Creating serendipity: Attention-grabbing tips for your product display
We have all been there … we run into a store for one thing, only to find ourselves unloading a shopping cart full of goods into the trunk. It’s not surprising that long-term studies found that only one third of the purchases made in stores are pre-planned. Retailers have realized the value of strategic placement and are finding innovative and subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways to create serendipity for their customers.Enter the exciting world of product displays. From end caps to shelf signs, there are a multitude of tactics to bring your product to the forefront to increase the likelihood of purchase. Temporary displays have the greatest potential for attracting attention due to their prominent size and novelty, which make them much more noticeable. But permanent displays can also be used for manipulating the product’s location, the display, adjacencies and aesthetic elements such as size and color coordination and special signage.

Here are a few tactics to using singularly, or in conjunction, to rev up your product display tactics:

  • Be practical. Shoppers are becoming increasingly frugal. Coupon users collectively saved $4.6 billion in 2011, up 12.2% from 2010. To take advantage of this retail trend, offer 10% off Post-it Coupons that easily adhere to most packaging and products, adding to consumers’ ease of use.
  • Be cross-promotional. Research in consumer psychology, backed by plain common sense, has shown that conveying the perception of a good value is likely to create a purchase. Offer deals on similar products (e.g. buy a bicycle and take $10 off the price of the helmet).  Conversely, based on your relational sales data, position two products in close proximity. If you find that people typically purchase sunscreen and allergy medicine together, then create an end cap featuring both products to foster good fortune.
  • Be inventive. From new recipes to craft project ideas, offer solutions to the question: “How could I use that?” Display additional tips in a floor poster stand with pockets. For example, a craft store could display how-to guides on a variety of projects using a singular item, ranging in skill level, and providing a list of needed items.
  • Be cheeky. Craft clever content to fit your brand’s image.  In one example, Wrigley’s™ Orbit® gum uses the slogan “Clean It Up” and asks people to “Join the Dirty Mouth Study.” Combining something quirky and memorable, along with traditional shelf wobblers and colorful removable floor stickers, is a great way to get people talking.
  • Be instant. Have a product that can be used immediately. For instance, simply keeping a bottle of water in a display cooler makes it much more attractive.
  • Be animated. Anything that moves draws attention. Whether utilizing a rotating literature holder, a battery operated sign or a large hanging banner, lights and motion will create attraction to your display.
  • Be clean. As the old adage goes, sometimes less is more. Avoid the clutter and opt instead for symmetry and simplicity in your display. The ultimate example of simplicity is the Apple™ Store, which is carried throughout the brand to perfection. Additionally, there is an unexpected benefit to tidy product displays. One school of thought says that if a store is clean, it deters theft.
  • Be savvy. Tie your product display into your other marketing channels by creating a program that has built-in metrics and creates an experience beyond the bricks and mortar. Place a QR code on the display materials with an enticing mobile coupon, then direct shoppers to a quick and easy survey. Not only can you measure the reach via analytics of the landing page, you can also collect market research and increase website traffic.

Consumer behavior is a fascinating field full of interesting revelations that could take a serendipitous experience to a whole new level. If considering things like the psychology of color, you could really build yourself a psychological tool of success.

Dreze, Xavier, Stephen J. Hoch, and Mary E. Purk. “Shelf Management and Space Elasticity.” Research Chicago Booth. Nov. 1994. Web. 11 Dec. 2011.

“Coupon Trend Reports.” Coupon Trend Reports: Consumers Receive $4.6 Billion Coupon Savings in 2011. Santella & Associates, 26 Jan. 2012. Web. 17 May 2012.

Martin, Scott. “How Apple Stores Rewrote the Rules of Retailing.” Editorial. USA Today 18 May 2011. USA Today. Gannett, 19 May 2011. Web. 21 May 2012.

McFarlin, Kate. “How to Stop a Shoplifter in a Store.” Editorial. The Houston Chronicle, Small Business sec. Chron.com. Hearst Communications Inc. Web. 21 May 2012.

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