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Displaysense Top 10 Tips

Research shows that a staggering 60% of buying decisions are made in store. While there are many aspects involved in marketing and gaining customer loyalty, an increasingly important decision to make is how you create a successful visual presentation on the display/point of sale stand.
Does your merchandise display attract and interest the customer? Or does it overwhelm and confuse the viewer? Is the display simply bland and unremarkable? Does it look right for your company's product/brand/image? Or does it look out of place and show your products/literature in a bad light? Here are some top tips designed to help you create displays that will get the customers' attention and maximise your sales:

1. Create a focal point
An overwhelming display or a boring one can both have the same problem - a lack of focal point. Where do you want your viewer to look? Is there one main feature you want them to notice? Where will the eye travel through the display? Don't leave this to chance. Plan what the customer should do when they see the display. Perhaps a new product is the main focal point, with complimentary items placed in close proximity to encourage multiple sales. Many window and table displays are too low. The focal point should be at eye level to most viewers. Visitors will not work to get a good look at your display, they will simply walk on by without noticing.

2. Plan your design
Don't just put your products together willy-nilly. Practice drawing a quick layout to help you visualise the plan for your design. Will your layout be horizontal or vertical? Will the products be arranged in straight or curved lines, in a pyramid or circular shape? Will the design combine a variety of elements, or just one? To experiment with this, draw rectangle that is roughly the same shape as your display space. Sketch geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, circles, semi-circles and triangles in various combinations to get a sense of an appealing layout.

3. Create balance
Strong displays have visual balance. Dark colours appear heavier than light ones. Large objects appear heavier than small ones. This seems straightforward, but you need to think about this as you plan your display. Generally larger, darker items would be placed near the bottom of a display, with lighter items at the top to avoid appearing top heavy. Placing too many items or heavy looking items on one side appears unbalanced. A grouping of many items on one side of the display can be balanced by one heavy item in just the right place on the other side. Think of weights on an old fashioned scale to get an idea of how this works. Does balance matter? We all respond emotionally to visual stimuli. Creating a display is about creating a mood and a desire within the consumer. A lack of balance creates an impression of instability and anxiousness. The consumer is not even aware of the feeling, he or she simply searches out an environment or merchandise presentation that gives them a positive feeling and creates an appealing mood.

4. Keep it simple
Don't try to do too much. The goal is to attract attention to the product or literature you are promoting not the display itself. On slatwall for example, often simple rows are the best way to show the merchandise. Too often displays can be seen where every row or shelf has a different arrangement. Your goal is to make it easy for the customer to find what they are looking for and to make sense of your product/literature arrangement. Keep your groupings logical by grouping similar products/literature together, with complimentary products/literature nearby.

5. Use proper lighting
Lighting is overlooked far too often. When budgeting for shop/exhibition displays and merchandising, lighting is not an 'extra'. Lighting your displays properly can make the difference between a display that makes people yawn, or makes them stop and look. Lighting should be adjusted every time you change your display to avoid unattractive shadows. If you don't have positionable lights in your key display areas, get some as soon as possible. A good lighting store will have some for a reasonable cost and can give you advice on installing and using them.

6. Look at the display from all angles
After you have completed your display, step back and look at it. Very few people will see it standing directly in front of it. Most displays are approached from the side and seen from an angle. Approach your display from all possible angles and view it as a customer would. Is your focal point still placed appropriately? Do you need to angle the display to the customers' viewpoint? Is the signage visible and readable? Does the arrangement still appear balanced? Observe the direction from which most customers approach the display. Make sure that the best view of the display is the one that most of the customers will see.

7. Survey Others
This may sound obvious to many people, but is nevertheless worth mentioning. Look around at other products and companies. How do they display their products/literature? Is it counter top, floor standing or wall mounted? What size is it? Why do they display it in that way? Would it work for your product/literature?

8. Premium products need quality displays
As a very general rule of thumb: the more expensive the product is, the classier the display should be. Although there are exceptions to the rule, you don't usually see a piece of valuable jewellery on a cheap display unit or literature advertising a top quality car brand on a bog standard leaflet display. Equally, if it is a budget/volume product that you are displaying you will normally want to use a budget display that suits the product and packaging.

9. Monitor Performance
When trying new ways of displaying, don't forget to monitor the results. Little tweaks here and there in the way that you display can have staggering results and of course you want to know what works and what doesn't.

10. Recycle or donate wherever possible!
Far too many unwanted displays are simply thrown away when they could be donated to charities or recycled into new ones.

A chance to get noticed in the industry. A chance to show your creativity. A chance to participate and win display awards every month. (submit your entries at [email protected])
National Geographic, London
Exploring the world of retail: National Geographic gives its
world-renowned brand a physical presence with its 1st store in London.
  Hugo Boss, New York
Meatpacking Chic: The old soul of its formerly industrial neighborhood pervades the new and fashionable Hugo Boss store on Manhattan's
14th Street.
Courtesy Bob and Susan Negen | WhizBang! Training, Phone: 616-842-4237, Fax: 616-842-2977,
To sign up for your FREE Tip-Of-The-Week, Visit:

Tip #151 Hidden Opportunities-A Real-Life Case Study

We got this e-mail from one of our clients who purchased the $17 Solution, “How To Write A Red-Hot Help Wanted Ad”.

She loved the ad she wrote using our method, but it presented her with a problem… which to Bob's eagle-eye for marketing was also an opportunity. Here's her e-mail and Bob's response.

“Bob and Susan,

I am struggling with the idea of actually thanking you for your help.

You see, I purchased your "How to write a red-hot help wanted ad" informational brochure, and it really worked. I am now sorting through approximately 120 applications, many of whom seem qualified. In fact, most of the people we have interviewed so far have been great possibilities.

Many people have commented on the ad. A few have even called it the best they have seen as far as knowing just what we offer and desire in our employee.

So.... OK.....Thanks for such great advice.

Now, here's the problem your great advice has caused me. Because we are in a small community and all of these applicants are our potential customers, I must contact all of them one way or the other out of courtesy and to develop good will. Any ideas?

Thanks again”

Here's Bob's response…

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the letter. We loved it! I call those kinds of problems 'the kind of problems you always want to have'. I would do a couple of things to parlay your “problem” into a great marketing opportunity…It goes without saying you should send everyone you don't hire a “sorry letter” thanking them for applying. You'll find a sample attached.

I'd also enclose a five dollar gift certificate as a way of thanking them for taking the time to apply. Keep track of the average sale from the redeemed gift certificates and I'll bet you a nickel you'll end up paying for the price of the ad many, many times over. Plus you'll get all those customers in your store one more time…

Keep the names of all the people you'd like to hire, but can't. Put them in a “hot prospects” file so when you need a new person in the future you can call them first. You may save the time and expense of starting the process over again.

Thanks again,


Screen Printing
Screen Printing magazine is the leading publication and trusted
source of information for the screen-printing industry. Since its
debut in 1953, screen-printing professionals have relied monthly
on Screen Printing for landmark coverage of the latest techniques
and technologies that save time, energy and money.



Retail Review Melanie McIntosh
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Retail Notes:

Last month I sent out an invitation in my Retail Tips newsletter inviting readers to send in a photo and description of a display issue in their stores. The first respondent was Marilyn Revell from New Zealand. She struggles with strong reflections on her front window that completely obscure her displays. Here are a few of the highlights from her Retail Review.

Problem: Window Reflections

Dealing with window reflections is a common problem for retailers. Here's how Marilyn describes her problem: During the day people can't see in my window as it reflects the building opposite. Although quite light inside, the shop appears dark when looking in from outside and if my door is shut (due to cold) people think I am closed!



Window reflections are caused by stronger light on one side of the glass than on the other. This effect can be reduced in a couple of ways. Light can be increased inside the store, or decreased on the outside of the window. Increase the light levels inside the store.
Window displays need strong lighting, to reduce reflections, and also highlight the merchandise, capturing attention of viewers and directing their eye to various areas in the display.

It seems backwards, but you actually need a higher level of lighting in the windows in the daytime, than you do in the night. You need to balance the very strong sun reflecting off the white buildings across the street. Lighting should be positionable spotlights so that they can be moved when the displays are changed. There should be enough lights to highlight all the merchandise in the window adequately.

In addition to the lighting, there are a couple of things you can do with your display. Light objects are generally more visible in the window. You can screen off your window display area with light coloured panels that provide a backdrop for your display.


The merchandise in your window is quite dark and will create a strong contrast, or silhouette against the lighter background, making it easier to see. Having said that, again, I have to emphasize that this will only be effective with stronger lighting in the window.

Open for business.
Marilyn's store already has a sidewalk sign to help shoppers determine whether the store is open. This is a great start. To make sure a message gets across, the information often needs to be available in more than one location. Think about putting your store hours on the door, or even in one of the windows. Rather than placing a sign in the window, I like to use vinyl lettering that applies right on the window. It looks professional, is not too
expensive, and does not detract from what is inside the store.

Display Tips
Once you have made your display window more visible, here are a couple of tips to help you make your displays more effective:
1. Choose a theme for your window. Evening wear is displayed in the window, which could be tied together in a stronger way by choosing a colour theme as well. Placing garments in the display that are of similar colours would create a more dynamic grouping. Another alternative would be to choose contrasting colours such as black and white. Keep the colour choices simple.
2. Think of outfits or coordinates in the display window. Instead of a wide variety of purses in the window, coordinate a purse, and/or other \ accessories with each outfit.
3. Create varying heights in the window. Using just the floor of the display window creates a static display, and is too low to attract the eye. Using cubes, displayers, or shelves of vary heights creates a more dynamic and visually interesting arrangement.



  By Mary Bellis      

It’s Barbie birthday on 9th March. Here’s a little piece of information on the world’s most popular and much appreciated doll.

The Barbie doll was invented in 1959 by Ruth Handler (co-founder of Mattel), whose own daughter was called Barbara. Barbie was introduced to the world at the American Toy Fair in New York City. The doll was intended to be a teenage fashion doll. There has been some controversy over Barbie's figure when it realized that if Barbie was a real person her measurements would be an impossible 36-18-38. The Ken doll was named after Ruth's son. Barbie first had bendable legs in 1965.

Ruth Handler
After fighting breast cancer and undergoing a mastectomy in 1970 Ruth Handler, one of the creators of the Barbie Doll, surveyed the market for a suitable prosthetic breast. Disappointed in the options available, she set about designing a replacement breast that was more similar to a natural one. In 1975, Handler received a patent for Nearly Me, a prosthesis made of material close in weight and density to natural breasts.

More information available on:;



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