How to Nail Your Retail Sales Display

How to Nail Your Retail Sales Display

Read Time: 4 Minutes


03 Feb 2021

Every shop you go into uses some form of visual merchandising, and the best ones do it without you even realising. Whether you want some more ideas on how to make your sales displays pop or you’re setting up your shop for the first time and want to add a bit of structure to your store, we’ve got you covered in this ultimate guide to nailing your retail sales display.


What is Visual Merchandising?

Visual merchandising is an important part of any retail store’s strategy. It’s all about enticing people into your shop and maximising the aesthetics of your products to increase sales. There are lots of different ways you can enhance the attractiveness of your store (which we’ll be going through in this article), from your window displays and lighting to hierarchy and banners.


Why is Visual Merchandising Important?

Visual merchandising is all about how customers perceive your business, and this perception can bring a multitude of benefits to your business. Here is a couple you’ll probably notice straight off the bat.

1.    Brand Loyalty – your shop displays enable customers to experience your brand through visual components. Examples of where visual merchandising embodies a brand to strengthen the following of their customer base include Lush who use all-natural wooden and chalkboard displays.

2.    De-Cluttering – Strategically planning out where your displays will go and how they’ll look can create a great flow through your store and avoid it becoming overwhelming for the customers.

3.    Themes – themes, like using red for sales or Christmas themes, indicate to customers that there’s something special or exclusive happening. A new layout, new signage and new colours create a contrast from the rest of your store, showing customers which products are included in the offer.


6 Visual Merchandising Tricks to Try Out

1. Lighting

Making sure your store is well lit is essential for maximising sales. It not only helps customers to see your products better and highlight anything sparkly but can also create a variety of different effects depending on how you use it.

Lighting can actually help you set the mood for your store. Soft lighting feels intimate and inviting whereas bright lighting feels modern and energetic, for example.

2. Signage

Signage has numerous uses for your retail display and you should never go without it. From posters advertising your sale to price points highlighting key prices, it’s all about clear communication. Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they have knowledge of all the different variables, like price and where they need to go to pay.

We recommend using directional signage to show customers where to go, such as where you till is, product categories and any facilities you have. We also suggest adding signs like window stickers to your windows during sales.

3. Packaging

Another important element to think about is your packaging, which can actually say a lot about your brand. For example, a plain single-use carrier bag will have a different effect to a branded Kraft paper one. An easy way to seal small boxes and envelopes is with stickers. Add a small sticker with your logo on and this vastly improves your packaging’s aesthetic without costing too much time or money.

Wrapping items, especially gifts and fragile products like glasses and mugs, can also give your brand perception a boost. Pick a tissue paper that matches your brand colour for extra brownie points!

4. Uniform

Uniform and the appearance of your staff can be something that’s easily forgotten about when planning how you want your retail shop to look. Generally, you should create guidelines reminding staff that their appearance should always be clean and professional. 

As for a uniform, this is completely up to you! If you run a clothing shop, getting staff to wear the clothes you sell can help customers visualise what the items will look like on, plus it’ll ensure everything is branded. For casual or technology shops, T-shirts are a preferred look. Keep it consistent with branded T-shirts for your staff.

5. Point of Sale

Point of sale displays are a specialised form of sales promotion, usually found close to till or on aisle ends. This could be promoting your new range or something small customers wouldn’t necessarily come into the store for but would pick up as they’re waiting in a queue to be served, like mints for their car.

There are a few different tricks to getting your point of sale display right. One of these is the rule of three, which states that people are more visually engaged when they see a group of three items. For example, you might set up three mannequins in your window or group display items in groups of three.

Furthermore, you could try incorporating the pyramid principle in your shop display, which uses a triangular structure to show off three or more products. A great way to visualise this for a display stand with multiple items is like a three-tiered cake – with fewer on the top, some in the middle and a larger amount at the bottom.

The example below uses multiple groups of three items with a perfect example of pyramid principle shown with the gift boxes.


retail display using boxes to create a pyramic

(Bright Goods)


6. Colours

Colour can also be used strategically when planning your retail display or visual merchandising, even going as far as influencing the way people shop in your store. Here are a few tips for using colour in your shop.

Brand colours

Incorporating your brand colours, or at the very least using complementary colours, is necessary when choosing your shop display colours because that’s what makes your brand instantly recognisable. Pick one or two key brand colours and pair them with something neutral like black, white or grey for the best effect.


Mood colours

Colour psychology suggests that different colour evoke different emotions, which means the colours you choose can completely change the way people shop in your store. For example, using colours like red to indicate a sale is more likely to produce a sense of urgency in customers, whereas using blue is more likely to have a calming effect, meaning customers will spend longer browsing your shop at a leisurely pace.


Highlight sales

Bold colours like red and yellow are often used to draw attention to special offers, however, it’s important to again consider your brand colours. If your branding uses a lot of red, a red sale sign isn’t going to have much of an impact. Pick something bright and bold that also contrasts with your main store colours to best highlight star buys.


A fantastic sales display comes to one thing: how appealing your store and products are to customers. We hope this blog helps you to find new and exciting ways to use colours, lighting and hierarchy to create that important desired effect – maximising your sales! Here’s everything you need for your in-store displays.  


About the Author

Hi, I’m Ally and I’m instantprint’s PR Lead. I enjoy writing content to help small businesses succeed and inspire them to get creative with their print marketing.