On Display: How Retail Displays Can Make or Break

Posted by Rob Gleave on 23 February 2017

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Retailers are constantly on the lookout for ways in which to improve productivity and profitability, and the number of ways to do this can be overwhelming.

From POP and POS, to brand new retail technologies, there are always new and exciting ways to optimise an instore estate.

This week we want to strip it back to basics and simplify the whole process by looking exclusively at a perennial retail staple, the instore display. Though it may be tempting to concentrate on the latest exciting innovations in the tech sector to improve retail results, it’s undeniable that the instore display still delivers outstanding results for retailers when it’s done properly.

Get closer to your customers

There’s no better way to get a message to consumers than through an instore display. By inserting messages directly into the shopping experience, physical displays allow retailers to influence the customer journey at a critical moment of truth, where their customers physically interact with the brand.

Research has shown that shoppers switch to “manual control” when an effective retail display catches their attention. This diversion from autopilot can have a significant influence on the direction that a consumer takes and their future purchasing decisions, so effective retail displays are a must to take full advantage of a store’s footfall.

Catch the eye

To truly harness the power of the instore display it is key to create an eye-catching design that stands out from the crowd. Bold colours, unique shapes, and interactivity can make the difference between a customer ignoring a display or engaging with it.

Most of all though, retailers must be agile and understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach to instore display design. Different products and brands require different strategies and an appreciation of this is important to long-term success.

Send a message

The message that a display carries is a deciding factor in its success. Research shows that only 36.9 per cent of shoppers engage with price reduction displays, in contrast to 50 per cent engagement with displays that promote free products or competitions. This is mirrored by the fact that quantity discount messages convert fewer sales (40 per cent) than those that offer a free product (60 per cent) (Grocery Display Effectiveness Study) .

This clearly demonstrates that not only do retailers need to consider the design and the message of their displays, they also need to get overall product strategies right. It doesn’t matter how well articulated the message is if it’s something that consumers fundamentally aren’t interested in.

Location, location, location

Location is arguably the most important element of designing a retail display strategy – even dubbed the golden rule of display by some. This element of retail design uses psychology to elicit the desired response from consumers. For example, large and vertically positioned displays can trigger the “fear flight” response, something developed over millions of years that ensures that humans react to movement or shapes that cross their vision horizontally. Automatic responses like this can ensure that a display is always noticed and the customer is removed from “autopilot”. 

Using the wrong location for a display can be disastrous, with those situated above head height recording a meagre 4 per cent impact ratio, and a 12 per cent conversion rate . Just as an ineffective message will never cut through the noise of a store, if a POP display is difficult to see, it doesn’t matter how good it looks or how fantastic the deal is, its performance will suffer.


An Installation Case Study

Working with the retail institution that is Boots, Momentum Instore delivered a high volume installation campaign which aimed to make the shopping experience a more pleasurable one.

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