5 Ways To Improve Your Merchandising
Retail merchandising is both an art and a science. There’s not just one way to do it. There are plenty of successful paths to the end goal, but there are general principles that will work for any type of retailer. ChainDrive hopes the following five tips will help you be a better merchandiser no matter what kind of retail chain you manage.
- Create a floor plan map – Many new retailers overlook this important step in creating the perfect floor plan. How you lay out the space in your retail stores can make a world of difference in how much, and what kind, of products you sell. If fact, the right floor plan maximizes your space and makes room for more product, but it also leads the customer on a journey to finding the merchandise they want, and many times the merchandise they didn’t know they wanted. If you create a floor plan map before you start planting shelves and placing product, you can picture it before you merchandise it.
- Open up the front door space – Your retail store should be welcoming. What that means for most shoppers is open space at the front of the store. Remember, this is your highest trafficked location within the store. People enter and exit through that space–unless you have separate doors for entering and exiting. In general, however, you want to keep the front of the store free of clutter. When people enter a retail store, they tend to move to the right so use that space to promote the merchandise you want to move. It is prime real estate.
- Stay true to your brand – Is your retail establishment a “warehouse” type of store where shoppers dig through bins? There’s nothing wrong with that. Just be sure that every element of your merchandising that you include fits in with your brand’s style and image. That goes for any type of layout, retail sector, or brand distinctives you may have.
- Organize your merchandise logically – This means put complementary products together and similar product groupings in the same department. For instance, if you’re a sports retailer, you should have all of your baseball equipment in one section. Baseball gloves may be on the same aisle. Complementary products should be close together. So, for instance, in a pet store you may place your dog leashes and collars on the same aisle or in the same vicinity since they complement each other.
- Keep your store well lit – Lighting is very important for merchandising. If people can’t see your products, they won’t buy them. Use lighting wisely to draw attention to specific merchandise you want to move quickly.
There are a million ways to merchandise effectively in retail. Keep it simple and focus on the customer’s needs.