Why merchandising makes a difference – part two

May 20, 2016By Assortment Planning and Placement, Behind the Shelf Blog

by Steve Choate

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, merchandising is the activity of trying to sell goods or services by advertising them or displaying them attractively. Presenting attractive, inviting displays of merchandise is one key to maximizing retail sales.

This is my second post about merchandising. Today I will cover facing standards and signage.

Maintaining proper “facing” standards in your store is critical. Facing refers to making sure the primary selling panel of a product is facing outward so a shopper can see it when looking at the shelf. Ensure your team is fronting and facing all of the products on your shelves on a daily basis.When items are properly faced, your customers will be able to identify and quickly find the item they are looking to buy. If a product is lying down, your customer may not recognize it and think you are out of stock. At best, this may cause your customer not to purchase that item in your store that day and force them to make a return trip. In the worst case scenario (and the more likely outcome), your customer may leave your store and go to another retailer that carries the same item and purchase it from your competitor.Maintaining proper "facing" standards in your store is critical.

This could lead to a perception that your store is not as well-stocked as your competitor and could therefore cause your customer to switch. Even though you had the product in-stock, you lost a sale and maybe a customer by not maintaining good merchandising standards.

Proper signage with retail pricing is another good merchandising standard you should adhere to. In today’s age of scanners, very few items have retail price stickers on them. This makes it even more important that you have a price label in front of each product. For items in a display or on an endcap, having a shelf sign is critical. Without an indication of what the retail price is for an item, your customers must guess. They may think an item is priced higher than it is. Or, like I have done many times when I do not know the retail price of an item, your customer may just walk away and not purchase the item.

Customers do not like confusion or uncertainty. Not having the retail price readily visible for any given product causes confusion and may reduce the sales of that product. Proper retail signage for your planogrammed aisles as well as any other off-shelf or secondary displays will help you maximize sales. And do not forget about those secondary placements of advertised items (ie: those everyday items on endcaps or in floor displays) when you place an item on sale. Make sure all locations of that item have the correct, up-to-date price whether it’s the regular price or the advertised one.

Proper shelf maintenance and accurate retail pricing are important factors of merchandising that make a difference!

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