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What Retailers and Suppliers Should Know About Shelf Talkers
DotActiv TeamJan 13, 2017 5:02:09 PM4 min read

What Retailers And Suppliers Should Know About Shelf Talkers

As a retailer, using effective marketing tools like shelf talkers can help you drive more customers to your shelves and ultimately influence their purchase decision. But what drives a customer to purchase a product in-store? Is a helpful display? A well-communicated promotion or offer? Is it holding or touching the product?

Shelf talkers, small signs which attach to shelves, are a final point of communication which retailers have to influence customers. This invaluable real estate is a battleground for customers’ attention.

Shelf talkers can be seen from two perspectives: a retailers perspective and a suppliers perspective.

Why shelf talkers matter to retailers


Cater for trends

Trends in retail can be unpredictable at times, but customers expect retailers to be spot on and up to date via merchandising. For example, the sudden health craze over the last couple years has changed the way customers shop for groceries.

Retailers have an opportunity to capitalise on this by communicating information which is important to shoppers like nutritional values on a shelf talker so that customers can make healthy choices.

Steer your customers

When a customer walks into a store they have a pretty good idea of what they came in to purchase. Staples like bread, eggs, and milk are located on the outer aisles of the store and are easily accessible. .

But what about the center aisles?


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Shoppers on a budget or in a rush will most likely avoid center aisles, producing a missed opportunity for retailers and suppliers. Shelf talkers, however, present an opportunity to influence customers’ curiosity and steer customers into aisles they normally wouldn’t visit.

Invaluable real estate

Traditional shelf talkers are known for communicating one thing – pricing – but in today’s competitive retail market that is no longer enough. Shelf talkers now serve as marketing communication tools as well, proposing purchases to customers and presenting opportunities to promote offers.

By communicating more than just the price, customers receive communication that appeals to their needs – ultimately leading to an increase in sales. For the time-conscious shopper, it improves their in-store experience as they are able to make quicker and more informed purchase decisions.

Designer labels

Retailers, like their products, come in all shapes and sizes – each with varying degrees of different needs. Retail shelves are no exception. Depending on your merchandising strategy,  a shelf talker will provide an inexpensive way to clearly communicate pricing and promotions to your customers.

A smaller shelf talker is best used for pricing information, while a bigger shelf talker is better for promotional messaging and additional product information. Just like the packaging on the products themselves, they can also be designed to be equally as appealing.

For a suppliers, a shelf talkers communicates particular deals and offers on their product to passing customers, increasing their brand awareness amongst a host of other items of the same type. This may mean the difference between an increase in sales and loss of value on merchandise that is not moving off the shelf.

Why shelf talkers matter to suppliers


Stand out from competitors

For most retailers, their primary concerns are keeping customers happy and getting the most value they can out of their suppliers. This may often result in crowded product categories, giving customers multiple brands of the item to choose from.

For suppliers, shelf talkers provide your product with the opportunity to physically and consciously stand out from the multitude of items which are competing for customers’ attention.

Define your product’s image

Best practice for retailers is to afford suppliers final sign off on all the marketing material and point of sale (POS) about their products. Presenting products to customers, beyond just the packaging allows suppliers to reach customers at their “First Moment of Truth”, also known as the point of purchase. For example, customising shelf talkers can attract customer’s attention and keep it for a period long enough to peak their curiosity and interest - eventually creating an emotional connection with customer and resulting in a sale.

Push products

At times, suppliers have products which are struggling to move in volumes. Shelf talkers present an inexpensive opportunity for suppliers to push certain product lines at the point of purchase, giving them a chance to increase sales and compete in their product category.

Other uses for suppliers include pushing items that need to be sold before their expiration date.


Retailers and suppliers continue to spend countless hours reviewing their merchandising plans, looking for ways to efficiently market their products and influence customers’ purchase decisions. Luckily, they have shelf talkers – one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to drive customers to their products and shelves.

In the end, shelf talkers help retailers and suppliers influence purchase decisions when it matters most and provide value to customers in the form of additional product information.


DotActiv Team

The DotActiv team comprises category management experts lending their retail experience and knowledge to create well-researched and in-depth articles.