Grabbing Customer Attention | Visual Merchandising
How to Get Customers to Stop, Look and Listen

How to Get Customers to Stop, Look and Listen

The average person is exposed to around 5,000 advertising and brand messages every day – a staggering statistic! And while it’s impossible for the human eye to process so many logos and messages, hundreds manage to get through the net and grab our attention. Whether it’s a can of Coca Cola on a desk or a movie poster on the side of a bus, city dwellers in particular are bombarded with thousands of advertisements daily – making it incredibly challenging for businesses to fight for their share of consumer attention.

While several large organisations opt for brute force attacks, buying thousands of square feet of advertising space in order to win the lion’s share through simple repetition, those kind of marketing budgets simply aren’t within reach of smaller businesses and retailers. So what can retailers do to grab customers’ attention on the high street?

Today we’re taking a look at best practice when it comes to interrupting passersby and getting potential customers to stop, look and listen.


With consumers leading ever busier lives, getting them to pause for a moment can be the greatest challenge of all. With eyes glued to smartphones, it seems most passersby are keen to block the rest of the world out.

However, with effective sale posters and signs, getting a passerby to stop and consider your brand isn’t unachievable.

One method of securing their attention is through interruption advertising, essentially forcing the consumer to pause. From sales totems and bollard covers outside your store to large outdoor displays, placing a physical barrier in the consumer’s path is a simple but effective method for getting them to pause.

If physical barriers aren’t an option, shock value, scale and change can be equally effective when it comes to stopping consumers in their tracks. Commuters in particular are used to seeing the same messages every day and will naturally block out repetition over time. By breaking the flow in monotony, you can win their attention. This could be as simple as regularly refreshing your sale posters and window displays, challenging their eye to keep up with the changing environment.

Whether you’re buying ad space on public transport or you’re overhauling your shop window display, pay particular attention to other messages and advertisements nearby – regardless of whether they’re from competitors or not. When everyone else is going right, go left. Shake up your colours, design, message and offering in order to stand out from the crowd – making sure your business posters are a sharp contrast to your competitor’s efforts.

If all else fails, being the biggest on the block certainly doesn’t hurt. Consider large format A0 poster printing to dominate the consumer’s line of sight on the high street, opting for bold colours to create a backdrop that can’t be missed.

Busy high street


Unfortunately, getting customers to stop isn’t the only challenge faced by retailers, with most passersby only glancing at a window display or retail poster for a few fractions of a second. However, those crucial milliseconds are all you need to capitalise on their attention.

First impressions count, and it’s no different in advertising. Before customers read about your 50% off sale or buy-one-get-one-free offer, they’ll do a quick visual assessment of the advert. A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure the design of your print poster grabs attention and conveys a message – without the need for the person to read your poster’s text.

Call to action colours including red and orange can be particularly effective at highlighting sales and promotions, however, the whole spectrum of colours can affect the customer psyche in different ways. Check out our guide to POS displays to learn more about the link between colour and effective advertising.

Images and product photography are perfect for shop window displays and sales posters. Whether you’re highlighting a new product, or pushing an offer, make sure the customer can quickly process what’s being sold.


Now you’ve stopped the customer in their tracks and they’ve taken notice of your window display or poster, it’s time to seal the deal by getting your message across. At this stage, you’ll have whittled out those who aren’t interested or aren’t looking for your product – and that’s no bad thing, afterall, you want to attract the right customers through the door.

While the offering itself will undoubtedly sway the customer (i.e. 50% off is better than 25%), your sale posters and signs are the delivery vehicle for that message, so make sure they’re effective.

Text should be clear and concise, delivering the message in the fewest possible words – without being left to interpretation. Writing advertising copy is a fine art, so make sure you play around with words and lettering to ensure your message is crystal clear – enticing the customer into your store.

Ready to get started? is one your one-stop-shop for retail display posters. With A0, A1, A2 and A3 poster printing as well as quad posters and other retail friendly formats and sizes, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect poster for your next campaign. Designing and ordering your poster couldn’t be easier thanks to our intuitive online design tool. Choose from a range of attention grabbing design templates or upload your own graphics for a custom finish. Check out our range of retail posters online today!

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