Attention Grabbers Part 2: Counter Displays and Creating the “Impulse”

Counter displays are effective for smaller products and fit perfectly next to a store’s cash register. This type of display creates the perfect “impulse buy” opportunity for the shopper.


In every retail store, encouraging customers to buy on impulse is a reliable way to boost average purchase value. Impulse buying goes way back, and it’s still overwhelmingly common — some 77% of shoppers say they’ve made a spontaneous impulse purchase in the past three months.

With so much of our shopping moving online, impulse buys are one of the proven tactics brick-and-mortar retailers have firmly in their corner. In fact, 79% of impulse buys still take place in physical retail stores. That’s why smart retailers make finding a way to capitalize on impulse purchases a priority in their stores.

Successfully encouraging impulse buying comes down to a few main factors:

  • Choosing the right products,
  • Putting them in the right place, and
  • Grabbing shopper attention.

Here are 3 great ways to create urgency and foster the impulse buy at the store level:

  1. Create a Path for Customers to Follow

Encouraging impulse purchases requires the right mix of product selection and product placement. It’s much easier for you to find the best placement for impulse buys when customers follow a predetermined path through your store. When you design a path for customers to walk, you can better predict where customers will need a visual break, where they’re likely to linger, and which displays they’ll pass on their way through the store. That makes it easier to determine the best placement for impulse displays.

  1. Place Lower-Priced, Impulse Buys Near Checkout

The average customer isn’t going to impulsively spend $1,000 without a second thought. That’s why price is one of the most important factors in choosing the right products to use for impulse displays. For checkout and point-of-purchase impulse buying, it’s best to keep all products under about $20. That way, you can boost purchase values with products that customers are ready to buy without too much consideration.

Another way to keep impulse prices down is to use your designated impulse purchase areas to display products that are on sale. Take Bath & Body Works, for example. They frequently offer discounted samplers of new fragrances right next to the cash registers. Combining sale prices with the urgency of a limited-time promotion is a recipe for impulse buying.

Counter displays are a crucial element to capitalizing on the checkout line impulse buy. At Packaging Design, we are experts at helping you design the most effective, results driven displays for your products.

  1. Display Impulse Products Around Your High-Demand Items

Your checkout area isn’t the only place where you can capitalize on impulse buying, though. Another high-impact place to display impulse products is alongside your high-demand items — a separate display to give shoppers a visual break or included on your store’s power wall.

In this space, choose lower-priced products that complement in-demand, anchor products. For example, a grocery store might display waffle cones in front of the ice cream freezer. You’ll capitalize on the attention and foot traffic that high demand products draw combined with the urgency of impulse products.

Encourage More Impulse Purchases

When it comes to growing purchase values and customer lifetime value, impulse buying can go a long way. As more of our shopping habits are shaped by the ecommerce experience, impulse purchases are one of the ways brick-and-mortar retailers can boost sales and stay competitive. And the tactics above will help you drive more impulse purchases than ever. Let us help you make the most of this valuable area in the store and get those impulse buyers BUYING!