As a retail store owner or manager, you have to realize the impact that your displays have on every aspect of a buyer’s experience. The look, symmetry, color, appeal, and effectiveness of the display depend on your meticulous understanding of the way a good display will affect a customer’s impression, emotional attachment, social expectation, and desire to make a purchase. Simply hanging clothing on a garment rack with no plan of how it will influence your customer is not likely to be very effective. To create effective displays, you must implement strategies that specifically make a customer feel what you want them to.

There are a few things that must be satisfied in a customer’s mind before they will decide to buy something. There are also a few “bonus” areas that can be stimulated to make someone want to buy something, whether they thought they needed it or not. Planning even simple displays around these theories and strategizing to target your specific customer base can greatly improve your business.

The easiest way to sell something to a customer is to have exactly what they’re looking for at the price that they’re expecting to pay. To plan your displays around this, you simply need to make sure that you have some basics near the front of the store. The display should communicate the approximate cost without any signage or other indication of price. The quality of your shelving, garment racks, and mannequins can be an indicator of price.

Another thing to focus on is having what they need right when they need it. You should have plenty of inventory on the floor so that no one is ever disappointed when their size or color preference is missing. One disappointment like this can turn a customer away for life. If you need to make more room to display more inventory without crowding your shopping area, use slatwall to take advantage of vertical space. Use longer hanging bars that stick out slightly further into the store if you need to adjust your display to hold more merchandise. If you’re running low, use a shorter bar so that the rack still appears fully stocked at all times.

You ultimately want to gain customer trust. If they see that the store looks “high end”, then they can trust that the prices will be higher, as well as the quality. They may see something interesting on a mannequin in your window, and trust that your other products will be interesting as well. If they store looks stocked, they can trust that when they do like something, you will have their size. If your associates are genuinely helpful and knowledgeable, then they can trust that when they have questions, it’s okay to ask and they will get an informed person’s answer.

Meeting all of the needs of your customer starts with simple displays. There are a lot of things to keep in mind about what your customer expects when you do something as simple as fold a stack of t-shirts. Learning to think like a customer and imagine what it would take to convince you to buy something in your store could be invaluable to your business.

About the Author: John Garvey is on the staff of Only Garment Racks, your leading online source for clothes rack. Shop for garment racks at