A while back, we posted about 10 tips to help merchandise products effectively. That one got a lot of attention – with good reason. Merchandisers have to be constantly looking for ways to improve store results. So let's dive deeper shall we?
The placement and management of inventory should present the most advantageous display of fast and slow-moving items. The goal should be to maximize sales per square foot. Now, I know that many MSOs or brokers don't have control over planograms, but if you want to make your client COMPLETELY happy, speak up if you see an opportunity for them to improve sales!
Results come from being focused. Start by keeping the following merchandising "rules" in mind every time you step into a store:
- NEVER RUN OUT OF BEST SELLERS
- Use the 80/20 rule when pressed for time during a store visit
- Categories should be displayed vertically and together
- Save the most space for best-selling items
- Top sellers in basic needs should be at eye level
- Keep pegged merchandise above shelved items
- Larger items should be on base
- Minimize shopper effort with adjacencies (i.e. paper napkins next to plastic cups & tableware)
- Put impulse sales items near checkout
- Single-item ends are often the most effective sales producers
- There are no permanent basic displays on endcaps (should be rotated at least monthly)
- Use adjacencies to improve cross-selling, which boosts sales
- Don't ignore slow sellers, keep them relevant by facing regularly
- Use signage to draw shopper attention to featured products
- Align shelf-edge marking to avoid confusion
- Create floor/shelf themes at least quarterly (i.e. holiday, seasonal needs, etc.)
- Use symmetry when blocking shelf space (alternate packaging styles)
- Rotate stock routinely for a fresh look
- KEEP OFF SALES TO A MINIMUM
- Create shelf symmetry and balance with matching or contrasting colors
- Feature new items clearly so shoppers don't have to struggle to find them
- Keep signage well-spaced and clearly visible
- Use repetition over product mix when it comes to best sellers (face shelving with more of the same rather than a broader mix)
Keep in mind that it's generally easier to make a good-selling item BETTER than a poor selling item GOOD. Occasionally, putting the higher sellers on an endcap can help to move more of them.
And don't forget that inventoried merchandise equals money in a box. Consumers can't buy what they can't see. So you've got to look for opportunities to put inventory onto the floor. Are there spots where you can create cross-sells or feature products using endcaps? Maximize your value by helping clients move inventory-on-hand.
If you're short on time for a visit, focus on what produces sales for your clients. Of course, we want to get EVERY STORE PERFECT, but there may be times when there aren't enough hours in the day. If that happens – work smart, prioritize your tasks, and communicate closely with dispatch.
Remember: WELL DISPLAYED IS HALF SOLD. It's up to you to move product, so keep these rules in mind. You're also one step closer to merchandising greatness if when store-level details can be instantly shared with field coordinators. Look to the ESP retail execution solution for improved visibility and better retail field management.