FPP Blog Series: Issue 23: Merchandising for the Modern Consumer

Blog Post

Date: 9 November 2017

This blog discusses tips and Guidelines to ensure maximum impact and sales from your promotional displays.

Promotional Merchandising and Displays

Window displays and internal displays must showcase who you are and what you offer. Think about the message you want to send to your customers. Look around your store, are your promotional activities really working for you?

In pharmacy we are unique in the products and services we offer, a fact that should be leveraged in promotions and displays.  

There is the ongoing challenge for pharmacies to improve customer awareness of the extensive range of Professional Services on offer. With the changing landscape of pharmacy remuneration, maximising opportunities from Professional Services has never been more important. Consider showcasing Professional Services and/or products aligned with these services in your window displays.

Displays must engage the passing consumer and arouse their interest. They need adequate information and signage to clarify exactly what is on offer, whether that be a product or a service.

The display must fill the space, be the correct depth and fit. Materials, lighting, cost and lifecycle are key considerations.

Display products or services which are topical and timely. e.g. cold and flu in winter, sun care in spring/summer, hay fever in spring.

Change your window displays monthly to keep them fresh. This period is best reduced to fortnightly for internal displays.

Update or change displays immediately if the products or packaging appear faded, aged or damaged in any way. Scrappy displays will not only achieve little in the way of promotion, they will actually serve as a detractor for your business.

Inadequate stock is probably the most common mistake pharmacies make with regards to promotional displays. Low stock diminishes the effectiveness of the display. Subconsciously consumers may wonder why there are only a few products on the display. Are these the ones no one wants? What is wrong with them? Have they been sitting there for a long time? If you are not prepared to invest in the products you are promoting, why would the consumer be inclined to buy them?


Vinyl decals are a popular option for POS promotions. Vinyl is relatively inexpensive and can be applied to various surfaces like windows, shelves, tables and floors. Using striking vinyl decals can help to reinforce your brand message.

Consider your product

Again consider the uniqueness of community pharmacy and the products and services you are able to offer. Why would you focus on the promotion of goods which are readily available at other retailers? Well-performing pharmacies typically concentrate on the promotion of pharmacy goods and services.

Your displays need to align with the promoted product or service. More expensive items will need a quality display. Consider your key message to consumers including why they should purchase the item. This may also be named the brand callout or key messaging.

Clean through to clutter

Retailers have traditionally used a ‘clean’ store policy to give an impression of exclusivity and to present themselves as a premium retailer. Think jewellery stores, and high end boutiques.

Presenting a ‘clean’ store is a challenge for pharmacies, as traditionally most of our products require adjunctive advice and recommendation. POS material, including header cards, swing tags and posters, provided by visiting company reps to promote their products can risk cluttering the store.

Interestingly we have seen retailers shift away from the ‘clean’ policy in 2017. Myer is a prime example with more than a dozen stores being transformed using vinyl decals to walls and floors, hanging banners and interactive displays.

Moving away from ‘clean’ does not however proceed straight to ‘cluttered’!

Pharmacy consumers prefer the counters in particular to be spacious, clean and clear of clutter. In order to promote Professional Services, the Professional Services area should present as clean and free of congestion.

Take time to walk through the stores of other retailers as well as your pharmacy competitors. Does the appearance of each store truly reflect what they supply and do? There are a number of specialist retail industry journals, blogs and websites you can refer to, including FMCG magazine, Inside Retail, Retail Pharmacy and retail World Magazine. Try to think outside the confines of your pharmacy.

In Summary

To hold or to fold

All displays require regular review and maintenance. Dust, damage, lights out and low stock weight may result in your display doing more harm than good.

Ensure your displays are fresh, eye catching and aligned to the seasons and promotions.

Embrace technology

Undoubtedly online shopping is affecting Australian retailers. Think about ways you can integrate your store offer with online activity. Examples could include ‘click and collect’ and a call for customers to visit in store to redeem offers promoted online.

Consumers are looking for a satisfying and delightful experience instore, combined with the convenience, efficiency and control of online shopping. Ensure consistency with your instore and your online message and promotional activity.

Trends in store presentation, POS promotions, sales methods and technology will change, but consumers still value an engaging and memorable brand experience.

Written by Andria Aird, Business Support Officer (Pharmacist) at the Pharmacy Guild WA Branch.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information and/or advice contained in these pages are free from error and/or omission. You should seek your own advice prior to acting on any information contained within these pages. No responsibility can be accepted by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia or its employees involved in the preparation of these pages for any claim which may arise from a person acting on information and/or advice contained herein.

Contact: Andria Aird
Phone: 08 9429 4100

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