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How to merchandise your checkout counter

Merchandise your checkout counter: 6 shop counter ideas

Checkout counter displays: 6 shop counter ideas that work

Your checkout area is possibly the most important customer touchpoint in your store. A retail store counter is your final chance to connect with the customer, form a good impression and make any last-minute sales. POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising International) describe checkout displays as ‘ideal vehicles for impulse purchasing’ [1].

Therefore, you must use your shop counter displays wisely, maximising each and every marketing opportunity. Fortunately, here at UK POS, we specialise in the best merchandising displays to suit almost every business. Read on to discover our top 6 shop counter ideas for retail countertops.

1. Poster holders

Use classic countertop poster holders on your store counter, to add reminders of special offers or your social media handles. Freestanding acrylic poster holders have a professional appearance, whereas a countertop chalkboard can be used in the same way, but with a more rustic feel. Or, why not try an LED-lit countertop poster holder for a high-end aesthetic?

Countertop poster holders for checkouts
Tablet stands and digital screens for checkout counter display

2. Digital displays

Move with the times and utilise digital displays around your checkout areas. Use digital screens to present high-quality advertising graphics, entertain queuing shoppers, or you could even engage the customer with an interactive experience, such as with touchscreens and tablet stands, providing further opportunities for cross-channel marketing and sales.

3. Tiered display stands

Maximise your counter space with tiered display stands, such as smaller tabletop shelf stands in acrylic or wicker. Your sales counter is a key promotional area, where customers will make snap decisions to pick up extra items before they pay. Don't be afraid to use these stands for slightly higher-value impulse purchase items, and products from well-known brands.

Tiered checkout display stands
Countertop display bins for impulse buys at checkout

4. Countertop dump bins

Add countertop dump bins such as clear spheres and acrylic display cubes for low value, high turnover impulse buy items. Don't neglect these low-cost items, as they tend to be an easy last-minute purchase decision for customers, but can really boost your average basket value at the till. If each customer buys one of these add-on items, your overall sales will rocket!

5. Gift card holders

Use a business card holder in order to display your range of gift cards, or your store loyalty cards, both of which can boost your sales figures. You could also use countertop leaflet holders on the checkout counter too - encourage customers to take one away, so they can continue to browse your products, services and information even after they've left your store.

store counter gift card display
Retail competition entry boxes for countertops

6. Competition entry boxes

Use a suggestion box to gather feedback, or use them as competition entry boxes for customers to sign up to your mailing list in exchange for a chance at winning a competition, or for a discount off their first purchase. The benefit of this is that you can collect details for further online marketing or leaflet distribution, while engaging them further with your brand experience.

What products should I display on my checkout counter?

While snacks have long since proven to be a big driver of impulse buys at retail checkouts, it's worth bearing in mind the recent government announcement of their commitment to ban the promotion of certain unhealthy snack foods at sales counters, with many supermarkets already having voluntarily introduced this measure [2]. Therefore, give some thought to what other items you sell that may work well as last minute add-on sales at the point of purchase. Research from Statista found that the most popular checkout alternative to unhealthy snacks are water, fruit snacks and seeds [3].

Research suggests that, to increase impulse buying, retailers should focus on merchandising their checkout areas with "emotionally appealing, lower-priced items" [4]. Additionally, products such as cosmetics, batteries, and small gifts are always a good choice, as they are used by so many people across different demographics, and often forgotten while walking around the aisles.

"Checkout counter displays increased in-store decisions to purchase an item by about three percent compared to when an item was displayed in-aisle"- Inman et al. (2009), cited in Kacen et al. (2012) [4].

Don't forget the self checkouts! Self-service checkouts are predicted to grow in number exponentially, with 10,000 stores worldwide predicted to offer fully autonomous checkouts by 2024 [5]. Therefore, these areas need clever merchandising too, with quick and convenient items for busy shoppers. Time-conscious shoppers are more likely to use the self-checkouts when they're rushed, so think about what a busy shopper in your store may forget to pick up on their way around the aisles, and merchandise these at your shop display counter.

Finally, be sure to carefully plan your queueing area, as well as the store checkout counter displays, since waiting customers may become bored, and will be more likely to pay attention to your in-queue merchandising displays. Make the most of this opportunity by ensuring your promotional material is targeted towards items they are able to quickly pick up at checkout - this is a great area to use a digital display screen, to keep shoppers entertained while they wait.

Shop checkout displays and queue merchandising

You can mark out a queuing area, while simultaneously merchandising your add-on items simply by using our In Queue Merchandising Stands, which are available with various configurable shelves, hooks and tubs to suit all of your products.

Point of sale displays for shop counters

  • Premium Product Glorifier Unit with poster display

    Premium Product Glorifier Unit

    PHS In stock
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  • Multi Purpose Countertop Display Stand

    Multipurpose Chrome Countertop Display Stand

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  • Clear Display Sphere Plastic Counter Display

    Clear Display Sphere Counter Standing

    SPR In stock


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  • Peg notice board aka restaurant menu board

    Peg Letter Board

    PGBRD In stock
    From: £60.00
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  • Plastic Lazy Susan Turntable (disc only, stand not included)

    Lazy Susan Turntable

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  • Metal Counter Standing Poster Holder

    Metal Counter Standing Poster Holder

    MGF In stock
    From: £12.83
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  • Acrylic Shoe Display Bridge in a choice of two sizes

    Shoe Display Bridge

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    From: £1.85
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  • Five Sided Acrylic Display Cube

    Five Sided Acrylic Display Cube

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Now you know how to merchandise your checkout counter displays, why not learn more about how to merchandise your shop shelving?

Kira Swales

Kira Swales

Kira Swales is a copywriter for UK POS. Kira has extensive experience in e-commerce and copywriting, and spent many years working in retail. She enjoys researching topics in depth in order to provide readers with the latest information on point of sale and merchandising. Read more of her in-depth guides on POS in our Knowledge Hub.


1. ‘The Role and Impact of P-O-P Display in the Convenience Retail Channel’ (2019), POPAI, https://www.popai.co.uk/boxfile/documentdetails.aspx?GUID=191c1ef4-cedf-4ea4-bbbd-72e6d3ac0187 [accessed 03.11.2021].

2. Department of Health and Social Care, Restricting promotions of products high in fat, sugar and salt by location and by price: government response to public consultation (updated 19 July 2021), https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/restricting-promotions-of-food-and-drink-that-is-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt/outcome/restricting-promotions-of-products-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt-by-location-and-by-price-government-response-to-public-consultation [accessed 03.11.2021].

3. Statista Research Department, ‘What should retailers put at checkouts in place of confectionery?’ (July 2015), Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/533445/preferred-replacements-for-confectionery-at-retail-checkouts/ [accessed 03.11.2021].

4. Kacen, Hess and Walker, ‘Spontaneous selection: The influence of product and retailing factors on consumer impulse purchases’ (Nov 2012), Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 19, Issue 6, pp 578-588, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2012.07.003 [accessed 03/11/2021].

5. Statista Research Department, ‘Number of stores which offer autonomous checkouts worldwide from 2018 to 2024’ (Feb 2021), Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1033836/number-of-stores-with-autonomous-checkouts-worldwide/ [accessed 03.11.2021].