Pause and think about your latest retail experience as a customer.

What did the store look like? How were the products displayed? How did the visuals enhance your overall experience?

The above questions speak to the importance of visual merchandising.

A retail display shows consumer products “in action.” This creates a more immersive customer experience. Merchandising also prevents customers from opening up the packaging to see what’s inside; this decreases product damage and loss.

Many traditional visual merchandising methods have remained. Mannequins and window displays come to mind. Today’s merchandisers are incorporating new ideas into retail displays to create more interactive experiences.

Here’s a closer look at interactive retail merchandising.

Spacing Products and Minimalist Merchandising

Retail equipments

One of the principles of visual merchandising is allowing customers’ eyes to rest. Thus, you want to maintain proper spacing between products on shelves, walls, and island displays.

Product spacing is also determined by your store’s niche or theme.

For example, suppose you manage a high-end women’s boutique.

If you carry a small line of products, a minimalist merchandising strategy would help the products shine better. You could use wall space and floor mannequins to sell outfit ideas, not just products alone; this trick would also increase your sales average.

You’ll also find the minimalist technique in interior design showrooms and high-end galleries.

These types of businesses also rely heavily on store associates to drive sales. For example, an associate may act like a personal shopper, using displays to create a truly interactive experience.

Create an Interactive Counter Retail Display

Don’t be afraid to go wild if you manage a toy store, though!

Proper positioning doesn’t mean your store needs sparse walls and shelves. You just need enough room for customers to focus on each product.

Inventory-heavy retailers, like toy stores, need plenty of space for products.

In fact, placing products close together on counter spaces is a classic merchandising trick used by toy stores, general stores, and other retailers.

Use risers and containers to creatively display small items, like pencils, erasers, and finger puppets. These items are known as impulse buys and help drive sales averages.

Impulse item merchandising is highly interactive.

Take the opportunity to showcase your store’s best “tiny” items. Functional items work best; think of last-minute items customers may need at the moment, like greeting cards, stickers, stamps, or crazy paperclips.

Counter items that flash, make noises, or release scents also engage customers at checkout. Enhance the interactive experience even more by asking associates to recommend impulse buys as add-ons.

Toy stores serve as an excellent example of what you can do with retail displays.

Retail Island Displays

Counter spaces are just the beginning.

MoveableΒ display islands pack a lot of engagement in one space.

For example, suppose you’re selling a new line of educational laptops for children. This is the type of product that needs a demo to shine.

Retail Store

Ensure your island is sized appropriately for children, placing the laptop demo on the top. Merchandise accompanying accessories and software are on the shelves underneath. This strategy works great for one-person games, puzzle toys, and light-up toys.

Island retail displays work well in decor stores, novelty stores, and gift shops.

Use islands to display lamp demos, snow globes, music boxes, and clocks. Miniature zen gardens also look great on an island product display, and they’re extremely interactive.

If you notice a product isn’t selling, you can always open one up and turn it into an interactive display. You’ll be surprised at how fast a product will sell by simply demoing it.

Integrating Digital Signage

Retailers still depend on print advertising, like island signage, sandwich boards, window markers, and so forth.

Now, they’re going the extra mile by incorporating digital signage into retail displays. It’s also ideal for counter space merchandising.

Digital signage can display a series of ads, discounts, clearance items, and more. Thus, you can advertise more items than a typical paper sign. Touchscreen signs go a step further by letting customers interact with the ads.

Suppose, you want to increase memberships at your store or gym.

You could merchandise a retail island or counter with information packets, freebies, and electric sign-up forms. Interactive touchscreens are a great alternative to paper forms; plus, you conserve resources!

Install digital signage at the register too. For example, you can buy credit card processors with digital signage. This is a great way to sell more impulse buys to customers.

Optimize Product Displays With Flat Screens

Install flat-screen monitors to really get your message across.

Flat screens are perfect for the following:

  • Streaming brand media (commercials, cartoons, etc.)
  • Showcasing outfits ideas
  • Highlighting in-store deals
  • Advertising clearance sales
  • Product demos
  • Advertising new items

Flat-screen signage is a must for electronic stores, like video game retailers.

These businesses use flat screens to showcase the latest video game trailers. Customers can also watch their favorite gaming influencers on TV as they wait to purchase.

These business niches rely heavily on interactive displays.

If you’re launching a new electronics store, consider investing in retail touch point technology. It goes beyond digital signage to provide a complete media hub for your visual merchandising.

Let Customers Get Their Hands Dirty


Do you manage an arts and crafts store or a maker shop?

These niches are all about interaction.

For example, if you’re selling a new line of poster paints, open a box and create an interactive table display. This retail product display is perfect for outside. Plus, interactive outdoor merchandising draws in foot traffic.

You could even devote a section of the store to interactive displays.

You’ll find this technique in children’s retail stores, art stores, and toy shops. Bookstores with reading areas are another example.

Transform Your Customer Experience

Are you ready to make the most out of your visual merchandising?

Keep this guide handy as you craft your next interactive retail display. Consider retail islands, digital signage, media hubs, and more.

The blog is also packed with inspiration for projects.

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