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Increasing retail display interaction

Your retail displays are like side dishes and drinks in a restaurant – you’ve got the customer through the door, so now is your opportunity to introduce them to new things, perhaps items that they didn’t come in for. But for that to happen, they need to have an X factor.
They must stand out from the everyday shelves – that’s a given – but they’re also competing with other displays in the store and in competitors’ stores too. How can you achieve the levels of interaction that justify the displays’ placement? Here are some ideas.

Be seasonal

There’s nothing as unmotivating as a stale old display in a store, especially if it’s completely out of season. Nobody’s interested in gardening in winter or bobble hats in summer, so keep your displays fresh by changing with the months.
Not only does this show customers you’re on the ball when it comes to new products; it also creates a sense of urgency or scarcity in them. These are two things that are known to motivate shoppers to make purchases.

Lighting is everything

If you really want to draw customers to a display, a good way is to make sure it’s more brightly lit than the rest of the shop. Stores do tend to be well lit to start with, so it’s not just about the luminescence, it’s all about the focus. Spotlights on certain products on your display rather than flooding the whole thing can pay dividends. It makes them look special and perhaps exclusive, especially in prestige goods.

Take a sample

New products always have a high bar when it comes to getting customers to try them. Why try a new flavour of crisps when you’re happy with cheese & onion? A staffed display offering samples of products can get people to clear that hurdle. If it’s food that’s particularly moreish, they might even grab a few packs for their baskets straight away. It also works with scents, cosmetics and even cleaning products, so don’t be shy.

Motion captures customers

Video is quite underused in retail, but it’s a fantastic way of marketing products. You might have seen the JML videos that always seem to appear in supermarkets and discount stores. Video is the perfect medium for demonstrating the kinds of novel items they sell, because customers will often have no idea what they are for.
You can also use video for demonstrating lifestyle products like fashion, bags, jewellery and cosmetics. It doesn’t necessarily need to focus on the product itself – it can show happy, successful people using the products almost incidentally. But planting seeds of association can work wonders for a brand.


Demonstrating in person is a step up from video when it comes to showing off novel or innovative products that customers can’t physically taste or smell. A person trained to show them off can bring out the best in a product, and if they’ve got a bit of personality to back it up, it can be gold dust. Another advantage is that they can take questions on the items if they’re familiar with them, something video can’t do.
Yes, it has costs associated with it, but for certain products it’s the only way to show it off being used, and that makes a strong link with quality, benefits and ease of use in customers’ minds.

Go truly interactive

Another extension of video is an interactive screen. Estate agents have bought into the technology wholeheartedly – thanks to large touchscreen displays in the store windows, you can now check out the houses without having to meet the agents. But in store, the interactive experience can be just as profitable.

Unlike video on a loop, the same amount of floor and display space can be taken up with a single screen that allows customers to dive straight into the items they’re interested in, and feel like they’re in control of the experience. You can include quizzes, games and customisation options to increase interactivity.

A neat function is to connect the display to a printer and let customers print off vouchers or discount codes that can be used at the checkout to redeem with the products being offered. That can only happen with interactive displays. Even without a printer, you can use QR codes that shoppers can scan with their phones to serve the same purpose.

Create unusual displays

Novelty is always a winner when you’re looking to increase interactivity. Making a display unmissable is bound to draw interest to it, and there will always be a proportion of your customers who will take the extra step and investigate it further.

The sky’s the limit with displays. Toy shops are probably the most accomplished when it comes to over-the-top displays, but when pester power is all, that’s a real factor. You’ll frequently see life-size versions of character dolls, animatronic displays and huge models hanging from the ceiling – and lots of happy faces gazing at them. However, any type of retailer can learn from toy shops. Just creating displays that make the products look larger than life has a positive effect because it projects the idea that the product is popular, high quality and important.

Measure and monitor

It’s always worth paying attention to how well your displays are working. Some ideas work better than others in certain contexts. Getting to know what your specific customer base responds to will feed back into more imaginative and effective ideas in the future.

Work with the pros

Once you’ve come up with your display ideas, why not get in touch with CJ Retail Solutions so we can talk about professional installation and management of your displays, whether they’re temporary or permanent? And if you’re still looking for inspiration and to see how we can help bring high quality displays to your retail space, have a look at some of our recent projects – there’s plenty of food for thought in there, so go ahead and take some free samples.