Summer Retail Merchandising Series Part 3: Creating Displays That Get Noticed

The third – and final – entry in our Summer Retail Merchandising series is here and it’s all about visual merchandising.

Product displays help drive traffic in store and can transform an everyday item into a summer must-have. We’ve touched on visual merchandising in Part 1 and Part 2 of our series, but now we’re getting into the nitty gritty.

With these tips you can create the coolest product displays to get through the hot weather.

1. Anticipate needs.

There are certain summer staples that many people rely on – sunscreen, bug spray, bathing suits, garden supplies, and more.

These summer must-haves should be front and centre in the store or e-commerce site. They should be as easy as possible for customers to find.

Smaller items, like sunscreen, bug spray, band-aids, sunglasses, and more, work well at the point-of-sale displays.

This is visual merchandising 101 but it’s truly a must-have!

Take it a step further by creating outdoor exhibits or hosting in-store demonstrations of your products. Selling a fun pool float? Perhaps inflate one to show it off at full size.

2. Target to your market.

Beyond the basics, you can also think outside of the box when it comes to what your base will be needing. For instance, with kids home from school, parents may be looking for rainy day activities, or items for summer camp.

If you cater to parents of babies or toddlers, they might be searching for summer baby clothing, ointments for heat rash, fans for the nursery room, sun hats, and more.

Think of your niche and use it to create products and displays that resonate.

3. Focus on fresh.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are a summer favourite — which is why farmers’ markets are so popular in the warm weather. Manufacturers might consider hosting booths at these markets or creating similar displays in-store.

Grocers can focus on locally grown produce, cold beverages, ice cream, popsicles, barbecue staples, and more.

As with other product displays, if you have an item that is suited for something summer-specific, create a display around it! Use big signs to point shoppers towards local products and highlight what food items are in season.

You might even create a campfire favourites display with items for making s’mores, barbecues, and related accessories.

4. Use spring/summer décor.

Beyond re-locating products, retailers may also want to create new window displays or add accessories in-store. Flowers and florals are great for this, as are beach items like seashells, contained sand, bright colours, and more.

Bring the outdoors inside!


5. Take your store outside.

A pop-up shop or outdoor display is perfect for summertime. Identify what items would hold up outdoors and draw attention from passersby.

Whether you choose to display items on the sidewalk in front of the retailer, or in a separate pop-up location all together, it can be a great way to entice people into the store.

Also consider a summer sidewalk sale to move lagging merchandise and draw in customers.

6. Transform everyday products.

We wrote about this in Part 1 of our series, but even if you do not manufacture summer-specific products, there may still be a way to tweak them for the warmer weather in your product displays.

For instance, a travel mug might be included in a display of what to bring on a camping trip.

A tote bag that is in-store all year round might be displayed as a summer beach bag.

Paperback books that have been slower to sell might be re-branded as summer beach reads.

Items that have traditional winter uses can be pushed in summer, too, by encouraging shoppers to get ahead of the crowds or take advantage of a deal or discount.

The key to transformation lies in the message – the marketing and the product displays.

7. Use Instagram and Pinterest as a starting point.

In Part 2 of our series, about garden centres, we mentioned how shoppers from younger generations are looking for florals that make for interesting Instagram pictures – bright, colourful, and unique.

Why not turn your store or outdoor display into an Instagram station?

For instance, a living green wall (a wall with flowers growing down the side) is a popular photography destination for shoppers.

If a living green wall isn’t possible, there are other options.

Garden centres can create displays with brightly coloured flowers.

Retailers and manufacturers can host social media contests, encouraging shoppers to take a picture with their product on vacation, or take a photo at a certain location in-store and post it on social media to be entered to win a prize.

In-store demonstrations, a class, or special speaker can encourage photos.

Look at what is trending on Instagram and Pinterest in your industry and ask if there is a way to join in the buzz.

Summer visual merchandising is a great way to draw in new customers or tourists, so make the most of it while you can! The specifics depend on your industry and target market, but in almost all cases there are options available.

Of course, the best visual merchandising happens when products are kept fully stocked, priced correctly, and displayed appropriately. That’s where Marketsupport Canada comes in.

We help manufacturers verify their displays at retailers across the country, and we assist retailers with planograms and more.

Contact us today to find out about our services. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit

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