Displays are the terminal part of the retail store’s interior. Advertising does attract the consumers to the store. However, visual displays have much more to play once the customer gets into the store. Retail store displays are non-personal, in-store presentations and exhibitions of merchandise together with related information. In actual practice, retail store displays are used to:
- Maximize product exposure.
- To enhance product appearance.
- To stimulate product interest.
- To exhibit product information.
- To facilitate sales transactions.
- To ensure product security.
- To provide product storage.
- To remind customers of planned purchases.
- To generate additional sales of impulse items and
- To improve the image and prestige of a retailer.
Merchandise displays are to gain the attention of consumers, provide proper balance, be structured in right proportion, be hard-hitting and convey their message quickly. The expert study conducted by display specialists reveal that on an average consumer spends only 11 seconds in observing a display. In addition, the retail store displays are essential ingredients in creating the stores shopping atmospherics, because the sight, sound, touch, taste and smell appeals are largely the result of in-store display. Every business has a personality and each display should contribute to express the stores personality.
Read More: Golden Rules for Building Retail Displays
Types of Merchandise Displays in Retail
Store interiors are the sum total of all the displays designed to sell the retailer’s merchandise. Retail store displays are classified by different experts in different ways. However, the most common classification is one which identifies in-store displays a four way classification namely, Selection Displays, Special Displays, Point-of-Purchase Displays and Audio-visual Displays. It is really interesting to know about each type.
1. Selection Displays
Nearly all the merchandise for which retailers rely on self-service and self-selection selling is presented to the consumers in the form of selection displays. These are mass displays typically occupying rows of stationary aisles and wall units-shelves, counters, tables, racks and bins – designed to expose the complete assortment of merchandise to the class of consumers.
Selection display units are generally “open” to promote merchandise inspection. The primary functions of this displays are to provide customer access to the store’s merchandise and to facilitate self-service sales transactions. More as a rule, the retailers use selection displays to exhibit their normal, every day assortments of convenience and shopping goods. Effective selection displays should present the merchandise in (a) logical selling or usage groupings, (b) a simple, well organised arrangement, (c) a clean and neat condition, (d) an attractive informative setting, and (e) a safe, secure state. In fact, customer convenience and operational efficiency are the watchwords for good selection displays.
2. Special Displays
A special display is special in that it represents a notable presentation of merchandise designed to attract special attention and make a lasting impression on the consumer. Special displays use highly desirable in-store locations, special display equipment or fixtures and distinctive merchandise. Placing special displays in highly desirable locations ensures maximum exposure for the display and its merchandise, thereby significantly influencing the number of units sold. End of-aisles, counter-tops, check-out stands, store entrances and exits and free-standing units in high traffic areas are all preferred locations for attracting special attention from shoppers. Unique combinations of display equipment such as counters, tables, racks, shelves, bins, mobiles and display fixtures such as stands, easels, millinery heads, forms, set pieces etc., help in creating a dramatic setting that will attract consumer attention and build shopper interest. The choice of display equipment and the fixtures depends on merchandise, the amount of space available and the effect expected.
The key to the successful display merchandising is the merchandise itself though store location and display equipment and fixtures are extremely important in structuring a special display. Special displays highlight the merchandise that can attract customers into the store, build the store’s image, improve sales volume, or increase net profits. Special displays, therefore, are reserved for advertised, best-selling high-margin and high-fashion merchandise along with the product items suitable to impulse and contemporary and complementary buying behavior Merchandise selected for special displays should also lend itself to good display techniques, which create a favorable sight, sound, taste, touch or smell approach.
3. Point-of-Purchase Displays
A point-of-purchase or ‘POP’ display is a particular type of special display. Retailers make heavy use of POP material to stimulate immediate purchase behavior The POPs are often the first and the last chance the retailers and the manufactures have to tell customers about the merchandise. The significance of POP displays is indicated by the fact that 81 per cent of super markets and drug store shoppers make their final purchase decisions in store. Shoppers also say 60 per cent of their super-market purchases are not planned in advance. Point-of-purchase displays include items such as counter displays, window-displays, self-extenders, grocery-cart ads, floor-stand displays, dump-bins, end aisle stands, banners, shelf-talkers, clocks, counter-cards, sniff teasers and video screen displays. POP displays are designed to attract the attention and interest of customers, reinforce the stores creative theme and fit in with the stores interior decoration.
Recently, the retailers have begun to “program” their on-site promotions. The idea is to stage a sequence steps that lead the prospective customer from some point outside the store to the ultimate point of making a purchase decision. Grocers have been particularly active in using POP materials to increase their sales. Promotional materials such as hand-bills, bag-stuffers and window signs remind shoppers of what they saw advertised in local news-papers. Counter decorations include dummy products, manufacturer’s signs, and price signs. To draw attention to special sales, some retailers use in store microphones. Each department announces the “blue light specials” each 15 minutes. The purpose of this kind of promotion is to keep customers in the store to “shop around.” The POP promotion not only increases store traffic but maintains it for longer periods of time. Finally, the POP displays make store a more exciting and fun-place to shop.
4. Audio-Visual Displays
The retailers have tried to exploit developments in science and technology to increase their sales through increased consumer satisfaction. The latest trend in fashion retailing is to make a video statement by applying current technology to stimulate the consumer purchases. Retailers are using extensively now visual merchandising, audio-merchandising and audio-visual merchandising to sell products. Three key applications of audio-visual merchandising are: (1) To display the depth and breadth of product lines – say all sizes and styles in shoes. (2) To use kiosks to explain the benefits of different products. (3) To provide customer with basic price information – say in case of jewelleries – price range and quality range.
These display approaches use technology to “speak” to and to “show” the consumer the available merchandise. Devices include “shelf talkers” tape recordings describing the merchandise audibly; rear-screen projections; slide projectors that present wide-screen, color picture of the merchandise and its possible uses; and audiovisual displays-a combination of sound and videotape or slides to present the products story. There is no end for this for there no end for change in technology.
Credit: Retail Management-AU