Effective merchandising strategies that grow sales and delight shoppers

Time starved consumers want and appreciate retailers who make shopping easy and enjoyable. They don’t want to feel like they are on a scavenger hunt every shopping trip. Here are just a few simple strategies that brands and retailers can use to improve sales and shopper loyalty.  It is imperative that brands partner with retailers to make these strategies a success.

Proper item placement is the key to every brand’s success. It can be the difference between success or failure. Consumers appreciate stores that are well merchandised and easy to shop. Today’s busy consumers want retailers with clean well-organized and easy to shop stores.

Product Segmentation

Most categories allow you to group products into different segments. Different segments make it easier for customers to shop the category. For example, a good strategy is to merchandise items into quality segments: super-premium, premium, and economy. Shoppers will pay more for quality if they can perceive the additional benefits a product offers.  This only works when they can compare similar items merchandised next to each other.  For example, placing super premium items at eye level and economy items on a different shelf is a great way to trade a consumer up to an item that better meets their needs. Customers want good value for their money and that frequently includes high-quality super-premium products. Premium products are frequently found to be a better deal when you consider that it meets a shopper’s specific needs.  For example, a premium paper towel might require fewer towels to clean up a spill thus saving money in the long run.

A strong brand strategy is important here. Merchandise your brands into different segments. Sprinkle in your private label items next to the top-selling brands. This gives the shoppers additional product choices.

Integrated Merchandising

Integrating products by category makes shopping easier. For example, merchandise natural organic products next to their mainstream counterparts. This strategy makes it easy for shoppers to compare items side-by-side to evaluate and choose the item that best meets their needs. Giving shoppers a choice allows them to easily appreciate the additional value a quality healthy product offers. This is also how you grow category sales and increase shopper loyalty – by giving shoppers what they want.

Dual Merchandising

Savvy retailers will frequently dual merchandise top selling items and segments.  For example having an additional and separate gluten-free specific section that contains gluten-free products from multiple categories. This strategy invites customers to try new items and to learn about innovative products that support their specific dietary needs. For example, merchandise gluten-free cookies in both the gluten-free section and the regular cookie category. Once customers try and like a gluten-free item, they might then try other gluten-free products. They will then become a committed loyal gluten-free shopper.

Eye Level Merchandising 

Shoppers appreciate retailers who group or merchandise items that meet shopper’s specific needs. For example. a retailer could merchandise certified organic items at eye level and items that are less “clean” above and below. This strategy works equally well across all segments and with all specialty items.

Complimentary Product Merchandising 

Another important strategy is to merchandise, or group, complimentary categories together (pasta with sauces, spices with baking needs, etc.). Not only does this make it easy for consumers to shop your store, it makes it easy for them to purchase all of the items needed to prepare a meal.

An often overlooked benefit of this strategy is the ability to co-promote items with a similar theme (Superbowl, holidays, etc.). Co-promoting complimentary items draws attention to other products throughout the store and stretches your trade budget. Remember, the goal is to make shopping easy, friendly and efficient.  Shoppers don’t want or have time, to shop multiple retailers to get all of the items on their shopping lists.

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By |2017-09-23T16:55:09+00:00May 9th, 2017|Merchandising Effectiveness|

About the Author:

Daniel Lohman, CPSA is Strategic Advisor in the CPG and Organic Industry. His company, Category Management Solutions (CMS4CPG LLC), provides innovative ideas, actionable insights and strategic solutions for companies interested in gaining a significant competitive advantage. He assists companies in expanding their retail distribution and improving their merchandising. His extensive knowledge and expertise reaches far beyond traditional category management and has earned him recognition throughout the industry as an expert, speaker, trainer and thought leader. Daniel can be reached at Dan@CMS4CPG.com. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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