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Creating displays that engage shoppers is an ongoing challenge for many retailers. With competition from online stores and shoppers expecting an increasingly interactive experience or directing their own connected experience, for example, researching products online while in-store, retailers must continuously evolve to keep breaking through the “noise”.

The in-store customer experience is key. The decision to purchase is often made as a direct result of the experience that is created at the shelf. This in-store experience is also a golden opportunity for retailers to differentiate from in-store and online shopping experiences, ensuring brick-and-mortar stores stay relevant in an increasingly digital age.

“How do I create displays that interrupt and engage shoppers?” is a question I often hear as I support retailers across the globe. Whether in the UK or US the challenge remains consistent.

Retail is one of the most competitive sectors and, with 76% of purchase decisions made in-store[i], brands cannot afford to leave shopper engagement to chance.

What does it take to create a display that will increase shopper dwell time and create the opportunity to drive sales?

Before you can start to look at how to create a more impactful display you need to establish what success looks like. Retail displays are not designed to sell a product. Rather the role of the display is to engage the shopper for long enough to give them the information they need to make the decision to buy. So, the success of any display should be measured by its impact on shoppers.

POPAI , a progressive industry association, promoting best practice and dedicated to enhancing the total shopper experience, developed the Impact Ratio as a way to measure the impact of displays. The Impact Ratio is a measure of the number of shoppers who look at a display as a ratio of the total number of shoppers who have an opportunity to pass and see it. A “look” has to be more than a glance. Shoppers need to make eye contact with the display for long enough for them to drop out of “autopilot” and into a conscious shopping mode, typically this is just under a second. By moving into a conscious shopping mode the shopper is able to make a conscious decision about whether to engage with the product on display.

Before you move on to look at how to increase the impact of your display by adding stimuli, there are some essential elements of design to consider. The more time you spend considering the needs of your target audience the more successful your display will be. Whoever you’re targeting, shoppers consistently ask for bigger, brighter, clearer information to be shown, so be sure to:

·       Experiment with colors to ensure products stand out on the display
·       Be mindful of font type and size – can information be easily read at a glance?
·       Consider whether you have included the basic information shoppers need, especially price

Once your display is optimized for colors and fonts and you’ve checked that the most important information to shoppers is displayed, you’re ready to start adding stimuli in the form of lights, motion and sound components to increase the impact of your display.

To better understand how retail displays can be enhanced to increase impact, Rocket Production recently supported a shopper behavioral study conducted by POPAI UK. The aim was to understand how light; light and motion; and light, motion and sound impact on shopper behavior. The results of this research have just been released and gives retailers access to insights that help to create more impactful displays.

Through this research we learnt that:

·       Adding stimuli to displays positively effects shopper behavior and response
·       Adding lights to displays has the most positive impact on dwell time
·       Sound is an effective attractor and disruptor

At Rocket Production our goal is to support retailers who aim to create engaging customer experiences through visual merchandising, so I am excited to be able to share the findings of this research with you.

Download the research report to access actionable insights that you can build into your next retail display to increase shopper engagement, dwell time and the opportunity for sales.



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