Counter Displays: small on space, big on impact

Counter displays (CDUs) offer a versatile range of options to get retailers and shoppers interested in your brands and products. Regularly changing CDU themes, using creative design elements and upping the experience quotient not only make stores and shopping more fun and attractive for customers, they also boost in-store dwell time and trigger impulse purchases.

STI Group designers have a whole arsenal of CDU concepts and solutions to help you merchandise product more effectively on store counters. The most successful CDUs incorporate elements from existing advertising campaigns to facilitate brand recognition at the point of sale.

Product References

Cardboard, plastic, wood and metal CDU options

STI Group develops tailormade display solutions for customers. We select the best materials for each project, which may range from cardboard or corrugated board to acrylic and plastics to metal or wood, alone or in combination, depending on the product, brief and retailer requirements.

CDU retail requirements

The success of a display campaign hinges on how well retail requirements have been factored into display design. Many displays distributed to retailers never actually see the shop floor, mainly because of the limited space available in store and the plethora of other products on offer.   To encourage placement, CDU design must take the counter dimensions and height restrictions into account. Additional industry-specific guidelines may also play a part; for example in pharmacies, where prescription products must be merchandised so that they can only be accessed by pharmacy staff, whereas over-the-counter products should be fully accessible by shoppers.

Using Pay Trays as an advertising tool

An international pharmacist survey conducted by STI Group delivered insights into specific pharmacy requirements for POS materials. Unlike supermarkets, purchases in pharmacies are largely planned – so shoppers tend to head straight for the checkout counter after selecting the products they want. CDUs and pay trays on the counter are an ideal way to attract shopper attention during the checkout process. Pay trays in particular were very popular with over half of the pharmacists surveyed.

Seasonal themes attract target shoppers

Every year we see how important seasonal themes have been for retailer and brand success. As well as classic occasions such as Christmas and Easter, Carnival, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, the summer season , Fall and Winter, back-to-school, Halloween and mega sport events all offer great opportunities for brand communication. Seasonal CDUs can trigger emotions right at the point of purchase and instantly motivate shoppers to buy. These counter displays are also very flexible; you can customise CDU design to each season, using something as simple as a change of header.

Let there be light

Animated lighting offers a variety of options for customised product merchandising and attractive presentation. Integrating lighting in CDUs is another great way to grab shopper attention and drive impulse sales. STI Group has access to the latest lighting technology, through its international subsidiary in China, and can implement it cost-effectively in both local and European markets.


What are the key features of a counter display/CDU?

A CDU is a compact, product-holding display that is placed on the sales counter. CDUs are ideal for enticing shoppers at the checkout to stimulate last-minute impulse purchases. Counter displays are also very efficient logistically as they take up little space. They can be delivered to store prefilled with product, or assembled and stocked at the POS.

What kind of CDUs easily catch the eye?

Shoppers tend to notice CDUs that visually illustrate the advertised product and its benefits, or which stand out because of their unusual shape or colour scheme. Lighting and illumination effects, motion elements and surface finishes can also accentuate the appeal of a counter display.

How best can CDUs be used to advertise new or seasonal products?

CDUs can be enhanced with additional panels for brand communication or promotional pricing offers, or with product testers or free samples for new product launches. Consumer education or additional information can also be included on CDUs using leaflet holders or even display screens playing promotional video clips. Interactive elements such as competitions with response features like QR codes or text-to-win can help to increase the impact of a small CDU footprint.

What materials can be used for a CDU?

Most counter displays are made of cardboard and/or corrugated board. Plastics, acrylics and even metal or wood may also be used; the most adaptable CDU might be a hybrid of permanent or semi-permanent materials with updateable cardboard components.

How can CDUs best be used as part of a display campaign?

As part of a broader campaign, the CDU works well by extending consistent brand communication from windows, fixtures and off-shelf displays right up to the last touchpoint of the shopper journey at the checkout. When counter and floor-standing displays are used together, it may even be possible to share certain components for even more cost-effective solutions.