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How to Increase Sales with Retail Merchandising Design

If you’re looking for ways to increase sales at your retail store, one of the best things you can do is invest in high-quality retail merchandising design. A well-designed retail space will grab customers’ attention and make them more likely to buy your products.

I know from personal experience how important retail merchandising design can be. When I first opened my clothing boutique, I didn’t put much thought into the layout or look of the store. But after a few months, I realized that something wasn’t working. Sales were low and people just weren’t coming in like I’d hoped they would. That’s when I decided to hire a professional designer to help me with the store’s layout and overall look. And it made all the difference!

After we implemented some changes, business started picking up and now my store is thriving thanks in part to our great visual merchandising design.

What is Retail Merchandising Design?

Retail merchandising design is the process of creating a retail space that is visually appealing and inviting to customers. This involves choosing the right fixtures, displays, and layout to maximize sales and create a positive shopping experience.

A well-designed retail space can help to increase foot traffic, encourage impulse purchases, and build brand loyalty.

Visual Merchandising Displays and Strategy

A well-designed visual merchandising display can be the difference between a customer picking up your product or walking right past it. Whether you’re going for a splash of color, luxurious designs, or an attention-grabbing gimmick, make sure your display is unique and compelling.

Visual merchandising is the art of displaying products in a way that entices customers to buy. It plays an important role in the sales process, from product placement and next-gen planograms to designing and managing retail product displays.

Exciting retail displays and strategic shelf placement can both help boost your store’s sales and profit.

Product Placement Marketing – Bringing Order to the Chaos

Many brands, retailers, and manufacturers spend a lot of time and energy negotiating with each other.

Meanwhile, customers are overwhelmed with options, and this can cause them to lose focus. Instead, they should focus on the experience of seeing and touching the product in person, as this will lead to better sales.

As a business owner, it’s important to keep your customers focused on your products rather than the competition. One way to do this is by ensuring that your product placement is effective and catches the customer’s attention. This will keep them coming back to your store and filling their baskets with your products.

No matter what type of store you operate, carefully placing essential items will draw shoppers to the areas where your most profitable impulse items are. This will help increase sales and keep customers coming back.

For example, video game retailers can entice customers with essential accessories such as extra controllers, charging cords, and cleaning supplies that guarantee an interruption-free gaming experience.

Home improvement stores can stock up on high-replacement items such as gloves and face masks.

Home decor stores should stock up on several consumable items that help to make home life simpler. These can include items such as air fresheners, cleaning supplies, and mops.

The science behind retail layouts dictates that you place these magnetic products in high-traffic areas, such as near cash registers and entrances so that customers are enticed to purchase your impulse products as they fulfill their daily shopping requirements.

Window signage is a great way to advertise discounts for items that customers often need to replace. By prominently displaying these discounts, you can encourage customers to make impulse purchases.

Some visual merchandising companies can place products on shelves for impulsive buys, but it depends on the space.

As you rank your top options, be sure to keep counters and check-outs as a top priority. Second choice locations are end-caps in high-visibility areas or a location on the main hallway.

If you’re looking to sell items with high-profit margins, you can’t go wrong by placing your products in high-traffic areas. But which type of products should you place there?

When planning your product placement strategy, keep in mind that forced pathway layouts can give you an advantage. Position displays so that they “bump” customers along their journey, and make sure the visuals for your products are eye-catching. Physical impediments to customer progress should be avoided.

Your product marketing strategy is useless unless it’s executed properly. To execute your strategies, use a digital merchandising tool.

The entrance of your store is a great place to orient your visitors, but keep in mind that it’s more of a transitional space than a fun place to grab. Try placing some signs here to direct visitors to necessities or encourage them to explore.

Benefits of Next-Gen Planograms

With outdated strategies, old-school merchandising plans bring back bad memories for sales reps who used to use these tactics.

Even worse, these outdated and cumbersome plans can compromise the planogram’s effectiveness, making implementation an all-or-nothing scenario.

Here are a few ways that next-generation merchandise planograms flip that outdated practice on its head.

  • Our process begins with step-by-step instructions and checkpoints along the way.
  • Merchandisers and employees then take a photo of their completed work.
  • Photos and videos are automatically tagged with time, date, and location data to ensure authenticity and prevent fraud.
  • Our real-time, accurate data gives you a quick, easy, and effective way to keep track of all activity, including your deadline, sales, and stock.
  • The Natural Insight platform integrates data like attendance, check-in/check-out times, task completion, employee strength data and tagging, and more.

How to Design and Manage a Retail Product Display

The key to success with retail displays is to always plan ahead. Be sure to thoroughly plan your in-store layouts and ensure your merchandising is flawless.

Eye-Opening Retail Product Displays

When retailers have great product displays that are working, everyone wins. When those aren’t in place, though, retailers and manufacturers alike suffer.

To create a retail display that will help increase sales, you need to make sure it is built with the following three principles in mind: entice customers to come closer, sell the product, and make the most of the space available.

By following these guidelines, you can create an eye-catching and effective display that will help boost your sales.

Designs That Entice

A study by the Sydney University found that sudden movement, directional changes, light flicker, and variations in color all capture the attention of people.

Here are a few of the ways you can use visual elements to grab the attention of your store visitors.

  • Install reflective surfaces to create motion around the product.
  • Organize color and brightness in a gradient fashion to trigger luminance.
  • Try hologram surfaces to trigger visual jitter cues.
  • Try layers with holes and background with high brightness or intense darkness behind them.
  • A pattern of holes punched into a surface, such as a wall, will create visual changes, such as moving shadows, that simulate movement.

Displays That Sell

Emotions and necessity are the two driving forces behind the sales process in any product display.

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, it’s important to keep track of their display strategies and upkeep schedules. This way, you can learn from their successes and adapt your own displays and replenishment regimes to fit each local area or store.

When monitoring the competition, these are the things you should keep track of:

  • Your competitors’ prices and placement
  • Their hottest selling items and those items that never move.
  • Their display arrangement
  • The timing of their display takedowns and new builds 

Managing Displays and Maximizing Display Space

When designing retail displays, it’s important to make sure customers can easily view your merchandise from all angles.

Customers won’t be able to buy what they can’t access or see.

When planning your store’s layout, be sure to take into account traffic flow and leave plenty of space for customers to move around. You want them to be able to see your displays, but you don’t want them to feel crowded or hemmed in.

If you prevent people from getting to your product, they won’t be able to touch it, hold it, or inspect it — which is crucial for selling. They also won’t be able to see it up close and personal, regardless of how good it is.

You can prevent this problem by having your sales reps take or upload photos of the general floor plan. That way, you can make sure that the display you order will fit into the space you have available.

When sales reps have the proper tools, they can ensure that their displays are always fully stocked and looking their best. This ensures that their stores are always meeting high visual standards.

Retail Display Ideas

Retail displays always need fresh ideas. Here, we’ll go over some research-backed ideas for retail displays that are eye-catching.

Storefronts and Entryways

Even for high-end products, there is a limit to how dark you can go. A sultry, mysterious, or moody tone can suit a wide variety of different store types and product types.

Light in huge, outdoor malls and storefront windows will almost always be very bright. So, dark displays of merchandise and entrances can absorb this brightness.

If your store is dimly lit and unappealing, and the storefront and signage are not adequately visible, it makes it difficult for potential customers to know what is inside.

And if they can’t see it, they can’t buy it!

It’s easy to see why well-lit storefronts are so popular among shoppers – it’s easy to see what’s inside without having to squint or strain your eyes. Black-on-white color schemes are also very eye-catching and make the store stand out from the rest on the block.

Instead of using a white highlight, you can also use a red one. While it may seem dark, it actually travels far distances due to its low dispersal and longer wavelengths.

Having your field team do quality inspections of your store can help you spot any areas that may need improving, such as lighting and display. You can submit these inspection results to management to help assess the store’s overall condition.

Open or Closed Storefront Design

Some stores have walled-off or obstructed windows, which limits the display of products. However, this does allow for some very effective, attention-grabbing window designs.

Hot selling products should be showcased when using this method.

With most retail stores having very limited doorways, there is a risk that customers won’t be able to see inside. This could lead to them not feeling as compelled to enter the store.

When designing your retail store, balance your focus on showcasing a shopping environment with selling a particular item or product.

It’s important to create an engaging, yet not overwhelming, experience for your shoppers. 

Optimize Retail Shelving

The ideal way to optimize a retail store’s shelves is to ensure products move off them. This doesn’t simply mean a neat and orderly display, though.

Here you’ll find a few strategies from stores that have really made a splash.

The Billboard Effect

The Billboard Effect is a method of creating a large, on-brand, and eye-catching visual message using several smaller packages. By using this method, you can ensure that your product gets noticed and viewed by customers.

For loyal shoppers, the billboard effect will help them find the products they came to the store for. They’ll see your products and brand, and they’ll be drawn right to that location.

Think of your packaging as your only “storefront”. Just like you wouldn’t use a logo or color scheme that doesn’t fit your brand, you shouldn’t put anything on your package that wouldn’t fit your branding.

Coca-Cola, for example, is always innovating and coming out with new flavors. However, they discovered that their shelves were lacking in brand awareness. Their products, such as their lime flavored soda, and the new zero-calorie beverage, all had little to no visibility. The iconic red color of their label was barely noticeable when placed among other brands.

Don’t worry about your product’s package – this can be achieved by great in-store merchandising. Start by placing your new product on branded, on-colored shelves.

Another way to promote your branding is by recreating it using your product. Our research has found that displaying your products in creative ways can help your customers remember who you are and what you stand for.

The Starter Gap

A “starter” gap in your display is exactly what it sounds like – a gap between your merchandise that will encourage customers to take the next step.

Is punching a hole through your screen perhaps the worst offense in trade show booth design? The perfectionist in all of us would say so.

Our inner accountant, though, knows that a starter gap in sales can kick-start product purchases.

People have different shopping habits. Some like to shop around, while others will purchase a product on the spot.

Other customers may walk right past a spotless display of products, thinking to themselves, “Who wants to mess up this perfectly clean setup?” before looking at the messier one right next to it.

Don’t confuse our message – your signage should always be at its best. However, a little psychological trickery can kickstart that new sign’s journey to a refill.

Shelf Optimization Through Data Analytics

Innovation, experimentation, adherence to your brand, and aesthetics are all important elements of your shelf design. But, these all rely on a solid foundation of data-driven decisions.

If you’re looking to optimize the placement of your products in your stores, data collection is a great way to get started. By capturing images of your displays, gathering customer feedback, and conducting custom customer surveys, you can gain valuable insights into how your customers interact with your merchandise. This can help you make better product placement decisions, as well as optimize your store layouts.

By experimenting with your merchandising strategy, you can determine what works and what doesn’t. By analyzing your data, you can optimize and maximize your profits.

Boosting Sales with Retail Signage

Most shoppers are strapped for time and are short on cash.

If you don’t give them a reason to enter, they’ll likely continue on their way.

Your audience’s emotions play a huge role in the success of your signage.

Retail signs can tap into a variety of powerful motivators, including:

Rest and Relief: Give shoppers something that will make their lives easier, like a big package of AA batteries. This will mean fewer trips to the store at inopportune times and more time doing other things.

Act on Caring: People feel an impulse to show their care for others in special situations like birthdays, holidays, and weddings. Help them act on that!

Or, play on the “dark side” and point out that it has been a while since you last bought a gift for the ones you love. Either way, signs that make customers think of the importance of buying gifts for their loved ones around this time of year will entice them to come into your shop.

Make an Impression: Your retail signage is one of the first things customers will see when they visit your store, so make sure it’s making the right impression. Use signs to show off your latest products and entice customers to come inside. With the right signage, you can increase foot traffic and boost sales.

Your retail signage should focus on images that evoke a sense of wish fulfillment. Whether it’s a tropical vacation, a fun night out with friends, or a major life milestone, feature your products prominently in these images to make a big impact and get customers moving.

Accessorize the Trip: Offering accessories to bigger ticket items is a great way to boost sales. Think of what add-ons you can offer your customers to increase sales.

Whether you’re trying to entice customers in or attract your high-profit items, perfect execution of your retail business means doing it right – and on time.


If you’re looking to increase sales at your retail store, investing in high-quality retail merchandising design is a great place to start. A well-designed retail space will grab customers’ attention and make them more likely to buy your products. So if you want to give your business a boost, consider hiring a professional designer to help you with the layout and look of your store.