Darren Gilbert Jul 19, 2017 4:23:59 PM 8 min read

A Small Retailer’s Guide to Planogram Software

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To compete effectively in the retail space, you need to embrace tactics and techniques that will place you front and centre. One such tactic is to make use of planogram software. While it’s for all retailers no matter your size, this software can be especially effective for you if you’re a small retailer.

A closer look at planogram software (and how can it help?)

Planogram software, also known as space planning software, allows you to effectively manage and plan the space within your store. As mentioned in a previous article, the result of using this software is that it can help you to maximise your store performance while also satisfy your customer’s needs and demands.

Within that article, we also mentioned the importance of when you need to make use of this software. No matter your size as a retailer, you need to implement it sooner rather than later.

If you’re a small retailer, it becomes that much more important to implement it from day one. The reason is that it gives you an opportunity to stay ahead of your competition. With the software in place, you’ll also be able to grow at a quicker rate when compared to other retailers who don’t make use of it.

An added bonus to using it as a small retailer is that you’ll be able to create store-specific planograms, which can be refreshed and implemented more frequently. And don’t forget about the reason to implement it as soon as possible if you’re a small retailer: Cost. As you grow, the software can become more complex and take longer to implement.

Traditionally, planogram software has also been viewed as expensive, which can make it seem that it’s only for large retailers. However, this is not the case. For example, a solution such as DotActiv Lite is perfect for small retailers. It’s cost-effective while the software is also comprehensive. And it doesn’t take long to implement either.

Steps to take to implement planogram software

When it comes to implementing planogram software there are two different approaches. There is the integrated approach (automatically importing your sales data) and the non-integrated approach (manually importing your sales data). As for deciding which method to take, it is dependent on how small (or large) you are as a retailer.

In the case of a small retailer, the non-integrated approach (DotActiv Lite) is recommended.

Let’s break that approach down into a few steps:

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to make use of planogram software, you need to identify who will be using the software. If you have 10 convenience stores, for example, two or three users should be able to give you store specific and up-to-date planograms bi-monthly. This isn’t necessarily a full-time job so you can choose someone who already works for you rather than hiring someone to do the job.

From there, it’s a matter of purchasing and installing the software, which takes minutes and then training up the person or people who will be using the software. The training part will most probably take the longest (roughly two weeks) but it’s a once-off. They don’t need any refresher training.

Next, you’ll need to gather all the information you can about your store. That includes your sales data, product information, and realograms. This needs to be done one category at a time. Once all the information is gathered, you can start to generate your planograms. Again, you’ll have to do one category at a time.

Once your planograms are done, it’s time to implement them. That means physically executing them in-store. While it might be a painstaking process, once you’ve done it, it will be that much easier to maintain each category. You can also review the performance of each category, something which would be difficult to do without software.

And then, of course, you can refresh your planograms depending on customer demand.

Key benefits of using planogram software (and consequences for those who don’t)

No matter if you are a small or large retailer, the benefits of using planogram software are pretty much the same.

Looking at your short-term benefits, these include having clean data and products that are classified, as well as a better grasp of your product and category performance. It also improves your store layout and provides a more enjoyable shopping experience for your customers.

The long-term benefits include an increase in sales and stock rotation and a sales strategy that will be realised at store level.

That said, the key benefit difference between a small and large retailer lies in change management and backdating existing stores with planograms. Considering your size, as a small retailer, you wouldn’t need to worry about this. Instead, you can effectively start out the way you intend to finish.

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As for not making use of planogram software, the consequences are more severe for you if you happen to be a small retailer.

For example, as a small retailer, you’ll buy less stock, which means you’ll most likely not benefit from ordering in bulk, something that your larger competitors can do. It is thus that much more crucial for you to maximise your profit through the correct product assortment and layout of your shelf, both of which can’t be done effectively without software.

Also, have you ever walked into a store and immediately get the feeling that it’s small and unestablished because the shelves are chaotically stocked? Nothing is in the right place. Now imagine that is your store and you’re attempting to expand your business by opening more stores.

If your current stores are chaotic and inefficient, all you would be doing is adding more chaos into the mix, further damaging the reputation of your current store, as well as that of any store that you’ve yet to open.

Conversely, if you implement the software before opening more stores, you have a greater chance of building up your reputation as opposed to breaking it down.

Conclusion

As a small retailer, you are already up against it. A smaller budget and smaller assortment of products make it’s tougher to compete against larger retailers. That situation can become tougher still should you decide not to make use of planogram software. 

Looking for advice or need a category management solution that can help your business? Visit our online store here for more information or book a custom exploratory consultation.

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Darren Gilbert

With over 10 years of writing and marketing experience, Darren joined DotActiv in 2017 as a content writer where he was responsible for producing blogs, Ebooks and more. He has since worked himself up to the role of content manager, where he oversees all and any content produced by the company. He has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Stellenbosch.