When it comes to retail, attracting attention is critical to successfully converting your target audience into paying customers. A product or brand can only drive sales in retail by first drawing the customer in. So there’s a reason advertising and marketing are indispensable for retail businesses.
If you want your products to sell, you need to advertise and market them correctly. But, more importantly, you first need to ensure your advertisements catch the interest of your target customers.
This is why retail displays are still relevant even as more advertising and sales aspects lean toward the digital end. However, to ensure your retail displays fulfill their roles to the fullest, you must first go through prototyping.
What Are Retail Display Prototypes?
Like other prototypes, retail display prototypes are the preliminary models of the intended final product. In this case, it’s the initial versions of your point-of-purchase (POP), point-of-sale (POS), custom displays, and other retail display designs.
Prototype production is done so clients can see how well their design concepts translate into a three-dimensional or physical product. Retail display prototypes are sample products. These samples are typically made with a focus on the overall design and its effect.
Why Are Display Prototypes Used?
Prototypes are used to check how the retail displays function without the need to mass produce the displays.
This allows clients and manufacturers to save money while conducting quality checks and assurances. It also saves production time and overall project duration.
Prototyping is an essential process that should be done before you place a bulk order or mass production. As such, the production of prototypes is often limited. However, the manufacturer can make a single prototype to show the client how their order would look. Due to the small production runs, a prototype is usually caused by hand. This also helps keep production expenses down for the samples while sticking to a tight time frame.
Producing a prototype is particularly important when making a custom display. Retail displays with unique designs allow clients to see how feasible deployment is, what materials would work best, and more.
What is the Purpose of Retail Display Prototypes?
Retail display prototypes can help retailers gauge how the target audience may receive their displays and how effective they can be for POP advertising. In addition, designers and ad testing participants can provide feedback to help improve the display design and functionality.
They are used to determine how well the retail displays would resonate with or attract the attention of their intended audience. In short, clients commission a display prototype to test their display designs before they’re approved and deployed in actual retail settings. These tests can be done either internally among the design and production team members or with a group of test customers.
Retail display prototypes also help protect your product, brand, and — most importantly — your customers. In the case of large-scale retail displays especially, it is impossible to ensure the design’s functionality and safety features without real-life samples.
By checking the true-to-life size and other details of the retail display, it is possible to catch potential design problems, quality or durability issues, and safety hazards early on. Correcting these helps prevent problems later, allowing for product and design improvements.
Seeing how accurately the retail display design translates from paper or digital plans to the actual product gives clients a more concrete idea of how well it potentially functions. In addition, a physical representation of how the accurate display should look, feel, and function helps decide on the display dimensions, adapt or revise the design, and ensure product quality.
For others, prototyping gives clients a more accurate estimation of material requirements, production costs, and production runs or manufacturing time.
How to Get Your Retail Display Prototypes
Getting a prototype for your retail display is straightforward with FELBRO Designs. This stays true even if you have plans for unique or creative displays.
Below are some general steps to get retail display prototypes.
- Create the design concept or plans: Moving on to prototype production with a product design is only possible. In this case, you would need a finished design for your retail display. This can involve creating several iterations or drafts before arriving at a design everyone on the team approves.
- Polish the design plans: Sketches may work for drafts. However, for the final design concept, it is essential to be as detailed as possible. This means providing exact measurements, color codes, and other information to visualize the design better and turn it into a physical product.
- Create a 3D model: Generating a 3D model of your retail display design is optional for all projects or requested by prototype manufacturers. Still, a realistic 3D rendering helps represent your design more accurately to make a better prototype once production starts.
- Make a proof-of-concept prototype: This is the earliest prototype. It helps create displays to ensure all parts of your design are functional or performing as intended. Often, a proof-of-concept prototype will look different from the finished retail display, usually lacking aesthetic design elements.
- Build a functional display prototype: Once the proof-of-concept prototype is approved and proves the design is possible and functional, you can move on to developing or ordering functional samples. This prototype must fully reflect the design plans, from the dimensions to the style or aesthetic choices.
Tips to Ensure Effective Display Prototyping
Effective retail display prototyping doesn’t just look at how well the product is made or how well it translates the design plans. Effective prototyping also requires looking at the production run time, materials, costs, and overall process.
Here are a few tips that can help ensure effective and efficient prototyping:
- Temper expectations: Make sure you remain realistic with the design in the first place and how the prototype turns out. Remember that prototypes are largely hand-made due to cost and time constraints. While good or excellent quality, there will always be some disparity between actual display production and prototypes.
- Consider materials beforehand: Depending on your design and retail display details, the necessary materials for your retail display may be complex to the source. You can use other or similar materials for your display prototypes in such cases. You have several options to choose from: wire, sheet metal, acrylic, wood, and more.
- Make compromises as needed: Take note that materials are only one aspect you may have to compromise on. This is especially true if you need the prototype within a short timeframe. Generally, the less time you give your prototype manufacturer, the more compromises you’ll make.
- Always consider production time: Having a good idea of how long the prototyping process will take helps you accordingly. This way, you can estimate your total retail display project lead time correctly. This can help you avoid extremely tight production schedules and make compromises.
Get Your Own Custom Display Prototypes Today
Prototyping is a vital step to ensure the success of retail display marketing. However, bad prototypes do not bode well for the actual result, especially with creative displays. If you have a product you want to highlight or an advertising campaign in the works, you can contact us today to place an order for your custom retail display prototypes.
FELBRO Displays is your one-stop shop for all your retail display advertising needs.
We design, prototype, and manufacture premium-quality, retail-ready, and sustainable creative displays for several retailers and brands. We use many types of materials for our prototypes to meet the needs and expectations of your business. You can choose from simple, temporary prototypes to high-quality and more durable sheet metal, wood, plastic, and glass prototypes.
Make sure to do great design and functionality testing before investing.
For more information on our retail display prototyping services, call us at 925-586-6244 or fill out our contact form on our website.