Designing Store Displays to Stand Out at Retail

4 minutes
Katie Kochelek
headphone countertop retail display rendering

Designing Store Displays to Stand Out at Retail

4 minutes
Katie Kochelek
headphone countertop retail display rendering

Attractive store displays draw attention in crowded retail environments, boost product sales, increase brand recognition, and educate customers. So, what should brands consider when beginning the design phase? Here, we detail how to best amplify a point of purchase display at retail.

Designing Retail Displays to Stand Out

When planning a store display, there are common recommendations to follow.

Sleek, simple designs that reflect branding and utilize eye-catching graphics are key. Clean lines have a powerful visual impact, and eliminating the clutter of complex messaging or too many products on a display can keep the focus on the merchandise.

Additionally, its essential to provide retail sites with a well-organized planogram. Planograms are visual representations or diagrams that illustrate how products should be arranged on a retail display within a store. They specify where merchandise should be placed including positioning, spacing, quantities, and more. These guides ensure displays in the field are set up to be most effective as determined by the original design.

While there are many ways to get the most out of a budget during the design phase, brands can also explore more premium options to enhance their displays.

Featuring actual products or providing a way for product demonstration can be more costly, but adds valuable interaction that appeals to shoppers.

In addition, building displays out of high-end materials like clear acrylic or laminated wood grain can add impact. Further, utilizing custom construction techniques like back lighting, edge-lighting, or laser cut logos can also elevate a display’s aesthetic.

What to Consider When Designing for Major Retailers

Designing displays for major retail stores can add another layer to the process since these retailers often play a role in the design approval. Below is a list of things to do when planning for a retail display roll out to big box stores.

  • Fully understand the retail space. Knowing the display’s location in the store as well as if it will be in-aisle, freestanding, on a counter, or elsewhere is necessary. In addition, being aware of the store’s height, width, and depth maximums or restrictions will also drive design.
  • Be up-to-speed on store layout consistency. Not all stores are alike, even within a chain, so knowing how certain locations might vary will help brands design with modularity in mind. Having different retail sites provide photos can aid in the process.
  • Know the product’s role. Will the display feature actual product or will all products remain in their original packaging? Will the products require demonstration? What are the number of SKUs per product? These are questions that determine not only design, but whether additional arrangements need to be made to ship products to locations.
  • Determine the timeline of the retail display. Knowing how long displays will be in the field will influence the materials used and whether the display will be permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary.
  • Be familiar with safety and security requirements. Powered displays might need a UL listing while anti-theft features may be required to secure products.
  • Know dates of placement. Seasonal placements sometimes come with stipulations. Before the winter holiday season, stores often require displays to be placed by the first two weeks in November.
  • Who is handling install? If a display is shipped unassembled, the brand will need to hire an install team or discuss plans for retail personnel to set it up.
  • Plan for final delivery. When shipping displays, brands will need to know specific details, including if there are size restrictions for delivery, whether docks are available to accept shipments, and if stores or retailers require white glove service delivery.

Many of these considerations not only affect the way a display is designed, but influence timelines and shipping arrangements, too. Working closely with the retailer at the beginning of a project can streamline the process and ensure a smooth roll out when time.


Designing retail displays that stand out in bustling store environments requires a strategic blend of aesthetics, functionality, and alignment with brand identity. And when collaborating with major retailers, understanding the intricacies involved in store layouts, requirements, and more is pivotal to achieving a seamless deployment. Combining smart design with meticulous planning paves the way for a successful retail display program that performs for brands and leaves an impression on customers.

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