A simple act of poster printing and
offering the customer a powerful experience as they enter the store can be an
effective merchandising technique. 
However, nearly half of all customers change their mind about a purchase
because of something they see in the store. 
This means it is as easy to get retail merchandising wrong, as it is to
get it right.  Here we offer some advice
on retail merchandising, some essential rules to tip the scale in your favour.

Your customer takes a journey around your store

Retail locations are under pressure to make the customer
journey as streamlined as possible.  The
shopper needs a positive experience. 
This is the age of Amazon, and your customer can buy anything they want
with a few clicks of the mouse. 
Consequently, you need to increase the pressure for more instant
gratification than next day free delivery to the door.

Your customers will come instore for two reasons.  First, they want the product now.  They have decided it is essential and they
want it in their hands without delay. Second, they want to interact with the
product and therefore, experience value from the trip to the store.

Therefore, your first task is to ask: is there a way to make
this visit an experience?  Is it possible
for your customers to physically interact with the product before purchase?

Create a product narrative and keep it consistent

Product branding and storytelling are essential to the
success of your shop.  Not only do you
need to sell the retail location but also connect with your other
channels.  Find a way to make your social
media channels interact with your bricks-and-mortar store.  You can use all sorts of smart technical
options to interact with your customer's phone as they make a journey around
your store.

The branding you use online should carry over into the store.  The point is to sell a consistent image that
the customer will recognise.  Any
disconnect will seed doubt into the mind of the customer and so potentially
lose the sale.

Know why they didn’t buy from you

The issue of consistency is one reason why a customer didn’t
buy.  However, there may be others.  The more you understand about why the
customer didn’t make that final commitment to your product, the more you can
remove the barriers in their way.  It
might be that the customer finds more connection with a competitor.  It could be that the journey from the shelf
to the till allows too much time for the customer to doubt the purchase.  You need to find the holes in your selling funnel
and then find a way to patch these up.

Eye-level is the buy level

If you are seeking to place your brand into a large retail
outlet, then you need to negotiate
for premium shelf space
.  You may be
excited that your brand has been accepted into the bigger stores and that they
have ordered thousands of units. 
However, if they are not placed correctly in the shop, it could be a
one-off purchase.  The difference in
sales for some products on the eye-level shelf compared to the bottom shelf is
87%.

Check you are on-trend

There is no fighting the truth that some retail bricks and
mortar shops have no place on the high street anymore.  The online battle has been fought, and the
physical shop has lost.  There is no
point being the lone voice in trying to reverse this trend.  You need to research the retail merchandising
trends and work with these, going with the grain.  You need to satisfy the customers' needs if
you wish to be successful in the retail space.

One exercise that all brands should undertake is research
into the merchandising techniques of leading competitors.  Look at exciting POP displays and seek
inspiration for your store.

Reliability matches consistency

The qualities of a top merchandiser are consistency across
channels and
security of supply
.  You need to
avoid out of stocks for the sake of your reputation.  It is not that you have lost the immediate
sale.  You have lost the returning
business of a customer who had bothered to choose you.  It is hard to win new customers, so you
should cherish the opportunity to serve those that do buy with you.  You should seek to nurture the relationship,
and any out of stock moment will jeopardise this relationship.

If you wonder how large operations manage multiple stock
lines without losing track, checkout electronic tracking software and hardware.
This will allow you to know the state of your stock instantly and act instantly
on any shortages.