5 Do’s and Don’ts for Holiday Retail Displays

It’s never too early to plan for getting your product on shelves in time for Christmas. Custom merchandising displays take time to plan, build, and ship. If it’s too late for this Christmas, start researching and planning for Valentines Day or Saint Patrick’s Day.

Some shoppers may groan at the “Christmas creep”—the way Christmas items sneak into stores as early as October— but there’s logic to this process.

According to a Facebook study, last year around 48 percent of shoppers started their holiday shopping in November or earlier. Many cross the “to buy” items off their list starting as early as October. 

The survey also indicated that in 2018, half of consumers had completed their holiday shopping by December 3.

So it should be no surprise that stores will be full of custom merchandising displays and wire grid display racks, heralding Christmas items, as early as October.

If there’s one important resounding message you can take from this, it’s that it’s never too early to start planning for your next holiday display.

When competing for attention from hundreds of products, carefully planned and dynamic custom merchandising displays can make the difference between securing a sale and being overlooked.

Here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts for holiday displays that will help you get the most out of your seasonal sales, whether you’re preparing for Christmas, Independence Day, or something in between.

1. Do Keep Your Focus for Your Custom Merchandising Display

If considering a Christmas display, there are several different directions you can take. Should you go with Santa or snowmen or just concentrate on a comfy winter scene?

Whichever one you choose, make sure you focus on one key element for your custom merchandising display. Don’t send mixed signals by trying to do too much.

2. Don’t Try to Do Everything at Once

Returning to the example above, there are dozens of different combinations of images you can use for a Christmas display, but if you overwhelm your customer with all of them, your message is lost as they are bombarded with sensory overload.

Remember to provide clear information with a basic call to action on your display.

3. Do Plan Your Display with Social Media in Mind

The Facebook survey mentioned earlier also indicated that, according to 2018 holiday shopping data, 69 percent of shoppers believed that social media was a great resource to find out more about new products.

Another 62 percent became interested in a brand or product after seeing it featured in Facebook’s Stories or on Instagram. 

This means that it’s not enough to sell a product. You have to sell a story through experiential shopping, and a custom merchandising display is key to doing it. 

Millennials are all about experiential shopping, and this demographic represents roughly $200 billion in buying power, according to Forbes.

You can’t afford to ignore the marketing power of Millennials, and Millennials share their experiences on social media.

Generation Z, the generation that follows the Millennials, are also social media experts.

They represent $44 billion in purchasing power. In fact, while they’ll still visit brick-and-mortar stores, 45 percent will use social media outlets such as Snapchat while in a store. 

What does this mean for your display?

Make it inviting. Make it creative. Make it something that will encourage a photo and a share on Facebook or Instagram.

Craft a display so that it fits within the stories features of Facebook, Instagram and others.

So at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself, is your custom merchandising display or wire grid display rack worthy of a tweet?

4. Do Tap Into Urgency and Scarcity

It’s how we’re wired.

By using your custom merchandising display’s messaging to create feelings of urgency and you tap into a powerful part of consumer psychology. These messages reflect the “hurry, buy now before they’re gone” mentality. 

According to studies published by the International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, messaging that emphasized scarcity and urgency caused several examples of in-store hoarding.

In-store hoarding occurs when someone picks up an item and carries it with them throughout the store before deciding whether or not to buy it. 

Tapping into urgency and scarcity is key to getting customers to interact with your product by placing it in their cart. This increases the chances that you’ll make a sale. 

5. Don’t Use a One-Dimensional Display

More creative shapes and forms create engagement, which can go a long way toward interesting people in your product.

If you really want to stand out from competitors, you want to create the experiential shopping that customers are looking for.

The Facebook study on holiday shopping trends showed that almost half—42 percent of all U.S. Holiday shoppers — stated that they shopped in-store because they liked the holiday ambiance.

Another 27 percent said they shopped in brick-and-mortar stores to spend more time with family. 

It’s difficult to create a compelling ambiance if you’re showcasing a one-dimensional display. Try to utilize the power of interaction, whether your display features a charging station or a great way to engage with different varieties of fishing poles, as we did in the case of Pure Fishing.

McIntyre Manufacturing: Providing Quality Customized Merchandising Displays No Matter What Time of Year

Decades. Many people use this term, but what does it mean in the context of your customized POP display? 

At McIntyre manufacturing, it represents our loyal customers—many of whom have been with us for more than 10 years. These customers know they’re also dealing with a dedicated workforce. We have several employees who have been with the company for more than 20 years. Contact us. We’re happy to answer any questions you have. Let us transform your vision into reality.


Since 1977, McIntyre Manufacturing Group has created custom-designed displays with an uncompromised dedication to customer service. We utilize the latest technology and attention to detail to create the finest products with excellent craftsmanship. If you can dream it, we can create it. Contact us to see how we can bring your vision to life.