boost sales - 4 product display fails and how to fix them

You can have the best products in the world, but if they aren’t displayed in an eye-catching, wallet-opening way, those products won’t do you much good. That’s why MASSAGE Magazine reached out to a retail expert, to help you learn the best way to boost sales of topicals—and give yourself an additional revenue stream.

Tina Mulqueen, president of Kindred PR, has worked with spas, salons and retailers for many years, putting her in the perfect position to offer advice about proper product placement. Here are four common ways your product display could be working against you—and Mulqueen’s four best tips for turning a display into a top-notch sales tool.


Display Fail #1: Hiding Your Products

Mulqueen suggested you keep your products directly in front of your clients by displaying them in the waiting area.

“Some of my spa and salon clients have had special rooms for retail products,” says Mulqueen. “I advise against this.”

Why is displaying your topicals anywhere but out front a no-no? “Don’t make customers work for it,” says Mulqueen. “By placing products in the waiting area, you guarantee they’ll be seen.”

Think of how grocery stores put certain products by the front door or in checkout lines. By placing products in a spot where they’ll get the most visibility, you increase the likelihood of a sale.


basket of products

Stocking just a few options, instead of too many, makes clients more likely to purchase.

Display Fail #2: Carrying Too Many Products

“Be selective about the products you carry,” Mulqueen says. “People like to have a choice, but are less likely to purchase if the decision is overwhelming.”

Analytics, marketing and testing blog Kissmetrics confirms this idea, sharing a study in which Sheena Iyenger, a Columbia University researcher, set up a table full of jams outside a grocery store. At one point, shoppers were offered the option to taste six flavors; at another point, they were allowed to choose from among 24 flavors.

What Iyenger discovered was that more people took samples when there were more options; 60 percent took them from the 24-sample table, versus just 40 percent from the six-sample table. However, more people actually bought products when they had fewer options to choose from, with 30 percent making a purchase from the six-sample table compared to a minimal three percent when 24 options were given.

Put simply, more isn’t always better.


choosing a product

Space products out so clients aren’t overwhelmed.

Display Fail #3: Stuffing Shelves Too Full of Products

For best results, separate products on a shelf with at least a few inches between them, “so that the client’s eye can process the information,” says Mulqueen. Space is critical, and placing retail products too close together can be overwhelming for the consumer, she adds.

Take a minute to look at your current product display, paying special attention to the space between the products. If there isn’t any, rearrange it to correct this. You will give your client’s eyes the chance to actually see everything that’s there.

It may be tempting to fill your shelves as much as possible, getting more products out and on display, but it’s counterproductive if it ultimately lowers your sales.


hand massage

A free hand massage with a topical product lets the client experience it for herself.

Display Fail #4: Not Letting Clients Test-Drive Products

Mulqueen suggests that you “place testers with tester labels in front of each product.” This enables your clients to test the topicals you offer firsthand, giving them the opportunity to fall so in love with them that they simply can’t leave without making a purchase.

Another option, according to Mulqueen, is to demonstrate a product in action.

“Offer complimentary hand massages with a featured product while clients are waiting,” she says.

Showing clients how to use products in a way in which they benefit is an effective way to motivate them to buy—and to see positive results in both your bottom line and clients’ ongoing health.


About the Author

Christina DeBusk is a freelance writer who specializes in health and wellness and business marketing. She currently writes for ChiroNexus as well as other health-related publications. She can be contacted through She has written several articles for, including “Ease Pain Naturally: Add the Right Topicals to Your Massage.”