What is a Retail Shelf Talker?


shelf talker
a cardboard, paper, or plastic advertisement of a product designed to be attached to a shelf on which the product is exhibited for sale.

OK, yes.. that’s the official definition of a shelf talker. But let’s really dive in and learn what they are in detail, and how they can be used effectively.

Retailers are always asking for shelf talkers, but what exactly are they?

A Shelf Talker is a special printed sign that attaches to a retail shelf. The shelf talker is unique because it often includes a die-cut, adhesive, clip, or other method of easily attaching to the shelf.

Some shelf talkers are simply printed rectangles, requiring the retailer to use tape or hardware to attach them to the shelves. While these are appropriate in some cases, they are typically not very user-friendly for the retailers, and are not always the best choice.

Shelf talkers are defined by the method used to attach them to the shelf. They have a very important job to do. Shelf Talkers are the voice of your product on the retail shelves. They get the attention and capture the imagination of shoppers. A good shelf talker moves your product from the shelf, to the cart, to the register!

There are many different styles of shelf talkers

  • Sticky Shelf Talkers – As the name implies, these talkers have ez-peel tape on the back, so retailers simply peel and stick to any shelf or surface.
  • One-Piece Shelf Wobblers – These cleverly designed signs are die-cut to a special shape that allows them to snap right into a price rail. They often include tape as well, so there’s no shelf they can’t attach to.
  • Two-Piece Shelf Wobblers – These printed rectangles include a plastic strip with tape on both ends, allowing the retailer to stick them to the shelf. Not quite as convenient as the one-piece, but certainly a popular choice.
  • Padded Shelf Talkers – This innovation, proudly started by First in Print, is a sticky shelf talker with a pad attached. This is a great system for delivering coupons and recipes.
  • Simple Shelf Talkers – This is the very basic printed rectangle described above. Very low cost, but not as user friendly as other forms of shelf talker.
  • Snap-In Aisle Flags – These double-sided signs include a plastic clip that snaps into a price rail. They stick out from the shelf and can be seen from clear down the aisle, luring shoppers in to learn more about your product.
  • Sticky Aisle Flags – Just like their snap-in counterparts, these include a plastic clip and stick out perpendicular from the shelf. The key difference is that the clip has peel-and-stick adhesive.
  • Padded Aisle Flags – A unique and eye-catching combination of the padded shelf talker and aisle flag, these cardboard printed signs have a pad on both sides, and stick out perpendicular to the shelf.
  • Custom Shelf Talkers – Our clients have shown remarkable creativity in designing custom shelf talkers. Some are die-cut to a clever shape that really grabs shopper attention!

How to use shelf talkers to increase sales?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Take a look at these beautiful examples of shelf talkers we created for our clients.


To see more of the beautiful shelf talkers we have created for our clients, check out our gallery