Striking the perfect balance between products and where they appear on your shelves can make or break retail success. While it might seem obvious to some, good merchandising is tricky, especially when you are carrying multiple examples of popular products. When space is at a premium in smaller stores, it can be even harder to know where best to place products to maximise your sales.
Thankfully, our merchandising experts here at NextGEN360 would like to share some insights into one of the most powerful tools in a merchandiser’s arsenal – the merchandising diamond. Follow the tips below, and you’ll be on your way to building the perfect displays for driving sales.
What is the Merchandising Diamond?
The merchandising diamond is a concept based on the relationship between product placement and consumer shopping habits. Randomly placing products throughout your store’s shelving makes for a complicated experience for your customers and will ultimately harm sales.
The idea is that when we as consumers browse the selves of a store, our attention naturally focusses on certain aspects of a display. Patterns can be observed in these behaviours, and savvy retailers can take advantage to drive sales in a certain direction.
Our field of vision as shoppers and the way it influences our buying habits is essentially summarised by ‘the merchandising diamond’. It can be applied to any display, in any store, to help the retailer strategize effectively.
Layout & Design
The way in which you organise your merchandise is vital to the effectiveness of the diamond concept. As we said, random scattered displays are not as likely to convert, and often lead to the customer becoming frustrated at the difficulty in finding what they want.
Group products sensibly by brand, flavour or whatever SKU information is relevant to your own offering. This will create more uniformed displays that are more appealing to the eye, and will draw consumers in. However you group your products, try to always display from left to right, and bottom to top. Consumers naturally browse in this way, and arranging your displays to compliment this behaviour will help them find what they want faster, or perhaps something they hadn’t considered before as an additional purchase.
Making sure products are appropriately grouped and displayed in a logical way is a must, but the positioning of certain products within the diamond can be utilised to help you clear out slow moving stock, or get your customers into something new you’ve just begun to offer.
Whatever you motivations, the centre of the diamond is where the magic happens; eye-level is buy-level. What this essentially means is a consumers focus is almost always centred in the middle of your shelving, with exceptions only for the tallest and smallest people out there. By the averages though, the products in the middle of the diamond, and therefore your shelves are the fastest sellers.
Savvy retailers can take advantage of this insight into their buyers behaviour, if you have a brand-new line entering your range and you want to drive it’s sales to introduce it to as many of your customers as possible and cement it as a consistent seller, make sure it is in the centre of the diamond. The same rule applies if you have a backlog of slow-moving stock, rather than wait for the inevitable BBEs to run out, try placing them in the middle of the diamond where your customers are focussed, you may find that you can clear out much more stock this way than by placing it elsewhere or discounting at a loss to yourself.
This is perhaps the more obvious aspect of the merchandising diamond – don’t leave gaps on your shelves. Out of stock items are dangerous in more than the fact that they aren’t making you money. If a customer wants a specific item and you have run out, the chances are that person will move on to a different store rather than sacrifice having the item they set out to buy.
If you have arranged your shelves with the merchandising diamond in mind, then remember, even if you can’t avoid some gaps, make sure that middle section is well stocked above all else, to ensure your fast sellers keep converting. You can actually take advantage of the eye-level = buy-level principal to help navigate stock-outs. If you have no choice but to wait for a delayed stock shipment, or if an item has simply been discontinued in general, consider placing the closest and most relevant alternative products that you do still have stock of in the centre of the diamond.
This will mean that even if they cannot get what they want, by having a very similar alternative right there in their field of view/focus, it will improve your chances of converting them anyway and avoid losing custom to stock-outs. Ultimately you should always make sure that your most popular lines are in stock, and that you have accurately forecasted and planned accordingly – do this, and follow the principals above to start taking advantage of the power of the merchandising diamond!
If you want to create your own vaping product range with us, then get in touch today and you can benefit from our years of experience and be sure we’ll help you understand the art of good merchandising.