What are Shelf Talkers?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2019
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Shelf talkers are sales tools often used in various types of retail businesses. The talker is a small sign that is strategically placed on a shelf in order to call attention to a given product offered for sale. The sign usually sports bright colors and images that catch the attention of shoppers and entice them to consider purchasing the product.

It is not unusual for shelf talkers to be combined with another retail approach known as an endcap. Essentially, endcaps involve placing products on the ends of shelves and at a height where they are more likely to be seen by consumers. When coupled with a shelf talker, the endcap makes it very easy to spotlight a product that is currently offered at a discount, and thus generate additional sales that help to increase the profitability of the store.

There are several ways to creatively use shelf talkers. Perhaps the most common approach is to design a small sign that is colorful and announces a sale price on a given item. The sign itself normally hangs over the edge of the shelf, making it more easily visible to any shoppers passing by. This approach can be used to sell products that have not moved as expected, allowing the retailer to make room for other and hopefully more profitable goods.


Another type of shelf talker is a discount coupon. Like the sign announcing a discounted price, shelf talkers designed as coupons tend to hang over the edge of the shelf and grab the attention of shoppers as they move down the aisle. The coupon normally announces a specific amount that will be deducted from the retail price of the product, making it easy for consumers to see if the value of the coupon will reduce the overall price enough to make the product attractive to them.

As a marketing and sales tool, the use of shelf talkers is a time-honored tradition. The device costs relatively little to produce, requires very little time to set into place, and can often lead to an increase in sales that more than justifies any investment of time or resources in the creation of the discount sales campaign. Best of all, many retailers can simply remove the signs when the special is over and store them for use at a later date.

Many different types of retail businesses make use of shelf talkers. Supermarkets and drugstores utilize this type of sales tool on an ongoing basis. Clothiers, shoe stores, and even retailers such as candle shops, appliance stores, and general merchandise businesses find this simple resource very effective in attracting the attention of customers and boosting overall sales figures.


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