Current-day buyer has long been spoiled by the wide range of products, the number of various stores, offers to buy goods at a discount, receive bonuses, cashback or gifts for purchases. Beneficial prices or new items on the shelves are already taken for granted. However, representatives of brands and retailers have learned to manage the very desire to buy. The main tool is the merchandising rules based on the effective display of goods.

What is Effective Product Display? Display Rules

Display refers to various methods of placing products on the shelves of the trading floor. The overriding priority of successful sales in the store is assigned to the effective display of goods. Brand recognition, popularity, demand and sales volume depend on the layout on the shelf. The main objective is to put a newly-released/popular product within eyesight of potential buyers. Proper display of goods gives the product a more attractive appearance. The attention of buyers is riveted to specific items, as if the goods themselves say that they should be in the shopping basket. It is uncomfortable for the modern buyer to spend precious time comparing prices and examining the characteristics of the same-type goods. Convenience is put in the foreground, which is ensured by appropriate display of goods. But to make it effective for specific products is the very task of the merchandiser. We can define several general merchandising rules:
    1. “Facing the buyer.” The goods are placed on the shelves so that it is visually convenient for the buyer to make his or her choice — with a label or front side facing the person. The consumer loves harmony and respectfulness, so there should be good order on any trading shelf.
    2. At least three different products on the shelf. This applies to every article. One pack of juice on the shelf tells the consumer that something is wrong with it, but three already hint at the demand for the product. Three is considered a balanced number; therefore, when laying out goods, they place an amount that is a multiple of three.
    3. Physiology is also taken into account when laying out goods. On average, the visibility range of an ordinary person is 50 cm. If it is required to draw the consumer’s attention to the product, the product should occupy at least 50 cm on the shelf.
    4. A new brand or product is best placed next to the most popular product in the same category. A person’s subconscious desire for generalization is triggered: the properties of a well-known product are automatically transferred to a new brand.
    5. Change of “scene”. The consumer is tired of monotony, so the layout needs to be changed from time to time. Just do it correctly so as not to cause discomfort to customers.
It is easier to manage this work using special software. Due to automation of merchandising, all the main actions are switched to automatic mode: planograms, layouts, analytics, product range monitoring, etc.

Why is Product Display Essential to a Manufacturer?

The retail space is a special world into which the buyer enters. Many attention-grabbing goods, promotions, and advertisements appear on the way to the desired loaf of bread.

For sure, the main objective of an effective display of goods is to make it easier for the buyers to find what they need. But other objectives can also be achieved:

    • highlight the products of a particular manufacturer on the shelf;
    • increase sales of unpopular goods;
    • draw the buyer’s attention to short-lived goods to reduce the volume of returns;
    • increase the average spend of the buyer.

It is important for each manufacturer to increase visibility of its products on the trading shelf. Not only sales volume depends on this factor, but also brand awareness.

What is a Planogram and Why is It Important to Follow It?

In short, a planogram is well-defined arrangement of goods on retail equipment. The planogram of the store shows where, in what quantity and on what rack a particular product will be displayed. If we look at this concept in the format of one rack, then the planogram of the product display reflects the company’s sales and development strategy, highlighting one or another product. Each product has its own place and planned stock. Previously, drawing up a planogram, its analysis and monitoring took a lot of time, because the whole process was done manually. Current management systems offer merchandising optimization: they allow managers to edit, track and monitor the layout of goods on the shelves using apps running on a smartphone or PC. It is essential to follow the planogram and observe the principles of product display, because this is one of the main reasons for increasing the competitiveness of the store/brand/product. About 80% of buying decisions are made on the trading floor, on a whim, with just a glance at the trading shelf. That is why the planogram can be called a buying incentive tool.

How to Monitor the Layout? Role of Merchandisers

Before the advent of automated software to process planograms, the display of goods was checked and monitored manually. The merchandiser took photos of finished merchandise shelves and sent them to the manager or supervisor. Those, in turn, analyzed several thousand images every month, missing important flaws due to the human error.

Advanced software allows managers to not only monitor the layout and KPIs of merchandisers in general. It’s not even about a detailed analysis of the selected data. Apps provide comprehensive merchandising optimization. Photo recognition starts with subsequent analysis. Software identifies discrepancies in the planogram, for example, it shows which products are missing on the shelves.

The main role of the merchandiser comes down to timely laying of goods, arrangement of retail shelves, analysis of stock balances and submission of a report (often in photo format) on the work done.

It is now possible to monitor the layout remotely. There are three ways to do this in retail:

    1. Fixed camera. It is installed opposite the trading shelves. Snapshots are taken at a specified interval. In case of any deviation from the designated layout, the merchandiser receives a signal about the need to visit the outlet.
    2. Domed enclosure camera. Dome camera can change direction and focus, cover more sales area. Photos can be taken in real time.
    3. AI-powered robot. A platform with a camera moves between the racks and takes pictures of the display of goods. At the moment robots are used in a test mode, but soon this method will be launched in many retail chains.

How to Achieve Efficient Operations of Merchandisers and Regular Monitoring of Display?

Merchandisers are more than just staff putting merchandise on shelves. These are the people who make the brand recognizable and in demand. It is important to find a competent professional, organize his or her work at the outlet, and also streamline his or her actions with the help of merchandising automation. 

The use of planograms in retail is responsible for addressing many problems, in addition to the layout. They are related to the arrangement of the trading floor, ensuring the effective movement of goods from the warehouse to the shelf, keeping records of sales and collecting statistics.

One of the most popular in today’s retail is the Goods Сhecker platform. It assists in addressing many business challenges: plan the operations of merchandisers, fully process their visits to retail outlets, and analyze the state of retail shelves. Properly selected software allows you to generate more revenue and increase customer base.

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