25 Creative Retail Display Ideas to Increase Foot Traffic and Sales  

According to the popular saying, “first impression matters.” While this applies to everyday human life, it’s more important for retail store owners. Because even if you have the best set of merchandise in your store, you won’t sell if your outdoor display fails to bring in customers.

Many retail businesses still stick to the traditional means of displaying outfits on mannequins. While that medium appeals to some customers, a larger percentage are intrigued by newer and more captivating displays.

A creative display of your merchandise can make ordinary items appear more valuable in prospective customers’ eyes. According to researchers, here’s how the five sense organs react to information with the eyes having more percentage.

  • Sight – 83%
  • Hearing – 11%
  • Smell – 3.5%
  • Touch – 1.5%
  • Taste – 1%

No matter the approach, the brain gives preference to vision processing over other senses. In this post, we’ve gathered the most effective creative visual ideas to help your business break out of the ordinary and attract more customers. Study them thoroughly and apply the creative display ideas that fit your retail business best.

Use Electronic Shelf Labels

Electronic Shelf Labels in a store
Source: Pinterest

Electronic shelf labels have changed the way retail business is managed as it offers great convenience to both sellers and buyers. Partnering with a professional electronic shelf labels manufacturer allows you to have quality digital shelf labels that can display basic product information, which lets you manage the store with less staff. With this electronic shelf label system, customers don’t need to beckon on staff repeatedly as they already have all the basic information needed to make an informed buying decision.

Passers-by and prospective customers can see the electronic shelf displays when you have a reflective outdoor covering. Following this, they will be happy to explore their options while they shop in peace. Moreover, electronic price tags enable retailers to update prices instantly, passing the information on to customers and bringing more convenience to customers. Retailers can monitor the status of shelves through electronic price tags to ensure a steady flow of goods.

There are several main advantages to using electronic price labels for retailers:

1. Intelligent pricing synchronization

With electronic shelf tags, the prices of products on all shelves can be updated within seconds, eliminating the need for employees to manually change price tags as often.

2. Automatic shelf monitoring, picking, and replenishment optimization

Moreover, through this system, customers and supermarket employees can find the location of supermarket products more quickly, and the selection efficiency of shop assistants and the time required to complete orders have been increased by 30%, thus improving the transaction experience and customer satisfaction. Because shelf monitoring, picking, and replenishment can be done automatically from the database.

3. Sustainability and cost savings

In addition to using more environmentally friendly materials instead of paper, electronic price tags reduce costs associated with ink, printers, and maintenance, as well as improve environmental sustainability. In-store price tags can be updated more efficiently through an electronic price tag system, which requires fewer employees for retailers, less pays, and lower labor costs.

Incorporate the Application of LCD Screens

Window LCD Screen in a Retail Store
Source: Pinterest

With the continuous advancement in technology, LCD screen invention has made advertising and business promotion easier. You can now display user-generated content and show your product in action through visual means, hence attracting more attention to your business.

While you can do it yourself using an image or video editing program, your LCD display manufacturer can also provide you with customized software that will make the usage seamless and more professional.

In fact, the LCD screen can be customized to be a touch screen, allowing customers to control the display to the parts they are most intrigued about. Through this, most of their questions about your products and services will be answered.

Create a Theme for Your Store

A Finely Arranged Retail Store
Source: Pinterest

Everyone is always intrigued by beautiful interior designs. It gives some sort of unexplainable feeling, comfort, and safety. One of the best ways to make sure your business stands out from the competition and wins more customers is by setting a “theme” for your store layout.

After creating the theme, you should ensure that any item you decide to showcase blends with the surrounding design. This means that the kind of business you do determines the type of theme you will have. Well, different sections of your store can have unique themes as long as they are harmonious with the items displayed. For example, if you sell sportswear, you could decorate your store to reflect athleticism whole using pictures and mannequins that display sportsmanship.

Also, how your merchandise is arranged goes a long way. Customers shouldn’t have trouble finding the items they want. It can be annoying, thus creating a bad experience and putting your business at a disadvantage.

Turn Your Products into Artworks

Clothing Display on Mannequins
Source: Pinterest

One great way to get people talking about your store is to captivate them with art. People love seeing live shows and performance art. Display artworks that depict creativity. Photos, paintings, and unique works of art will give a distinct feeling to your store.

The beauty of this is that you don’t need to break the bank to acquire bespoke works of art; you can use your products. This is more advantageous for retailers that sell clothing. The apparel can be worn on mannequins and displayed to grab people’s attention. It’s very important that you use the items you sell as they resonate more with customers.

Use Paper Sculptures

A Beautiful Paper Sculpture Design
Source: Pinterest

Other than making artwork with your merchandise or using relatable pictures, paper sculptures are another affordable means. So much can be done with paper art and the beauty of this idea is that paper can be gotten easily. It’s everywhere.

The only downside of this technique is that they cannot withstand harsh weather and they will easily fade out. But they can be made again and again with little to no cost.

Apply Scent

A Beauty Care Store
Source: iStock

The sense organs work hand-in-hand, so you can take advantage of others to draw more people to your store. Another trick even though it’s more of perceiving is using scent. It’s no secret that humans are drawn by good smell, which is a reason why you could judge from the aroma of a meal that it might be sweet. It’s also why many humans get easily attracted to people with good body odor.

Using this method, you can attract passersby to your store. Set your brand apart from others by taking advantage of good scents that will make customers feel welcome. This is perhaps a must for businesses that deal with fashion and cosmetics. Right from the outside of your store door, there should be a different scent that will alert passersby of your presence.

However, be careful when selecting the scent to use. Choose an option that isn’t too overpowering so that customers won’t walk out.

Include Plants and Flowers in Your Retail Store Design

Plant at the Center of the Store
Source: Pinterest

Adding plants and flowers to your design is a great way to breathe life into it. Adding them doesn’t just make your display more attractive, they are more inviting, hence reducing customers’ stress levels and increasing their stay time. This is not to forget that plants symbolize support of environmental sustainability, meaning that you’re focused on making the environment more livable for everyone.

Another set of plants and flowers benefits is that they help purify the air and improve indoor air quality. And they serve as sound absorbers, decreasing noise pollution. Only a few people can refuse a beautiful store decorated with fresh plants and flowers that offers premium relaxation.

Make a Social Media Worthy Display on Your Store Wall

A Lady Taking Photo in a Retail Store
Source: iStock

Creating a retail display to attract customers and increase sales is not limited to implementing great ideas at your physical store. According to a well-researched study by Statista, there are currently over 5 billion internet users worldwide, which is about 63.1% of the world’s population. With social media, you can reach out to more customers, including those not in your environment.

A great way to generate more likes and shares is to set aside a part of your store. Pictures with outstanding store features will increase organic promotion, likes, and shares done by real people with their followers. Using, for instance, a fun light display, lit signage, an accent wall, a plant wall, or large mirrors are good designs to make customers want to snap pictures, make videos, and share your business on social media

It’s best that you put your photo section in the last part of your store so that customers will have to walk through the whole store before getting there.

Promote Your Products through Your Staff

Staff in Front of a Store
Source: Pinterest

Getting your staff to promote your products is likened to killing two beds with one stone. Not only do you use the medium to show passersby the products and services you offer, but you also have the opportunity to show how the products are installed and used.

This idea can be used across many industries, such as electronics, furniture, jewelry, etc. But it’s very easy for retailers who deal with clothing. Your staff can put on a variety of the clothes and footwear you sell and stay outside the store, entertaining passersby. By doing this, people who feel it a burden to enter the store to make inquiries, can easily reach out to the staff and ask questions. So, you must make sure you have the best of your knowledgeable and convincing staff outside.

Incorporate Cross-merchandising

Fruits and Vegetables Cross merchandising
Source: iStock

Retail display is not a narrow process; it involves some brainstorming. Over the years, customers have seen the traditional display patterns, hence they are no more intrigued by them. What this means is that you can’t have the same set of items and catch the attention of many people. Variety is needed.

This idea can be implemented across arguably every industry. While electronic price tags in supermarkets help customers to make informed buying decisions, a good display of various complementary products sold in the supermarket will convince people to check your store out.

To do this, mannequins offer great support as they assist in making customers see different products go well together. Clothing retailers, for example, should not display single apparel on a mannequin, but rather create a full look. Assemble different clothing that matches up. Also, grocery and food stores should assemble various items in groups, which can be based on events like categorizing different food and groceries for birthdays or outdoor barbecues.

Devise Patterns to Keep Customers in Your Store Longer

Many Customers in a Supermarket
Source: iStock

We, humans, are created to be manipulated by what we see. If you see a store with no one in it, your best guess is that the products are not worth paying attention to, probably because they are of low quality, too expensive, or other reasons. By contrast, seeing many people in a store can evoke some sense of belonging and FOMO (fear of missing out).

As a retailer, it’s in your best interest to devise ways to keep customers in your store for a long time. This doesn’t only increase foot traffic, but the likelihood of these customers buying more products. To do this, you can have a relaxation center or a cafeteria for people who want to bite at something like snacks.

Be Creative with Your Storefront Design

A Captivating Storefront Design
Source: iStock

After your design, the first thing people consciously check for is the business name. They will like to put a name on the fine store display. This is an avenue to catch their attention even more. At this point, you shouldn’t settle for less. Instead of using a regular folding chalkboard sign, be more inventive. Try something entirely new but captivating.

You can design your business name with an exquisite pattern, however, it must be clear for people to read. You can also add an eye-catching quote, drawing, or an unexpected item to serve as your signage. There is no limit to your creativity in this aspect.

Have a Section to Entertain Kids

Kids Playing with Toys in a Supermarket
Source: iStock

A good but not popularly used technique is creating kid-friendly displays. This idea will be super-effective if you cater to Gen X and Millennial consumers. It can be used for kid-centric businesses like children’s bookstores and toy stores.

You can also apply this practice in other retail stores. For many parents, shopping with kids can be stressful, which is the opposite experience you want for your customers. Having a section for kids’ entertainment will allow the parents to have a good time in your store.

Let Your Retail Display be Well-lit

Bright and Shining Retail Store
Source: iStock

Even the most creative display will have no essence if it’s not well-lit. This is why you need to invest in lighting so that your products are displayed in the best way. Poor lighting can ruin all the efforts you’ve dedicated to making your store display enchanting. While the overhead and built-in lighting in some stores are enough to make the display well-lit, adding specially-made lights will make the retail display a better enchanting aura.

It’s not always about white lights. The lighting used can be determined by seasons and the type of items sold. For example, during festive seasons, red lights can be used to serve as a symbol of celebration. And for stores that sell sex items, red lightning is very suitable.

Use Captivating Colors

Enchanting Colors in a Store Design
Source: iStock

Colors express emotions. They can break or make your retail display, which is why it’s important to choose the right color scheme. In selecting the colors to use, you should consider your products’ colors. For example, if most of the items you sell are in pastel shades, then you should have similar colors in your displays. White and colorful themes won’t work for everyone.

Asides from choosing colors, how several colors are matched up matters a lot. You shouldn’t make a mess of your design while trying to be exceptional.

Move with Times and Seasons

Stylish Christmas Design in a Retail Store
Source: iStock

For your retail store design to stay relevant, you have to move with times and seasons. Take advantage of trends to increase your store foot traffic and sales. Have a calendar, marking eventful dates of the year. Keep a close eye on the calendar and ensure your visual merchandising tallies with relevant shopping events and seasons. This will not only help your business seem connected to customers’ real lives but also allow you to make massive sales during specific seasons, such as winter holidays.

Compulsorily, you should match your store’s display with each of the four major seasons – spring, summer, fall, and winter. And within these seasons, incorporate special events as they occur, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, HIV/AIDS day, etc.

Localize Your Displays

Retail Store with Local Interior Design
Source: iStock

Another technique you can use to bolster your appeal to customers is to input local tastes and preferences in your design. Pay close attention to local trends and popular beliefs in the area and make sure they are the focus of your display. This way, you will relate more with the public. You can get all the data you need about various areas through a detailed POS report and retail analytics.

In fact, if you have a large budget, you could contact celebrities in the area to make an advert to promote your brand either through photos or videos. These photos and videos will be displayed in eye-catching positions to entice the public.

Avoid Overcrowding of Products

Simple Arrangement of Items in a Boutique
Source: Pixabay

One of the most essential “Don’ts” of retail store displays is never to overcrowd the store with many products. This only creates clusters of products, which do not appeal to customers’ eyes. Instead, it will confuse them. Oftentimes, less is better.

Space conveys value. The more space you have in your store, the higher the perceived value of your products. This is why luxury items are often displayed in standalone sections. The right amount of space to designate in your store for designs depends on how you want your brand to be perceived.

Offer a Seat

Retail Store with Seats
Source: Pinterest

An inviting chair is a way to attract people to relax and take a look around your store. You can place a couple of chairs in your store for people to sit and feel comfortable.

Another aspect is concerning customers who come with friends and families. While one or a few of them are shopping, there should be a space where others can sit and relax. This will allow the shoppers to be rest assured that their friends and families are comfortable, hence they will take their time to explore the store and buy more products.

Have Music Playing Underground

Busy Customers in a Retail Store
Source: iStock

Your merchandising strategy is not complete without exploring customers’ auditory senses. Just like lightning, the music you select to play underground while customers shop impacts your store’s ambiance and how your brand is perceived.

There are two factors to consider when choosing the music to play. Firstly, the mood the music creates and what it tells about your brand. And secondly, does the music align with the products you sell? Can it drive more sales?

Music should not be disruptive. With good music, customers can even spend more time in the store and buy more products.

Put the Most Enticing Product in Front

Exquisite Retail Store Display
Source: iStock

In a variety store, it’s advisable that you place the higher-selling products or the ones that catch people’s attention in the front. So people, including passersby won’t be doubting if you have those products in-store or not. Also, they will be able to access them easily, hence improving their chances of making a purchase.

Another technique is to put other products you’re not really known for in front to showcase your versatility. For example, in a bridal gown store, you can place footwear and accessories in front. Customers will always find the bridal gowns inside the store, while the footwear and accessories show your diversity and entice them.

Use Portable Displays for Easy Arrangement and Removal

Shoes Placed on Portable Racks
Source: iStock

While trying to win more customers from visual displays, you shouldn’t sacrifice your convenience. Displays weighing so much that they take hours to set up and dismantle isn’t the best options. Heavy displays will discourage the urge to make periodic changes.

Rather use light and portable displays that are easy to set up, move around, and dismantle when closing for the day. Moreover, portable displays keep your visual merchandising on-point and focused.

Change the Displays Regularly

Neatly Arranged Retail Store
Source: iStock

Retail display is about updates and evolution. You can never be stagnant with it; keep changing it at regular intervals. While it might sound troublesome or tasking, customers will only get interested in what they can relate to like designs based on creativity, times, and seasons.

To ensure this idea is followed, you can set a timeline for yourself like updating the displays monthly. However, making changes during holidays and times that can bring in higher sales is compulsory.

Also, changes can be made following spontaneous occurrences. You can tap into catchy trends and viral sayings on social media. Making displays with trends can bring amazing sales results.

Implement Signage and Displays to Educate People about Your Merchandise

Digital Signage in a Supermarket
Source: iStock

One major reason why people are skeptical about entering some shops even after seeing a fine display is that they don’t know how to apply the products efficiently or they could have many other questions. The beauty of retail displays is that they can serve many purposes. While using it as a medium to attract customers to your shop, it can also serve as an instruction guide, explaining how a product works.

This tip is very important if you deal with items that aren’t common. They need some basic explanation serving as a conviction for people to buy. In a case like this, it’s best to use electronic shelf labels and LCD screens. You should source them from a professional e-paper display manufacturer with reputable experience in delivering legible and quality products.

Use Interactive Displays

A Lady Using the Interactive Touchscreen Display in a Store
Source: iStock

Thanks to the evolution of technology, the brick-and-mortar experience continues to improve. Nowadays, many stores use interactive and digital solutions to ensure customers shop faster with better accuracy.

This can be seen across many industries starting from furniture retailers who use VR headsets to let customers visualize equipment in their own homes, as well as apparel stores that allow shoppers to peruse electronic catalogs. Technology applications make interaction seem to have no limit. The bottom line is that you should devise communicative ways to attract customers to your shop while offering them the best shopping experience.


With retail being more competitive than ever, there’s no room for low-standard retail display. Now more than ever, you need to showcase visuals that can stop people in their tracks and convince them to walk into your store, buy products, tell friends, and come back.

And keep in mind that no matter the kind of display you set up, it won’t be effective if the convenience of customers is not prioritized. The basic information needed to persuade them to buy your products should be available. This is why you need to partner with an electronic price tag supplier that will provide you with digital tags capable of displaying the major information about your products.

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