What is Shelf Merchandising?

For any store striving to be the best at what they do, shelf merchandising is of the utmost importance. Putting each product in the right spot on a shelf, and making those shelves attractive to the buyer, is key to sales, regardless of what kind of products you might be selling.

retail display foam risersGood shelf merchandising and management make products easy to find and, as a result, increase orders per customer and keep customers coming back again and again.

Consumers want to see a sizeable selection of products of a particular type or brand and enjoy shopping at stores where the products are kept neat and orderly and where shelves remain well-stocked, eliminating the need to find a clerk to search for products that are seemingly not available.

Shelf merchandising solutions typically involve at least one and ideally two aspects. The first being a system where products are kept in straight lines perpendicular to the shelf edge by some type of divider. Without this, there is no merchandising or shelf management and products are mixed together more and more as the day progresses.

The second ideal component is some system whereby products are front facing. That they are brought to the front of the shelf so customers do not have to reach into the shelf but rather can see a full row of product. This can be done by either spring loaded pushers, or through gravity (with angled shelving).

When combined, these two aspects will present customers with a well ordered, front facing shelf of product, giving the products and their packaging the best chance to attract buyers.

Good shelf merchandising demands good components that keep products front-and-center, sorted, and easy-to-spot. A shop fitter that specialises in such components can recommend any number of solutions for creative shelf merchandising for items of varying sizes.

Some stores may find that one particular shelf merchandising solution works for them while others will discover that perhaps several different kinds of solutions may be appropriate for their retail location.

Some stores simply use dividers to separate one type, size, or brand of product from other. Dividers are affordable and keep products in a straight line perpendicular to the shelf’s edge. “Fences” are often used in front of the rows of products to keep them from falling off the shelves. This is a simple system that many find suitable and affordable.

Many grocery stores and other similar establishments use “gravity” or angled shelving for certain products. Because the shelf systems are slanted downward, products – lined up in a row behind one another – slide down to the front as soon as one is removed.

This means the shelves always appear fully-stocked, presenting a uniform look for shoppers and making it easy to find each product without having to reach back or dig through existing inventory. This type of shelf merchandising is often used for items such as dairy products in a supermarket but may be used for just about any kind of product.

In many cases, shopfitters recommend spring loaded pushers for certain items at a particular store. You may have seen these used in the marketing of pharmaceuticals or other similar small items. A row of product is loaded in front of a spring-loaded fence and when one item is removed, the remaining items move to the front of the shelf.

As with angled shelving, this kind of shelf merchandising allows the consumer to always view fully-stocked shelves, making for an even and attractive display.

A shopfitter who has worked in a wide variety of industries can offer various other merchandising options for your store shelves, including shelf extenders, loss prevention systems, roller systems, slotted racks, and much more. Discuss your needs with your shop fitter’s designers to determine the best solutions for your business.

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