If you own and operate a digital store, you do not have to worry about shelf space and optimizing the layouts. You can create one hundred thousand product pages if you wanted to, and not one of them will take space from the other. Physical retail stores don’t work like this. They have a very limited and finite amount of space on shelves.
This hard limit on available and viable space puts a huge emphasis on optimization. If done correctly, the placement of products and shelves can lead to great profits. If done poorly, the retail store is going to fail. Luckily, there are tools like the store planogram that help you minimize inefficiencies and help you manage your store properly. But these tools aren’t everything. So, here are a few tips and tricks to help you optimize your retail store to perfection.
Think or products like Lego:
When stocking a shelf, think of the products as Lego or Tetris blocks. Obviously, sales volumes and profit margins play a huge role in the placement of a certain product. But when stocking, make sure not to waste any usable space. The products should be as close as possible without obstructing access to one another. Every inch left unused is money being wasted. You might think that a few square inches here and there don’t matter, but they quickly add up even in small stores.
Avoid displaying too much stock:
You do not want your store to look empty under any circumstances. Empty shelves are a great customer deterrent. So, you have plenty of inventory; you might as well put it all on display shelves, right? Wrong! Too much stock on shelves is just as bad for the store as empty shelves. The customer does not want to feel overwhelmed. Overdoing stock on shelves will eat up your sales and have a bigger impact on your profits than you might think.
Put consumables at the end:
Consumables are products that the customer needs on a regular basis. Things like soap, shampoo, and cosmetics are all examples of consumable products. This, however, does not include groceries as they are in their own category. Put these consumables at the end as that is what most customers are there to buy. No one goes to a retail store to buy a fancy new shoe cleaner, but many will if they see it in the store. Putting consumables at the end ensures that customers have exposure to as many products as possible on their way, increasing sales.
Make the shelves themselves look good:
You can have the best products in the world, but if they are sitting on a crappy, boring shelf, no one is going to buy them. Make your shelving look appealing by ensuring that they are completely clean. Use colors and designs to theme shelving according to their products. For example, a section of male grooming products should have blue shelving, and a kid toys section should be baby pink with cartoon characters painted on them.