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Refreshing Your Retail Displays: A How-to Guide

You know by now how important retail displays are in impacting the overall in-store experience. A poorly-designed display can turn your customers off, ultimately hurting your sales—and a well-designed display can help your sales skyrocket. 

However, there’s one component of a successful display that retailers too often overlook: Age. 

If your displays are too old and over-familiar to your customers, their eyes will pass right over it in favor of the newest, shiniest display in the store. This phenomenon is called “display fatigue” and it can kill your once-successful retail displays. 

What is Retail Display Fatigue and Why is It a Problem?

Display fatigue occurs when a retail display has become so old, damaged, commonplace, or familiar to the customer that it no longer draws the customer’s attention when they walk by. This is particularly true for loyal, repeat customers who may enter your store multiple times a year; if they’ve seen the display before and already decided they aren’t interested in its products, they won’t stop by the display again to reconsider—they’ll just continue to tune it out unless something changes. 

That means that retail displays aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it component of the retail environment. On the contrary, you must revisit your display designs often to keep them fresh and engaging. 

How Often Do Brands and Retailers Need to Refresh Their Displays?

The short answer: It depends. 

Some retailers might change their displays as often as once a week. In extreme cases, some would even suggest changing out displays once a day. During the holiday season, for example, you’ll want to keep your displays as fresh and exciting as possible to convey timely promotions and capitalize on the gift-giving frenzy.

Primarily, consider changing your display if you’ve noticed that sales have dropped significantly compared to when it was first rolled out. Other signs it’s time to refresh your display include: 

Your display is damaged.

We’re not telling you anything you don’t already know: Obviously, if the display is damaged or worn down in any way, it’s time to replace it. 

There is no such thing as a truly permanent retail display; while sturdy, practical, and well-designed displays may last upwards of 10 years, the design itself is likely to get worn down over time or at least go out of style. 

If you haven’t invested in a fresh retail display in years, then it’s definitely worth inspecting the display cases you currently have on the sales floor to see where they may have suffered wear-and-tear. 

Your brand has changed. 

Many retailers fall in love with their first logos or business names, but the reality is that no brand is safe from a healthy rebranding down the line. Under the right circumstances, rebranding can be the saving grace that prevents your business from experiencing a decline. 

However, you can’t hold on to your retail displays if they still use the old branding elements. If you’ve drawn new customers into your store with a successful rebranding, then you’ll only confuse and frustrate them by keeping the old branding elements in your retail displays. 

New products don’t fit the old display. 

Although stock display fixtures can be the ideal solution for low-cost retail displays, they will never be quite as effective as designing a fully custom display to fit your particular brand and products. The same is true for adding new products to old displays. 

If you get new merchandise, you’ll need to shift around your old displays in order to display them prominently because your customers will be drawn to the novelty. In some cases, the new products will fit awkwardly on the display or there will be too much or too little space left over. To represent all of your products, old and new, in the best light, you’ll want to re-design your displays. 

You’re refreshing the entire store environment. 

Full-store refreshes are a common, albeit infrequent, tactic that retailers use to avoid display fatigue and keep consumers engaged in the retail environment. Whether you’re shifting around the entire layout of the store, painting the walls, or changing the flooring, any major layout refresh presents a great opportunity to revisit the efficacy of your current displays and potentially invest in new ones. 

No Budget for a New Design? Here’s 3 Quick Tips for Refreshing Your Display 

In some cases, you may know that you need to refresh your displays, but don’t have the budget to invest in a full redesign. 

That’s okay. Although you definitely need to consider updating your displays in the near future—particularly if they’re damaged or off-brand—there are a couple of quick actions you can take to spruce up your displays in the meantime.

1. Use technology in your initial display.

If you’re in the process of a new display and you’re aiming for longevity, consider incorporating technology like a video screen into your design. When the display gets stale, you’ll be able to quickly and easily switch out the video or graphics on the screen for a fresh take. 

2. Change its location.

Some displays will get stale because customers pass by them in the same location every time they enter the store. To disrupt their normal shopping patterns and capture their attention, try moving your old displays to new, higher-traffic areas of the store. 

3. Swap out the background graphics.

Background graphics and cardboard add-ons are much easier—and cheaper—to replace than full retail display fixtures. If you can’t afford a full redesign, consider replacing the background graphics for a quick fix. 

If you know it’s time to refresh your old displays, we can help you develop an efficient, engaging, and on-brand design to feature your products. Request a consultation, and we'll get started!


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