It is every retailer's goal to maximise sales per square metre. In a previous article, we discussed how retailers can use category management to create a more enjoyable shopping experience for consumers and, when implemented correctly, increase profit margins and strengthen customer loyalty (you can access the article here).
We now know that the overall look and feel of the store is very important. The floor layout, product flows and having the correct localised assortment planning strategy all have a drastic impact on the in-store experience. But what more can you do to maximise profits?
There are areas in your store where you need to merchandise effectively, and there are areas where you need to display effectively. Don’t mistake merchandising and visual display as one in the same thing – they are vastly different.
Merchandising is defined as the variety of products available for sale and the display of those products in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to make a purchase. The vast majority of store space and fixtures are dedicated to merchandising. Displays are defined as vignettes/scenes that incorporate multiple products with one common theme that captures the shoppers attention, tells a story, visually suggests add-on purchases and encourages the customer to linger.
We have covered the basics of effective in-store merchandising, now let’s talk about effective visual displays and how they are directly related to gondola ends or "end caps". (Gondola ends are a term used to describe the retail shelving which is situated at the ends of the isles) Retailers and suppliers underestimate the power of well-displayed gondola ends. They have the ability to turn stock twice as fast as all other areas.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of your end displays:
1. Pick a theme
Have a promotion in store? Great! It would not be advised to have more than 3 product categories on display. Otherwise, your end may look cluttered. Keep it simple and you will sell more.
2. Tell a story about what is the closest aisle
Customers often don’t read signs so it’s your job to help them find the products that they are looking for. Use your aisle ends as an indication of what’s in the aisle and tell a story about the assortment in that particular area of the shop.
3. Use the space for impulse products
When customers shop for “purpose products”, especially those placed at the back of the store they have to walk past aisle ends and may be swayed to make an impulse buying decision. Placing purpose lines in the right location and then developing an end policy that encourages impulse sales can make a big difference to your bottom line.
4. Best Sellers
Most customers take comfort in knowing they are buying a product that is popular. Product popularity tells us two things: the product is reasonably priced, and the product/ brand is trustworthy (i.e. it works/ it tastes good/ it has value for money).
5. Cross Merchandise
Have a new item in a store or want to push the sales of your house brand? Cross merchandising is an effective way to create brand or product awareness and to show your customer what to buy. You can also use cross merchandising as a tool to show which products complement each other. Remember, the first thing the customer sees when walking through your store are the gondola ends. Use it to your advantage!
The average consumer only has a limited amount of time to spend in a retail store, therefore it is imperative to create displays that say “If you’re only giving us 15 minutes of your time, we would like you to notice these products.”
Getting the correct mix between merchandising and visual display will be what sets you apart from your competitors and leaves you with full pockets.