effective product display

Effective Product Display

For shop owners, especially business owners of gift and resort shops, creating an effective product display can be the catalyst for an increase in sales. Utilizing these smart product display tips that work will help your items fly off the shelves – or racks –before you have time to restock!

These tips are most relevant to shops selling:

  • Apparel
  • Gifts
  • Souvenirs

Product Display Tips That Work

Want your problem to be that you can’t replace things on the shelf fast enough?

Try out these tips for an effective product display:

  1. Determine your store layout
  2. Through the door, on the right
  3. Devise a floor plan
  4. On a theme
  5. The rule of threes
  6. Feature high markup and luxury items
  7. Put like with like
  8. Arrange items logically
  9. Help customers envision themselves with the products
  10. Be your own model
  11. Appeal to the senses
  12. Use your imagination (or someone else’s)
  13. Change it up!
  14. Be inspired
  15. Connect with other advertising forms
  16. Have fun!
  17. Produce a good product

Determine Your Store Layout

Before you start creating your masterpieces, you need to get in your customers’ shoes and understand the flow of your store. How are they experiencing it? How will they come across your displays? Think about how the display relates to and reacts to traffic flow to ensure you are placing key items where customers are sure to see them.

There are three main types of store layouts. In reality, many stores are a combination of:

  • Straight
  • Angular
  • Loop


This is a typical layout for grocery stores and dollar stores because it most efficiently uses every square inch of space. Add displays at the end of the aisles, called the endcaps.


Also called a “mixed” floor plan, a lot of clothing and jewelry stores use this layout. Angular floor plans use space less efficiently than straight floor plans, but the space is more aesthetically pleasing. While grocery stores are functional and use a straight layout, fashion is more about style and so the space supports this value. Place featured displays in areas that people are funneled to based on your layout.


Shelving is set up to create a loop for customers to walk through. Think of a museum exhibit. Loop floor plans use the space the least efficiently but it feels luxurious walking through the space. No one has to worry about knocking over breakables in a store packed to the brim. Your products are also the most visible to customers.

Through the Door, On the Right

Right where they turn right, that’s where you want your display. While there are exceptions, most people tend to turn right when they walk into a store. Knowing this, you will want to make an effective product display to catch their eyes as they walk away from the entrance into the space. 

Devise a Floor Plan

With merchandising, it’s not just an effective product display that matters. First you need customers to see them! This is why it is important to design your floor plan to create an easy flow throughout the store to draw customers to your displays.

On a Theme

It’s human nature that we want to make sense of our surroundings. Choosing a theme is satisfying because it ties things together. Think of curating effective product displays like a fashion show of product vignettes rather than outfits in a collection (although they might also be outfits!)

The Rule of Threes

Think in threes. It’s a satisfying number and it’s an odd number. Asymmetry ensures your customers’ eyes are always moving, exploring your products, and never getting bored. An effective product display keeps the customer looking at products.

Feature High Markup and Luxury Items

High markup items are smart items to highlight because you’re using your space to advertise something that brings in the most profit. For example, there’s really no reason to market something like table salt, a product that’s cheap with a low profit margin. People buy it anyway and, for those who don’t, it won’t gain you much to bring in new salt-consuming customers!

Luxury items are also strategic because they encourage large purchases and, even if people don’t purchase the item, people will enjoy looking at an attractive item and it’s aspirational. Your visitors will buy other products and perhaps buy the display next time!

Put Like With Like

An effective product display puts like or complimentary items together. For example, you could set up a kitchen display with coffee, tea, cloth napkins, and cups and saucers. A display featuring items that go together can makes purchasing everything they need easy for customers.

Arrange Items Logically

Under or next to your display, arrange items so they’re easy to find. Arrange apparel from lightest to darkest, and smallest to largest. Keep extra stock close at hand so you can quickly replenish stock if a size runs out in your display.

Help Customers Envision Themselves With the Products

Anything that can aid customers in picturing themselves using the product or having it in their homes is helpful. That’s why people love to sample food and try on clothes. It convinces them that they will enjoy eating the salsa or wearing the sweater.

Perhaps a mannequin displays a swimsuit and there are sandals sitting on top of sand and seashells. Customers can picture what the apparel looks like when worn and the real sand links fantasy to reality.

Be Your Own Model (Be a Walking Billboard

Enlist employees to wear the clothes you’re selling. Shoppers are more likely to purchase items – and pay more for them – if someone is modeling the clothing, rather than just looking at a stack of T-shirts on a table – even if they are perfectly board folded. Have your employees become a walking, effective product display!

Appeal To the Senses

You’re a brick and mortar location, which means that you can appeal to senses beyond site. And you’ll have a leg up on the competition if you can appeal to all five.

It’s ideal that people can feel the fabrics, but what else can you do to capitalize on your access to the other senses?

Play calming music so customers aren’t in a rush or rock songs that appeal to the demographic of your shoppers. Timely holiday music also inspires and invigorates shoppers.

There’s a reason realtors bake bread when they show houses to prospective buyers. You don’t need to make your store smell like “home,” but a pleasant scent will encourage customers to stay longer. Burn a Kristin & Company candle to make the space refreshing (Vanilla is a scent that appeals to almost everyone.).

Use Your Imagination (or Someone Else’s)

Planning effective product displays is your chance to get creative. If you don’t feel comfortable creating a display, perhaps you have an employee who has a flare for artfully displaying products. Tap into it!

Change It Up!

You should change displays every month. You don’t want your customers to get bored. And you want to highlight new merchandise. A window display also indicates to passers-by that you have new inventory – and that they should check it out! For someone who hasn’t visited the store, a different display might catch their eye. The more effective product displays, the more chances to pique potential customers’ interests.

Be Inspired

Wherever your travels take you, be mindful of how others are utilizing displays and think, “Could this serve as a creative and thrifty product display in my shop?”

Instead of hitting the highway, take the back roads and stop by small towns. If they have more than a church and a bar, they’ll likely have imaginative store displays you won’t see anywhere else. However, you don’t have to drive 500 miles to be inspired. You can also check out trade magazines or Pinterest to get ideas.

Connect With Other Advertising Forms

If you have a print or digital ad campaign, marry your store displays with it. Customers want a consistent experience across your brand. So, give it to them! Your brand should tell a story. Each display is a chapter in the book!

Have Fun!

Don’t be intimidated, have fun with shapes, colors, textures, and props. If you have fun making a whimsical display, it will show to your customers.

Produce a Good Product

While selling strategy is important, behind the message needs to be a quality product. If you convince customers your shirts are high quality but they go through the wash only to look threadbare, clients are not going to become return clients! T.R. McTaggart provides products that your patrons are sure to love and quality you can trust will bring them back.

Items T.R. McTaggart carries that are front-window-display worthy at your shop:

  • T-shirts
  • Sweatshirts
  • Jackets
  • Hats
  • Umbrellas
  • Bags
  • Mugs
  • Tumblers
  • Assortment of Great Gifts
  • And more!

Contact Us

T.R. McTaggart has expertise in providing retailers nationwide with quality apparel and products that sell. Contact Us or call us today at (800) 433-0983 to talk about how we can help your store meet your customers’ high expectations. Use these product display tips that work and see where your results take you. Happy selling and we look forward to working with you!