The Power of Impulse Displays

As consumers, we’ve all fallen victim to impulse displays. These endcaps and point-of-sale product displays are designed to catch us when we’re already on the way to making a purchase, offering discounts and deals that require us to spend only a fraction of what we’ve already got in our shopping cart.  Even if you had no intention of buying extra items, the power of persuasion associated with impulse displays can crumble your willpower and cause you to throw last-minute items in your cart on the way to the checkout.

As a retailer, you naturally want to harness this phenomenon in your own store, especially in the wake of holidays when you have leftover product to move and shoppers are less inclined to spend. How can you use the power and glory of impulse displays to your best advantage to clear out inventory after the holidays? Here are a few factors to consider.


Visibility is a key component when it comes to impulse displays, so you need to carefully consider where you place them. Endcaps are a prime location because shoppers must pass them to go down aisles, and they can’t help but see the discounted items on these displays. If there are particular items you’re very keen to move, consider placing them on endcaps near your most popular sellers.

Point-of-sale displays (near the register) are also an excellent way to maximize impulse buys in this area to create a wall of goods that shoppers can’t help but see as they wait in line to complete purchases. Placing small, affordable items on the way to the register gives shoppers one last opportunity to add to their carts before the sale is finalized.


Without proper signage to point out sale items, shoppers may pass by impulse displays with little more than a glance. If you really want them to look, you need to give them a reason with eye-catching signage that makes them pay attention.

Signs could feature attention-grabbing colors (like red) or carry over your brand imaging. Either way, they should tout the low prices that force shoppers to take a look, and likely toss a few extra impulse buys in their cart that they never intended to purchase.


Just because you hit shoppers in the face with flashy signage and strategic positioning doesn’t guarantee you’ll make sales, even if you catch their attention. You have to be selective about the products you promote with impulse displays. Small, universally useful items that are easy to grab and toss in a cart are bound to go quicker than items that are steeply discounted.  Merchandise that is bulky and high-priced are not considered impulse items, so be careful which products you add to impulse displays.