Never leave your shop unattended. Always have a salesperson or clerk ready and recognizable. A simple name tag, printed t-shirt, or apron can make your clerk quickly identifiable. They should be knowledgeable on the prices of all merchandise on display and proper handling. Train them to refer complaints or unusual requests or questions to the management. Emphasize polite phrases such as "May I help you, please?" and most importantly "Thank you!"
Pile it high and wide! Crates, shelves, or tiered displays work best. The most effective displays run from knee high to just above eye level (approx. 18 in. to 5 ft ). Crates or shelves can easily be set up at these premium heights. Fill your displays full to overflowing (but not precariously) -- single jars look lonely and unwanted. Never display dusty, dirty, rusty, discolored, out-of-date, or otherwise damaged goods, even in a sale bin! Better yet, donate excess or close-to-date inventory to your local food bank while it’s still usable.
Many products come with their own Point Of Purchase display units -- use only those in keeping with your decor and avoid unstable or cheap displays.
Use color and catchy phrases. Your inkjet printer and desktop computer are all you need to create clever eye-catching signs. Try using cover-stock paper in your printer or laminating your signs to extend life. If you use clipart from the internet, be sure you do not infringe on copyrights.
Let your customers taste your wares—but only within reason! Some customers will taste everything in your market if you let them. Set up an item for sampling where you can keep an eye on it. Ready-to-pick-up samples work best. Think about offering crackers already spread with jam, dips with one-bite-only size veggies, or bite-size pretzels. We do not recommend displaying open jars with spoons for customers to help themselves unless you can monitor the sampling VERY CLOSELY! Unattended sample jars can easily become contaminated. Sampling takes time and attention, and you’ll want to stick to something simple. McCutcheon's can help with some sampling products such as snack mixes, dips, and chips (within reason). Always display plenty of the product you are sampling for customers to purchase—don't send them searching. If you cannot sample a product safely, don't bother (your local health department may have restrictions).
Price everything! It eliminates confusion for both employees and customers. Use removable price stickers (handy for gifts) and a pricing gun (available at your local office supply store). We recommend the PriMark L-14 for an average-size shop (we have used this one for years). It’s available at a reasonable price from Price Marker Plus at 1-800-780-4327 (they also sell price stickers and do repairs). Avoid using permanent markers or writing on packages, and NEVER staple anything to any package! If you use a scanner at your register, post your pricing next to the product, but keep it simple—don’t distract from your product display with too many signs or posters