The checkout counter is considered prime real estate in any retail environment, because every customer who is buying something will come face-to-face with product displays in this area. But, just because your product is located on the checkout counter does not mean it will automatically sell. The display still has to be powerful enough to make an impact on customers who walk by. Here are some of the rules of effective checkout counter displays that grocery store distributors, retailers, and manufacturers live by:

Use every inch of space.

Some retailers have larger countertops than others, but if you’re stuck with a small space, it’s up to you to maximize every inch of it. Instead of cramming signage onto an already crowded countertop, ask the retailer if you can use a countertop decal that sticks to the surface and won’t take up any space. Or, use a hanging banner that floats above the product display without taking up physical space on the countertop.

Universal product.

A checkout counter is not the place to introduce products targeted at a niche market. If you want your display to be successful, you should only choose products that can be used by every single customer who walks up to your register. Think of what you normally see in the checkout line at grocery stores: batteries, chapstick, candy, and magazines. Every customer could use these items, which is why they sell so well when featured by the register. Before you create a display, make sure you ask yourself, “could this benefit each of my customers?” If not, choose another item.

Don’t feature your whole product line.

People buy products at the checkout counter impulsively. They quickly look at the item, make a yes/no decision, and follow through with the transaction. For this strategy to work, you can’t overcomplicate things by displaying an entire product line of items. Customers don’t want to make multiple decisions when they’re standing in line getting ready to pay. If they have to decide between colors, flavors, and sizes, it’s no longer an impulse buy, but rather a carefully thought out purchase. As you make your display, choose one item you want to focus on and avoid adding any other products to the area.

Don’t rely on the cashiers.

Many retailers ask their cashiers to direct customers’ attention to the checkout counter display and answer any questions they may have about the featured product. However, as a manufacturer or distributor, you should never rely on a cashier doing this. Some cashiers don’t follow their management’s directions, and others get swamped with a line of customers and don’t want to slow down the checkout process by talking about a product. Create your display as if no one is there to answer questions or explain what a product does. Your display must be designed well enough to get all of this information across with a single glance.

What rules do you follow when making checkout counter displays? Share your suggestions in the comments below!