3 Ways to Simplify Your Merchandising Process
Competition in the retail space is fierce. Ensuring the right product in the right place, and at the right price and time is key to every retail brand’s success. Savvy merchandisers with a simplified and streamlined merchandising process have the best chance of growing sales and maintaining the competitive edge. Here’s why…
90% of information sent to the brain is visual and 95% of our decision making process is subconscious, leaving only 5% to the conscious mind. Consumers subconsciously make purchasing decisions based on the visual and organizational layout of a retail store. Merchandisers are the brains behind the revenue-driving operation. They are the analytical, strategic, design savvy professionals who carefully plan and organize the customer experience to increase store traffic and grow sales.
These key players perform a crucial role in the success of retail brands, and their jobs are not always easy – especially with quick seasonal turnarounds, high competition, and hundreds of locations from coast to coast.
HERE ARE 3 TIPS AND TRICKS TO SIMPLIFY THE REMERCHANDISING PROCESS FOR MULTI-LOCATION BRANDS
1. Harness Your Data
Make data-driven decisions to consistently improve sales. Plan, organize, gather, and analyze your data before you start the remerchandising process. This ongoing activity will give you the best insights for profitability in the planning phase. Determine the most important metrics and use Sales and Observational Data to drive product placement. Know which items are likely to increase sales before you place them.
2 types of important data:
- Sales Data is data gathered from your POS system. Is there a particular wood flooring that is selling quickly? Where is it currently shelved? Would moving the flooring to an eye-level shelf or endcap help drive even more sales? Test it with a split placement. Compare your sales data to observational data to learn more. Then test the new product placement against the old product placement to get a deeper understanding.
- Observational Data is data gathered by paying attention to shelf placement and product flow. One example of this is testing a product on a shelf versus an endcap display in half of your stores. Let’s imagine you are a floor and tile store like Floor & Decor. Take a new tile design that is expected to be popular for the season and display it in your flooring section. In 50% of your stores, display the tiles on a pop-up endcap that adds a visual “wow” factor. In the other 50% of your stores, simply place the tiles on shelves in an aisle. Combining sales data with observational data, do you see an increase in endcap tile sales that make special endcap displays worthwhile? Or, is the difference in sales marginal and not worth the extra effort? Is there a product that would be better suited for the endcap? Observational data helps you make better, more informed decisions.
Combine your data analysis into an easy-to-view report or presentation, so you and your team can reference your findings throughout the merchandising process.
2. Keep an Eye on the Competition
Are you maintaining a watchful eye on your competitors? You should be. You can learn a lot quickly from their product placement, fixture displays and designs, and remerchandising timelines. Documenting your competitors’ strategies over time can reveal new ways to streamline your process that you may not have already considered. It may also expose some strategies you’re better off avoiding. Make a list of your top three competitors and make a conscious effort to check in and record your observations.
Some of the key strategies you may want to note:
- How often do they roll out new merchandise?
- Which products do they highlight on endcaps or special displays/fixtures?
- Which products do they place on eye-level shelves?
- When do they run sales to clear store inventory?
- What is their lighting style?
- What kind of collaborations or endorsements are they running?
3. Maintain Up to Date As-Built Plans
Help your merchandising team stay informed of store layout remotely. Big retail brands with nationwide locations have a geographic challenge in merchandising each store to its full capacity. Teams need a clear view of the current layout of each store location to make actionable and data-driven decisions.
Does your company have a clear, up to date set of As-Built Plans of each store location? If not, you’re likely missing valuable space you could be leveraging to highlight your best products and increase sales. Accurate Floor Plans are the minimum As-Built Survey type your team should have on hand at all times.
The most common As-Built Drawings used by retail brands include:
- Floor Plans – Commonly used by merchandisers, brand architects, and construction professionals to plan store layout and construction
- Elevations – Commonly used by merchandisers, brand architects, and construction professionals to plan store layout and construction. The marketing team may also leverage these plans to gather window dimensions for promotional signs and banners.
- Reflected Ceiling Plan – These plans are, as they sound, a reflection of the ceiling. They are leveraged by marketers to understand ceiling layout when hanging promotional material from above. They may be used by merchandisers to highlight store sections and enhance the customer experience.
- Fixture Plans – These plans provide merchandisers a better understanding of built-in and moveable racks, gondolas, and displays.
Acquiring and maintaining current As-Built store layouts for all of your locations is an incredibly valuable asset. Partnering with a trustworthy As-Built partner who can streamline your store plans nationwide can substantially save time, increase efficiency, and drive revenue.
Although merchandising across hundreds of storefronts may seem like a daunting task, streamlining your process using these tips and tricks can alleviate a lot of stress and prepare you for smart, profitable decisions and a smooth process.
About Precision Property Measurements
PPM is the leading provider of retail As-Built survey and drafting services in the United States. We provide As-Built surveys (measurements on existing properties) including Floor Plans, Elevations, Reflected Ceiling Plans, and more to architects, designers, and contractors who are transforming retail space. We are the first step in a smooth remodel or renovation and a trusted partner among some of the biggest brands including Floor & Decor, Chipotle, and McDonald’s. Learn more about our Multi-Site As-Built services here.