How to Create an Effective Retail Display

words Alexa Wang

Nowadays, a great deal of focus is rightly placed on digital marketing. With the right presence on social media, and a well-crafted email, it’s possible to persuade thousands of would-be customers toward the top of your sales funnel.

But, for all of the power of digital marketing, it hasn’t yet taken the place of the traditional sort. We’re still visiting physical stores (albeit in smaller numbers), and we’re still open to being persuaded by the right display – and in some cases, a DIY solution can be more distinctive than an off-the-shelf professional one.

Done right, a display of this kind will do several things. It’ll drive would-be customers off the street and into your store, for one thing. But even if they don’t visit, it may still lodge in their memory. Consequently, it’ll bolster the reputation of the store through word-of-mouth, and establish your brand in the locality.

Retail Display

What do I need?

You don’t need to pay over the odds for a fancy professional display. In fact, one that’s been hand-made might turn heads just as capably, especially if your store is a smaller boutique one. Assemble your crafting tool-bag. You’ll need:

  • A tape-measure
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided Sellotape
  • A stapler
  • A Stanley knife
  • A glue-gun
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pens, pencils and markers

Having all of these items to hand will allow you to easily throw up new displays, and keep everyone guessing about what’s in store. You want to strike a balance between novelty and workload: switching things up every day might be overkill, leaving it for months will make it seem like the store is being neglected.

Retail Display

Sketch Things Out

Before you get to work, think about exactly how your display will ultimately look. Pick one or two focal elements and build everything around them. Think about the message you want to get across, and who you’ll be getting it across to. Go out onto the street and work out where the customer’s eyeline sits. When you’re done, sketch out a few designs, and then test them out. Ideally, the central element of the display should be big enough to capture the attention even from afar – this will allow you to cast a wider net, so to speak.

Don’t neglect Lighting

If it’s dark outside, then lighting may play a critical role in drawing the attention to the right places. The right lighting might make the difference between customers that walk straight past the display and those that stop to take a look. Try to use several light sources, as these can help to avoid hard shadows – and don’t be afraid to experiment. Also, make sure that you’re using efficient LED bulbs, especially if your display is going to be on all day long.


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