retail planogram displays arrangement of clothes on shelves, wall hooks and hangers

Planogram Optimization: Push Your Visual Merchandising to the Edge

Clip Strip Corp. Retail Display, Visual Merchandising Leave a Comment

Planograms are diagrams that show ideal product arrangement on retail store shelves

They have been helping visual merchandisers display their goods in an orderly fashion for years. Ideally, these arrangements will be optimized to maximize point of purchase sales. Quite often, manufacturers will send planograms to give storeowners an idea of how to show a new product’s relationship with existing products. But how can you tell if your schematics – or a manufacturer’s suggested layout – will be optimal for your location?

Here are 3 planogram optimization techniques to look for:
1.     Consider your visual product placement theories

According to horizontal, vertical and block placement theories, the attention of your customers can be directed to certain products. This is accomplished by arranging the products in segments while displaying them at ideal distances from each other. The resulting displays feature horizontal rows or vertical columns, designed to attract, engage and retain the attention of shoppers.

Merchandisers strive to use these visual rules to create themes within these columns and rows (or blocks when combined). These can be based on brands, styles, types or other product relationships. When designing a planogram based on these principles, continuation and consistency is key!

2.     Factor in market share and margin placement

The commercial product placement method will evaluate market data to determine which products deserve a prominent position. A market share research company such as Nielson can be used to assess the market share of certain products in the given segments. Merchandisers will then give priority to items with high market share and high profit margins. Be sure to give these products high value positions near the front of the store to attract more customers!

3.     Go with what you know

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That makes the Derivative Placement Theory the most complimentary method of the bunch, but that’s not why we like it. This straightforward approach aims to communicate how retailers, grocers and department stores should display the merchandise. Because store managers aim to keep sufficient inventory levels on the shelves, derivative planograms tend to be a preferred tool.

Planograms can also ensure store space and shelving real estate is used effectively. Details about the merchandising accessories used to hang, hold or hook the products in the suggested positions will also help retailers bring the schematics to fruition. For example, the designer might have a certain style of shelf label holders in mind that will help create the desired effect. Including display accessory information takes the guesswork out of ordering the best sign holders, pegboard hooks or shelf dividers for the specific visual merchandising ideas and strategies at hand.


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