If you are unaware of what does the term merchandising means, to put into perspective it simply means how to display your product attractively and stand out among the crowd. So how important is merchandising? A lot of people do often make the mistake thinking that merchandising only simply means display but merchandising has a few elements in which all these elements need to work together in order to make the product stand out.
If your brand is selling in a supermarket, more often we rely on the store workers to help display our product especially if your business is not large enough to hire your own merchandiser. Thinking that so long your product is visible and have sufficient stocks, this would create off-take but in reality, your sales is not coming in as expected and everything seems on track. So what went wrong? Have you considered analyzing your merchandising as part of the solution?
So here are a few merchandising elements that perhaps can help you improve on your display
Location, Location, Location
Are your products being displayed in the right category? Its very important to identify the right category because that would be where your target market is. You won’t want to be at the wrong place as the likelihood of your product being picked up would be low.
Shelf Display Level
Most often you are not in control of which shelf level is your product being displayed. Usually eye-level display are the most sought after display areas mostly occupied by the more sell-able brands. You need to proof yourself worthy (with sales number) in order to be upgraded to a better shelf level but in outlets where there is more freedom, try to take up the eye level shelf. Take note that your eye level should always be your target market’s eye level. That being said, if you are selling to kids, the best eye level should be of the kid’s height
Share of Shelf
If you are a new brand starting, make sure that you have at least 2 product facings for sufficient visibility. More often, share of shelf is closely relatable to the shelf display level where more sell-able brands would occupy more shelf space and usually this could only change by increasing the sales numbers. However, for new products, you should be getting a minimum of 2 facings per flavor/variant. But if you are an existing brand with a good sales number, you can always try to “fight” for more shelf space.
Cross merchandising simply means displaying your product at other places where your target market may wonder to as well. This is another way to increase product visibility if you don’t have the share of shelf space. It may incur some cost at some outlets but there are also outlets do not charge extra for this display. A good example of a cross merchandising would be displaying can soft drinks at the chips aisle
Clear Communication Labels
Always ensure your product has a label which states the correct pricing and correct description. Although this may be the responsibility of the store, but just imagine trying to manage thousands of products. The probability of them missing out on your product can happen. Ensuring a clear communication label would make it easier for consumers to identify the price of your product. The correct and clear description would help consumer to second guess if the correct product that they are referring to as well
Ensure that your product is well stocked with the right inventory to meet the sales demand in the outlet. If you are keeping too high inventory versus the sales, chances are you will not be offering the freshest lot to your consumer. Also, if the shelf is filled with your product versus other products, it would give off an impression that your product is not moving/selling as others do. If too low an inventory, this would lead to loss of sales instead. Hence, you need to ensure right inventory balance by identifying how frequent is the delivery/orders versus order lead time versus sales and how much stocks you need to keep until the next delivery.
Expired Or Not?
Although this is also the store’s responsibility as well, like I mentioned the chances of missing out would be high. If you are not managing the inventory well enough, you would be faced with lots of expired stocks especially if your product as a very short shelf life. Always practice FIFO (FIrst In First Out) in order to manage the expiry dates on shelf. Removing the close expiry (depending on policy usually below 3 months) would be good as consumers would not have the impression of “old” product and this would also ensure that they are getting the fresher ones.
Brand Name Facing Out , Clean and Orderly
Always ensure the product label brand name is facing the customers. It would make consumers easier to identify your product. Also, make sure that if you are having more than 1 variant/flavor, standardize the display order. Colours which helps identify the variant/flavor will help consumer recall better of your brand as well. Lastly, a dust free product will not give then consumer impression of an old or “sitting too long” on the shelf impression