: Placing a complete display of
product from one department in another. Bundling products together at one price
also helps unload overstocks and slow-moving items.
watched as almost every customer who entered ABC Carpet & Home, a fixture
in NYC since 1897, stopped to shop this display. Color plays a significant role
here: Which color place setting will you choose? Cross-merchandising candles in
colors that complement the dishes adds to the allure of the display. It’s an
organized treasure hunt.
sign on this table reads, “It took 25 years to bake these cookies” before it
goes on to tell the story of Eleni’s New York. This display at the Bowery Bay
Shops doesn’t stop at cookies. There is a nice mix of candies, cookies, and
snacks to choose from so why not grab a few? The “Buy Local New York” sign is important
to the product. Even in your store customers need to be reminded that you are
part of their local community.
is a brand that’s famous for unique designs, upcycling, and inclusivity. Its
stores, like this one in SoHo NYC, have a comfortable, easy feel, like the
store is glad to see you. Cross-merchandising happens all over but it’s so subtle
you don’t even realize it. This display cross-merchandises jeans, sweaters and jackets
all on the same rail. Coordinating accessories and plants on the shelf above
finish the look. The plants are a nice touch. Studies show that plants reduce
stress and increase productivity, plus they add a positive spin to your store’s
5. Rely on signing
to increase sales and brand visibility
study by FedEx Office found that 68% of American Consumers made a purchase
simply because a sign caught their eye. Here’s another statistic: 74% of all
purchase decisions are made in-store, so Signs really are silent salespeople.
Imagine what it could mean to your sales if you decided no display was finished
until the fixture was properly signed?
The use of handwritten
signing work for Fishs Eddy, but it might not work for you. Handwritten signing
must be legible and made by the same person because their penmanship becomes part
of your brand identity.
space, small sign. This sign is only 3.5 X 2” – business card size – but it
delivers an important message. Table number stands, like the one on the photo,
can be found for under a dollar at restaurant supply houses.
header signing on the back wall at Kiehl’s Bowery Bay Shops makes it easier for
shoppers to locate specific products. The space this signing occupies is too
high for shoppers to reach, but it’s the perfect height to capture their
attention. Notice that the signs located on each shelf help shoppers choose the
proper product for their skin type.
sections of the Bowery Bay Shops didn’t have dedicated associates, and
sometimes shoppers need more information before deciding to make a purchase.
This is where signing is especially helpful. Here the Sunday Citizen floor sign
provides ample room to talk about the product while offering a QR code
customers can snap to learn even more.
thought out and signed displays allow you to express your creativity while
optimizing the square footage on your sales floor. Give these visual
merchandising tricks of the trade a try in your store and watch what happens!
© Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender 2023 | Retail Adventures Blog
This article originally appeared in Creative Retail Magazine.