Back to School Displays: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Marketing to families is a huge part of boosting sales during your back-to-school push. Great Northern Instore can help you tackle this large undertaking and make it easy. They provide custom displays that match the wants and needs of your retailers by tapping into their innovative entrepreneurial knowledge and 60 years of experience. They work with you to make sure that your back to school displays fit your vision to optimize sales with a turnkey solution.

Why Displays are Important

If you are a retailer, the layout of your back to school merchandising, including the displays you use, can facilitate customer purchases by improving their shopping experience. These displays help reinforce brands being sold, increase sales and organize products in a way that encourages customers to peruse and buy. Displays are vital for the success of your store during the second largest retail season, according to NRF.  For brands, great Back to School displays help their products get noticed and placed into shoppers’ carts.  Visual merchandising can be a tall task — here are 4 mistakes that Great Northern Instore can help you solve.

1. Not using the right displays.

Bland displays become another part of the everyday experience for a store, which means they can get lost in the everyday. For regular visitors to your store, especially if you sell regular household items, these displays become an unnoticeable part of the store. They don’t catch attention because they’re always there, and shoppers know exactly where to find the specific items they are looking for.  These can be permanent racks that lack relevant seasonal messaging or very basic temporary displays that do not stop the shopper on their normal trip mission.

Your marketing materials can become overlooked and uninteresting if they never change. The Path-to-Purchase Institute found that temporary displays increased sales by 23.8%, whereas permanent displays brought only a 19% increase. As seasons come and go, customer needs change. By highlighting products with seasonal or temporary uses, you attend to customers’ needs, and you make the shopping experience more convenient. The back-to-school season gives you the opportunity to draw attention to your office supplies, school-appropriate clothing, lunchbox items, electronics, and other materials and accessories students need as they return to the classroom.

2. Your store layout doesn’t promote sales.

identify high-impact locations

Simply using temporary displays or back to school signage will not necessarily increase your sales on their own. Identify the areas in the store that get the most traffic and the highest visibility to decide carefully how to use that space. Areas near the register can be highly effective because customers are standing and waiting in line — which means they have plenty of time to check out the products around them. This is a great opportunity to promote products that customers buy on impulse, especially food and drink items or those extra accessories that personalize a student’s gear.

End cap displays also have a higher rate of sales. Thirty-seven percent of merchandisers say that end-of-aisle displays increase their sales, so take advantage of these spaces. End caps provide visibility for new products, create opportunities for branding and invite customers to check out the other, similar products in the associated aisles. Great Northern Instore helps you identify the high-impact locations in your store and optimize those areas.  We utilize Visual Attention Software to analyze how designs cut through the clutter at retail.

3. You have too much going on in your displays.

We know that shoppers like having options, but too many options makes the decision much more difficult. People naturally avoid displays that are not aesthetically appealing, so a cluttered area may drive them away. A study for Stanford showed that only 26% of customers would buy a product from a display with a wide selection. Choice paralysis may overtake the customer and discourage them from purchasing an item.

The rule of three is an effective way to satisfy the need for variety without overstimulating the customer. Showcasing similar products in a display creates cohesive marketing and solicits the sales of every product — for example, if a customer is looking for notebooks, they likely will be in search of writing utensils, erasers and/or folders. Grouping these items together highlights their cooperation in the same environment. Displays that follow a theme or show products that accessorize each other also encourage customers to buy more.

Great Northern Instore helps you organize your merchandise in a way that makes sense to you and your customers. Based on the products you sell, they can create a custom design for your displays to ensure that every product is aligned with its accessories and showcasing the merchandise to its fullest capacity. Color coding shelves or areas of display can help a shopper easily navigate the assortment without confusion.  You give them the puzzle pieces, and they put them together to build displays that facilitate customer interaction without overstimulation.

4. Your display is too complicated.

Temporary displays should be easy to manage. Large, bulky or heavy displays are difficult to make temporary if it takes too much labor to assemble and fill them. Additionally, displays that require special accommodations — such as access to an electrical outlet — create an unnecessary hassle. A lightweight, simple setup minimizes the time you spend trying to figure out how to establish your visual marketing and gives you flexibility to adjust it later.  Retailers greatly appreciate simplicity so their team can focus on helping their shoppers.

Great Northern Instore prioritizes simplicity. Our expert engineers develop designs that are easy to assemble and pack, while matching your vision for an impactful display in the store.  Their displays are easy to stock and maintain, making them simple for you to keep up with during the campaign and remove at the end. Great Northern Instore can also pre-pack displays, making your job easy with their turnkey process…allowing you to reap the benefits of an effective back-to-school campaign that optimizes your space and showcases your products.

Different Types of Back-to-School Displays

different types of back to school displays

Creating the optimal back-to-school design means considering what kind of displays will work best with the products you intend to showcase. Every design is custom-made for the products, which means your campaign will be uniquely yours! Great Northern Instore has extensive experience with designing across all back-to-school categories that will optimize the organization and layout of your products, and ensure the displays attract your customers and boost sales.

Great Northern Instore’s QuickSet Hutch is fast assembling floorstand and great for applying to your back-to-school needs. The Quickset Hutch takes just a couple seconds to set up and is easy to maneuver and store upon completion. This allows you to reuse it for multiple campaigns and promotions, making it perfect for back-to-school and subsequent seasonal programs. It can hold over 50 pounds of merchandise per shelf, making it a versatile display for a wide variety of products. The different sizes of QuickSet hutches allow you to have a cohesive setup for your products without making them exactly uniform across the board.

Great Northern Instore has proven expertise in their completed projects with many large retailers such as Office Depot and many brands. From endcaps, sidecaps, pallets, and full product assortment trains, Great Northern Instore can design and manufacture the vehicles that will work for your stores or brands. Great Northern Instore also completed a project with cooperation from 3M and Meijer to create a new planogram for Command products. By adjusting choices and taking advantage of color coordination, they boosted sales and seamlessly tied the products together.  Strategically utilizing pegs, shelves, and dump bins (even with windows, so shoppers can identify product, even as it sells-down) helps create the right merchandising tool to move your products.

Budgeting Effectively

For many merchandisers, budgets for visual merchandising – especially for Point-of-Purchase (P-O-P) marketing – have been holding steady or increasing over recent years. Merchandisers justify this spending because of the extraordinary benefits that come from these displays. Proper marketing gives brands a life and vitality that cannot be achieved by simply stacking items on shelves. Over 60% of merchandisers allocate P-O-P display funding to temporary or promotional displays, such as back-to-school campaigns.

Although only 2% of products in stores are on displays, products on displays are much more likely to sell. About one in six of all purchases are items that were on display, which proves that careful design strategy goes a long way. Regardless of how much you have budgeted for your in-store visual marketing, a little can go a long way in terms of facilitating sales.  With eCommerce as another potential outlet for shoppers, brands and retailers utilize messaging on their displays to drive shoppers to their mobile websites or apps, many times with QR codes.  This enables shoppers to view ratings and reviews, learn more about products, and potentially find items not in the store.

With Great Northern Instore, you also do not have to worry about the project management that you may otherwise have to coordinate. Great Northern helps you stick to your budget needs, timeline, design and execution. This means that you have one less thing to worry about as you manage your visual marketing!

With their turnkey solutions, Great Northern Instore can meet all your needs for marketing. Relationships with a P-O-P provider is the number two factor in choosing the producer. Great Northern is on a mission to not only meet the needs of their customers, but to establish long-lasting relationships that continue to grow. They aim to give you great design services again and again instead of a one-time project. This allows both parties to continue learning from each other — you benefit from their expertise, and they get to know your preferences and fully understand your goals.

Achieving and Measuring Your Success

Great Northern Instore helps you both achieve and measure the success of your back-to-school displays. Here are three important steps they take to help you maximize your resources.

1. They know the industry.

60 years of experience

Great Northern Instore has over 60 years of experience working with retail displays. Because they have worked with leading retailers, they are well-versed in the requirements for displays in those stores. They employ over 100 graphic designers, structural designers and engineers who have years of experience in concept creation and development. With a strong team, they are able to assess what kinds of back-to-school displays are best for you and the types of products you’re aiming to showcase.

Great Northern Instore has experience working with large retailers. They have created back-to-school campaigns from start to finish with cohesive displays and signage. They designed multipurpose bins that allowed customers of all ages to access their merchandise as they searched for the perfect school materials. They managed the varying sizes and weights of materials and prioritized the display of specific brands to maximize their in-store success.

Their versatile designs allow them to work with merchandise in various industries, ranging from food and beverages to back-to-school to health and beauty products. Great Northern Instore also worked with Walgreens to create a unique display promoting wine and spirits through two separate selling periods…allowing the messaging to be relevant across the entire promotional period, which lasted from the end of March through June.  They also increased customer engagement by including customer interaction opportunities with different cocktail recipes. With a simple yet innovative solution — one of Great Northern Instore’s fortes — they were able to create a multifunctional temporary display.

2. They are flexible.

Their years of experience allow them to be flexible and meet your needs for your back-to-school displays. With the combined forces of your team and the Great Northern Instore designers and engineers, they can accommodate your visions and make them a reality. They bring insight to help you optimize their products for your needs and understand the different kinds of displays that truly showcase your merchandise.

Great Northern Instore also has expertise in working with a variety of materials to ensure that your back-to-school displays function as you need them to. The primary material for their temporary displays — like your back-to-school displays — is corrugated cardboard made of 60 to 90% post-consumer waste. Their in-house capabilities allow them to design and fulfill projects with great efficiency and quality every single time.

3. They help you measure success.

Great Northern Instore highly prioritizes your satisfaction with their products, and they allow you to measure the success of the displays put in place. Their Great Northern Instore Vision AppTM allows you to track your success by managing data collected. The app aggregates the retail execution data into a dashboard, allowing you to track down to the store level.

You can see what the displays look like in individual stores and understand how your back-to-school displays are impacting your sales. Because your data is accessible in the palm of your hand, you can see it any time and anywhere. The convenience of the app allows you to keep tabs on the relationship of sales and your return on investment.

This app also allows you to see what works and what can be improved upon. Because they highly prioritize your relationship, they want to make sure that they create products that do not simply meet your expectations, but exceed them. Their design team can work with you to truly optimize your displays and placement, so collecting the data to analyze performance helps you curate a back-to-school design that truly works for you and your business.

Optimize Your Back-to-School Campaign

Great Northern Instore offers turnkey solutions and prioritizes matching vision to reality. With their innovative team of designers and commitment to high quality and service, they can help you optimize your back-to-school displays just as they have done with other retailers and brands. Their proven excellence in the industry makes them a great option for creating custom displays that bring products to life. Your business can be another success story, and it all starts with you.

Their wide-ranging capabilities ranging all the way from design to product fulfillment allow them to relieve the stress and labor demands from you and your workers. By applying collected data to your store, they help you reach maximum capacity and continue striving for the best results. To begin the process of back-to-school displays, you can call Great Northern Instore at 262-681-5226 or start a conversation on their website.

optimize your back to school campaign

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