Shelf Appeal: Making High-Margin Products Irresistible On and Offline

The B2C retail sphere is crowded to the point of suffocation, with innumerable competing brands of all shapes, sizes and origins going head-to-head across the physical and digital worlds to win valuable seconds of consumer attention and, ultimately, loyalty. Both in brick-and-mortar stores and online, competition is fiercer than ever before – with shelf space at a record premium and brands holding onto crucial search engine rankings for dear life.

When it comes to moving high-margin products, setting yours apart from those of existing market leaders isn’t easy – but with our help, you can make key products the customer magnets they deserve to be. And while there are undoubtedly some differences between conquering online and offline markets, the same overarching principles ring true across all channels.

Let’s take a look at some simple and highly powerful ways you can make your most profitable products impossible to ignore.

Every Product in its Right Place

Prime placement is one of the very foundations of effective retail merchandising, and this is a tactic that can also be tidily transferred to the online world. In brick-and-mortar stores, shop owners and merchandisers invest in high-quality display shelving systems and fill these to the brim with competing products. If the store in question is yours to organize and merchandise as you see fit, you’ll understandably want to push for product sales where the margins are highest – and by positioning these at eye level, you can ensure they’re the first items shoppers see.

Similarly, in online retail, products of varying price points are stored on digital shelves in the form of product grids – and it’s your job to differentiate the items that are ultimately worth the most money to your business, or else give them a prime position in their very own digital product display.

When displayed in a grid amongst other products, you can draw users’ attention to these crucial items through the use of colourful stickers or banners flagging them as ‘new’, ‘limited edition’, or a ‘customer favourite’ – assuming these claims are accurate and can be substantiated. To go one step further, you can remove the white noise entirely by giving key products their very own banner or other content block on your homepage, guaranteeing that every visitor to your site is met with a big, beautiful hero image of your high-margin product.

The Full Package

No matter how perfectly practical, high-quality or, in the case of edibles, deliciousyour product is, without irresistible packaging, no-one will care enough to find out what’s inside. Eye-catching design is a must – whether that’s dramatic monochrome or vibrant colour – and it’s important to make these design decisions wisely, ensuring that the external packaging is a true reflection of the product itself.

Utilising colour psychology can help you on your way to appropriate packaging design – with the colour green being associated with eco-friendly or health-related products, while blue is typically used to instill trust, red denotes passion or urgency, and black screams luxury and sophistication. To cement this sense of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), you should also make sure to highlight the product’s key features and assets as succinctly as possible in your packaging – without overselling the item, as this will burn bridges with one-time customers who could’ve had potential to return.

Strategic Merchandising

Strategy should be baked right into your product merchandising efforts, both on and offline. In brick-and-mortar stores, the way products are arranged should never be an accident – instead, it’s vital to consider the rationale behind what goes where, and what sits beside it. It goes without saying that similar products should be grouped together for ease – but directly surrounding your high-margin products with other, more expensive items can create a sense of relative affordability and encourage customers to make the very choice you’d like them to.

A tactic that’s equally applicable to physical and online retail is the use of strategic typography sizing, whether on the products themselves or, in offline retail, on the shelves to which these products are allocated. By having product features shown more prominently or in a larger font than the prices, you can draw the attention of shoppers away from a high price point and towards the benefits they can enjoy by purchasing the product in question.

The Language of Luxury

Projecting luxury is crucial for any brand selling products with larger price tags, as consumers simply won’t pay premium prices without what they consider proof of premium product quality. For this reason, whether you’re operating in a brick-and-mortar environment, as an ecommerce website or across the two platforms, you’ll need to create an unmistakable air of luxury surrounding your brand.

In a physical store, an elegant, eco-friendly interior is the way to go – with sustainable materials such as glass, wood and steel being particularly popular in today’s luxury retail environments. A serene shopping atmosphere within your store and a minimalist approach to display shelving and product arrangements will do the job, especially when paired with a muted colour scheme (comprising off-white and earthy shades). Online, the same concepts can all be applied – creating an opulent brand experience that, in the case of omnichannel retailers, is cohesive from storefront to homepage.

By giving shoppers no option but to behold your high-margin products, and leaving them in no doubt of their reliable quality, you can make these items positively irresistible – whether they’re buried in an online product grid or in a forest of competing products on a shop shelf.

Photo Credit: Image provided by Unsplash with permission to use. 

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