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4 Reasons Your In-Store Retail Displays Aren’t Working

One of the major differences between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retail is the ability (or inability) to create a physical customer-product interaction. In-store retail displays allow you to draw attention to specific merchandise, round out the immersive in-store experience, and flex your creative muscles.

In-store retail displays play a crucial role in driving conversions. Window displays alone influence 24% of purchases, according to NPD Group. And that’s before shoppers walk into your store: Imagine the impact of displays once they’re inside?

Despite the opportunity that retail displays provide, many stores are still overlooking this important selling tool. Below, we’ll dive into a few reasons why your in-store retail displays aren’t working.

Why Your Displays Aren't Working

1. They don’t reflect your price point

Linda Cahan, retail visual merchandising and design consultant says one major miss for retailers is not respecting price point designing your displays. “Space equals cost,” she says. “If you have expensive merchandise, people will understand that if there’s actually some space between the items.”

“People don’t want to feel like they’re bargain basement shopping and then see a price tag for $400.” – Linda Cahan, retail visual merchandising and design consultant

Cahan recalls a shoe store that disregarded price point in relation to visual merchandising. They had the shoes spaced apart, one at a time, similar to an art gallery. “The shoes were spread out and very elegant,” says Cahan. It was great, until you got to the price point: a surprisingly and relatively inexpensive $90.

“The visual merchandising attracted people who were looking for shoes that were in the $400 range, and then they saw these $90 shoes and they were a little betrayed by the display,” she says.

What to do instead

Mind the space for your merchandise; the amount of space a product occupies should be proportionate to the price point. Provide a product display that is equivalent to the price point of your product. This sets expectations. “It improves the shopping experience,” Cahan says.

“Customers instinctively understand that retailers are paying per square foot. The more stuff retailers cram into it, the more affordable the merchandise will be,” Cahan explains. “When there’s space, then the feeling is, ‘Wow, this stuff is more expensive.’ Customers just get it. And you can’t trick customers. You can’t make something be perceived to be less or more.”


2. They lack utility

If your in-store retail displays look beautiful but serve no purpose, you’re missing out on sales opportunities. Many times, retailers will use products that aren’t for sale, hide pricing information, or make it difficult to find the displayed merchandise elsewhere in the store. Your display could also be blocking pathways or the overall flow of your store.

What to do instead

Cater to your customer. Think about if you were shopping the display: Which information would you like to see? Perhaps there’s a sign that lists product details and prices or a map of the store that shows you where to browse more size and color options. Better yet, bring a product display rack over or have a small section of the display dedicated to shoppable products.

Customers also want to see your product in action. It’s one of the main advantages a physical retailer has over e-commerce sellers. Creating displays that show your products in use or allow shoppers to try them out will help with engagement and conversions.

3. They’re too busy and distracting

Sometimes, less is more. But it’s easy to overdo it with your in-store product displays. 

Whether it’s because of various team members’ conflicting input, lack of clear vision, or something else altogether, adding too much to a display can distract from its ultimate purpose: to drive sales.

What to do instead

Establish a focal point for your display: If there’s one thing in your display that you want every passerby to see, what is it? Then design your display around that. 

4. They disregard the details

Many times, retailers lack basic standards or guidelines. That makes it easier for smaller details to go unnoticed during the design process. 

What to do instead

Consider documenting brand guidelines for in-store displays. This becomes increasingly important for retailers with multiple locations, as it will help ensure both stores create a synonymous customer experience.

Your choice in product displays will make a large impact on your sale conversion.  

Zimair has been connecting manufacturers with consumers for over 70 years through innovative retail solutions and in-store displays. Our mission is to drive your ROI with cutting edge designs that build brand equity and boost your sales.