Increase Your Shelf Esteem: 5 Retail Display Solutions that Sell
Have you ever gone into a store to buy a single item and left with a cartload of things you hadn’t intended to buy? We all have, and generally more than once. That’s because the store you visited has a solid merchandising strategy that goes beyond product housed on shelves. Here’s how to make proven retail display solutions happen in your store:
1. Think Vertical
Whether hanging or on shelves, there are two ways to merchandise product: horizontally and vertically. If you want shoppers to see more of your product selection then a vertical presentation is almost always your best bet. Let’s say that you have a 4’ fixture with five shelves, and you have five different products to display in this space. If you choose a horizontal presentation, placing just one product per shelf, you will limit the amount of items a shopper is likely to see as she scans a shelf. If she only glances at the second shelf, she will only see that particular product.
We’re naturally inclined to read from left to right, so vertical merchandising encourages shoppers to see your entire selection of merchandise, regardless of which shelf they happen to gaze upon. Bonus: with Vertical Merchandising every level is eye level.
2. Color Ribboning and Color Blocking
We are naturally attracted by color so any time you can make an impact displaying product by color, do it. Just like Vertical Merchandising, when you merchandise colors vertically, shoppers are exposed to your full color assortment at any eye level. Think of sweaters folded vertically onto shelves. Vertical use of color is called Color Ribboning; it’s always a better choice over Color Blocking, the horizontal use of color. Use Color Blocking as one of your retail display solutions when merchandising garments by color on apparel fixtures, such as rounders and hang rods.
3. Small Sizes on the Left, Large on the Right
If you sell the same item in multiple sizes, you profit from selling the largest size because it retails for more than the smaller version. And that means better margins for you. So when you have multiple sizes of the same product, always place the small size of the product on the left, and the larger size on the right. This trick works because most people are right handed and will unconsciously reach for the item closest to their right hand, rather than reaching across their body for the smaller size. You make even more when you sell a generic version. In this case, place the small size on the left, the larger in the middle and the generic item on the right — retail display solutions are usually a function of simple human behavior.
4. “Hot Spot Cross” Merchandising
Every fixture has what’s called a “Hot Spot Cross” – the part of the fixture that sells the best. Most shoppers tend to stop and look at the center of a display, exactly where the hot spot silently highlights important merchandise.
You can locate the hot spot on any fixture by drawing an imaginary cross through its center. Imagine a 12’ gondola that’s 4’ on center: there’s a hot spot in the center of the 12’, and a hot spot in each of the four individual 4’ sections.
Remember this: “Hot Spot and One to the Right”. We know that most shoppers will reach for product with their right hand, so the position just to the right of the center of the cross is an equally hot display area. Use this space to feature new items or to energize product that might be suffering from sagging sales. These are simple retail display solutions that work!
5. Visual Curve
Visual Curve Merchandising involves the use of slanted shelves to increase the customer’s “strike zone” – the amount of product the customer sees in just one glance.
Think about the great product on your sales floor that’s just lying on flat shelves gathering dust. Or the great looking garments that are lost when housed on long hang rods. Try a new slant: call your favorite fixture company and invest in inexpensive plastic fencing that will hold product in place when you slant your shelves, plus waterfall brackets to face out apparel items you don’t want shoppers to miss.
Make It Happen
Visual merchandising and retail display solutions can’t be left to just anyone. It’s the store owner or managers job to make sure that the people they trust to set displays know what they’re doing. This involves trial and error, training, and follow-up.
If you want to make changes in your store, but aren’t sure where to start, drop us an email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include photos of your visual merchandising challenges and we’ll email back ideas to help get you started.
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This is a guest post by Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender, experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. They are widely referred to as consumer anthropologists because they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: today’s consumer.
KIZER & BENDER are contributors to MSNBC’s television program Your Business. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine’s list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers, have been named two of Retailing’s Most Influential People, are included in the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers, and have been listed among the Top 50 Retail Influencers since 2015. KIZER & BENDER are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference. Their award-winning Retail Adventures blog is consistently listed among top retail and small business blogs.