On-shelf retail displays in big box stores, grocery stores and specialty retailers can be a tremendous opportunity for your brand.

On-shelf campaigns are often easier to manage than pallet displays for warehouse clubs, and they also provide more flexibility around size and style.

That doesn’t mean you can just wing it, however. Retailers who rely predominantly on shelf displays, like Walmart, Kroger, CVS – and many specialty retailers, also have display requirements they expect you to know and follow.

Here are seven best practices you can use for on-shelf success that leaves your retail buyer happy and ready to work with you again, including tips for:

  • Adaptable display design
  • Product count
  • Design cost
  • Logistic considerations

1. Get Off to a Good Start with Retailer Guidelines

Like any retail campaign, a solid understanding of the requirements of the retailer you’re working with is key to succeeding with on-shelf displays.

Begin by investing some time and diligence in this step and you’ll be off to a good start.

2. Know Your Options

On-shelf displays vary by location, style and by whether they are designed to be temporary or permanent.

Main shelving racks are fairly consistent in their dimensions from retailer to retailer, with lengths of 24, 36 and 48 inches and a depth that can range between 12 inches to 18 inches. Height is adjustable depending on the product. The sweet spot for shelf depth is about 17 inches.

Half-pallet displays are another option – some retailers use these on shelf.

Display location can also be negotiated in many cases. PDQ shelf trays are easily moved from one spot to another, and it doesn’t hurt to ask.

3. Stay Flexible

Product managers often favor the end cap option. End caps are shelves that face outward from the end of an aisle. They can be ideal because in addition to their high visibility, they allow retailers to fit more product into a smaller area. They are filled with pre-packed trays or boxes, also known as “PDQs” which retailers define as “product displays quickly.”

Whether your shelf trays are destined for the aisle or an end cap, design your displays with adaptability in mind. Retailers like Walmart frequently move product to a new location as a display shops down. The easier it is to transition your display, the easier it is for the retailer to keep your product around as long as it takes to sell down. Designing a display with options, like one that includes hook tabs on products for a hanging display when the shelf trays get shopped down, is a great way to boost your retail – and retailer – appeal.

These hanging displays, known as “sidekicks,” are a good option for smaller products, providing greater visibility to items that could otherwise get lost on the shelves.

4. Maximize Product Count

Whatever style of shelf your display will occupy, try to maximize the amount of product so that the display doesn’t have to be replenished as often. Unlike the club stores where less product and a higher-sell through can be a good strategy, retailers like Walmart, CVS and big grocers appreciate displays that reduce restocking needs.

5. Keep Flair on Budget

Depending on location and exposure, your display can include a bit of graphic flair or even some digital bells and whistles like a small video screen. Some displays include a holder for pamphlets or other forms of pull-outs.

You can also design a display that doubles as a pre-packed mailer for bypassing the warehouse and shipping directly to a retailer. Smaller retailers will appreciate the ease and convenience of a display that goes from truck to shelf with minimal effort.

Whatever your design, your investment in a PDQ display should be in keeping with the cost of the product. Don’t overspend on a display that is going to be tossed out as soon as it’s empty.

6. Make Sure it Stacks Up

Make sure your display is designed – and tested – for the journey. Good design takes logistics into account, both to ensure container and truck load efficiency and to prevent damage that can result from shifting content. A well-designed retail shelf display is one that stacks and travels well and arrives on time, undamaged.

7. Partner with a Retail Campaign Expert

TPH Global Solutions® has been partnering with brand managers and licensees for custom retail display and packaging success for more than 50 years. We offer global supply chain management, retail packaging and POP display expertise and comprehensive campaign oversight and support.

Our retail campaign expertise enables our clients to move from pitch to campaign to repeat retail success with ease and confidence.

Contact us to learn more about on-shelf display and packaging