Merchandising has long been a feature of store promotion activities. Goods that are presented to customers in a carefully planned manner will sell better than those that are displayed without thought or care. Neat and tidy is not always the best option, but whichever merchandising strategy is used, it must be appropriate for the products on sale. Merchandising techniques are the final link in the sales chain. After the supermarket layout has been planned with precision, and the customers have been attracted through the marketing strategy, the final step is to present the goods to them in such a way that they can’t refuse them. Some merchandising techniques are listed below.
We have been conditioned to accept that items priced in some colours are good value, or should be bought before they disappear. While most items in a supermarket may be priced in the store colours, some that are being pushed aggressively will be priced in red and yellow. These colours are synonymous with reduced prices and sales, but they can be used to advertise a Special Purchase where there is no price reduction, use warm colours for high profile, attention grabbing prices. These will be seen as value prices, whilst the cooler colours like green, blue, violet for example, will be seen as quality items. This colour difference can even be seen in logos. McDonalds (red and yellow) Body Shop (Green) for example.
You will be able to grab the attention of your customer much more easily if you block display, or block stack products. As you can see from the picture above, the mass of colours is quite attention grabbing.
Shelf Height as a Sales Tool
As your customer browses your products for sale on your shelves, they spend most time looking at items placed at eye level (head height). Make sure your best profit margins are on these shelves. They may scan lower or higher shelves, but they read pricing and packaging details more easily at this height. Lower shelves should be used for bulky products or low margin ones. Remember the height of your customer, children will have a different eye level to adults, as will disabled people. Children have ‘pester power’ which they use to convince parents to purchase items for them. Use your customers known eye level to your advantage, and use pester power.
Facing is a Display Imperative
Facing is a process whereby goods are brought to the front edge of the shelf, making the display look full. Also the products should be front facing, even when the front product is taken the next one must should stand proud with its label facing forward. With products like hairspray (long tubes) it’s good to front face all but one can, so as to leave a hand hole, otherwise products can be difficult to take.
There is a body of thought that says ’the supermarket’ is the only place where the displays constitute a ‘retail theatre’. The presentation of items for sale is not a simple matter of bulk storage and logistics. If your customer can gain the feeling of a lifestyle from the display of your products you will sell more products. Thick carpet and chandeliers showing opulence, can create the lifestyle necessary to sell expensive jewellery, for example. Customers are more tempted by fish displayed in a refridgerated counter on crushed ice, surrounded by the trappings of the sea, than packets on a refrigerated shelf.
Experiment and let us at BHMA know how you got on.
Patrick Huggins – Director.