Why retailers should have imaginative product displays in store

In today’s challenging retail market, it’s important for stores to stand out from the crowd. This can be done by amazing visual merchandising, quirky signs to entice the customer inside or an imaginative retail display.

An imaginative retail display is a cost-effective way to enhance customers’ purchase behaviour, increase product sales and return on investment. They are constructed using multiple units of the same product in a novel and aesthetically appealing form. They can be found in retail stores to entice customers to purchase a certain product

Research from Monash University, Queensland University of Technology and Capital University of Economics and Business (China) found that for a wide range of consumer products creative product displays positively influence customer behaviour.

However, these displays cannot just be creative for the sake of being creative, says Professor Keh, who was one of the researchers.

“They need to be relevant to the product and capture the imagination of shoppers,” he explains.

“Besides arousal, our research revealed a cognition-based process whereby themed imaginative displays, with particular shapes mimicking actual objects such as a bear and a battle tank, conveyed embodied meanings, such as strength and energy, that transfer to the products constituting the display, which increase customers’ purchase intention.

“Our findings not only explain why some retailers use ‘gimmicky’ imaginative displays, but also provide evidence on the processes and boundary conditions of these displays to favourably influence customers’ purchase behaviour and increase sales at relatively low costs.”