Some people have green thumbs.
I have black thumbs.
A potted plant in my hands gets a death sentence.
Not intentionally, of course. I love plants. But I struggle to keep them alive and healthy. I just don’t notice them. They’re in my peripheral vision, and I forget about them. Until it’s too late.
Your products can suffer a death sentence too
You know those places in your store where products languish and gather dust? Often it’s the bottom shelf. Products sit there, ignored by customers. The bottom shelf is like a product graveyard.
We tend to place products in horizontal rows along shelves. If we have an empty shelving unit with products, often we’ll fill it like we read. We start at the top left, filling the shelf across to the right. Then we fill the next shelf down. And so on, and so on. Now, we may not always start at the top. But it’s extremely common to fill horizontally across each shelf.
This is the habit that sentences your products to a slow death. You end up with products left on the lower shelves that no one sees. And no one buys.
Why don’t shoppers notice products on the lower shelves?
When product is merchandised horizontally, shoppers mostly see only what is at eye level. They scan the shelves by turning their head to the left or right, or by walking past. This leaves product on lower shelves ignored and unsold.
How can you save your products from this demise?
Shoppers are most likely to see merchandise that is presented between waist level, and eye level. Capitalize on this key selling area, and eliminate the death sentence by using vertical merchandising.
What is vertical merchandising?
Vertical merchandising means placing merchandise in vertical columns instead of horizontal rows.
What are the benefits of vertical merchandising?
Merchandising in vertical columns exposes more product options to shoppers. It makes it easier for them to see and compare product offerings.
Vertical merchandising also improves the appearance and organization of the store. A wide product selection can look messy and overwhelming to customers. Presented consistently in vertical columns, a a large selection will appear organized and easy to shop.
In the illustration below, the bottles of oils and vinegars are all presented vertically creating organized, attractive bands of colour. The shopper can scan across the entire selection at a glance.
The same selection is presented on each shelf, so the bottom shelf is not a graveyard of unseen products.
How do you use vertical merchandising?
As products sell from the upper shelf, lower merchandise needs to be moved up to fill the spaces. The upper shelves remain full and attractive. The blank spots that remain are on the lowest shelf, where they are not as noticeable. When new stock is received, it is filled in on the lowest shelf.
By rotating merchandise this way, the products sold first are the ones that arrived in the store first. Selling the oldest items first reduces the chances of products expiring, or sitting around gathering dust.
So, what are you waiting for?
Start merchandising your products in vertical columns. Make sure your customers can see what you have to offer, and get rid of the product death sentence.
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