Merchandising Rules for Different Retail Areas

Merchandising Rules for Different Retail Areas

9 min read
Kristina SamyBusiness analyst
Merchandising Rules for Different Retail Areas

Merchandising is more than just tidying up store shelves. It is a sales tool on the trading floor. An effective display helps you present goods in such a way as to satisfy the needs of customers as much as possible, which means to ensure strong sales. There are no one-size-fits-all rules for all stores, the display in each retail area is different. That’s why, we have collected the main approaches to organizing merchandising, depending on the vertical in which the retail chain operates: grocery, construction, pharmacy chain, pet market.

Grocery Retail


The main principle of merchandising is presented by the formula: “see it – like it – buy it”. It all starts with the planning and placement of commercial equipment. Although already at this stage, you need to take into account the basic rules of merchandising in grocery retail.

Grocery retail has strict commodity neighborhood rules. For example, you cannot place alcohol in the baby food area, and cereals in the household chemicals department.

This rule seems too obvious: those goods that are displayed at eye-level sell better. The gold shelf is the display area, which is at the level of 1.2 - 1.7 m. But in order to determine the number of facings and specific products for this shelf, it is necessary to conduct a thorough sales and assortment analytics.

According to research, 80% of the population looks to the right when they enter a store. Therefore, by placing more expensive or sale items on the right, you can ensure optimal and frequent visibility of these positions. When planning, it is also important not to forget about the golden triangle, the center of which is the department with anchor categories, such as bread and flour products, and meat and dairy departments. These are the areas that attract people the most and ensure customer traffic. Therefore, they are always located at the end of the trading floor, the upper point of the conditional triangle. The other two points are the entrance to the store and the checkout area.

All large and bulky goods (plastic bottles, large bags of flour) should be placed in the lower sections of the retail space. You should place small-sized goods that are easy to take at the top. This is important for the overall design of the trading floor because visually light objects do not clutter up the space, so it is psychologically more comfortable to be in such a room.

Some experts argue that it is more efficient to organize the display by price – from cheap to expensive or vice versa. Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that if there is clear differentiation in price a person always choose goods in the middle price range.

LEAFIO Planogram Optimization Solution system helps to track the implementation of these rules and evaluate their effectiveness that makes it possible to create planograms, get display analytics, and control business processes related to merchandising.

DIY Merchandising

Do it yoyrself

The peculiarity of goods in DIY (Do It Yourself, building material stores, and home improvement goods) is that the range is quite diverse, besides, it has different dimensions. A large area and a variety of equipment are required to display products in a profitable way. So, it is important to pay special attention to the convenience of the display, using the principles of merchandising given below.

A study by Ripen eCommerce found that the number one reason people shop in brick-and-mortar stores rather than on websites is the ability to evaluate a product by touch. What’s the key message? Create showcases that encourage people to interact with your products.

Most inventory is not stored on the "gold shelves" or even on the trading floor. The customer may see a can of paint, and there may be more price tags for it, depending on the volume in litres. The key point is to make the display simple and intuitive.

In DIY, some of the goods are represented exclusively by samples. Only a part of the goods is on the stands or on the shelving racks, for example, skirting boards, tiles, floor coverings (linoleum, laminate, porcelain stoneware). It can also be display samples, for example, power tools and appliances.

Even the most creative showcases won't work if they're poorly lit. So invest in equipment to present your products in the best possible light. Use the power of accent lighting to showcase individual products. And remember about the light temperature influence: cold promotes concentration and is best used in the tool department, while warm colour relaxes, so save it for lounge areas, the department with upholstered furniture.

Timely displays will surely attract your customers’ attention. Keep a close eye on the retail calendar and make sure your visual merchandising matches the relevant events and seasons.

If you're looking for ways to showcase more than your shelving racks can hold, try using technology to "expand" your exposure. With the help of an interactive display, the customer can have a look at all the positions, and then more accurately look for them in the store.

Pharmacy Merchandising

drug store

Pharmacy merchandising is characterized by several features:

The list of products in pharmacies is expanding, now there are not only medicines but also beauty products, dietary supplements, vitamins, food, and many other non-prescription products. This means that in order to increase purchases, the effective display is no less important here than in other areas where goods are freely available.

Some purchase decisions are made before entering the pharmacy, but there should be impulsive and emotional decisions making, and the final choice is still made in the pharmacy.

Display associated goods together to generate impulse purchases. Hand cream, a small mouthwash, hygienic lipstick – all this should be presented in a conspicuous place, not far from each other.

LEAFIO system will help you to organize your display efficiently. It creates planograms faster and provides a convenient analytics tool and control over the entire process.

"Fetch it and go" products refer to impulse purchases. They are usually treated and hygiene products in small containers – anything you can take away without much financial loss.

Vertical merchandising is effective in this case when the blocks are distributed by color, or the range is divided according to purpose, depending on which part of the body the medication cures.

People buy from pharmacists who make the buying process easier and clearer. Make it easier for the customers to access the showcase, and avoid physical barriers such as boxes or carts. Don't create "noise" with POS materials. Potential customers expect clear, useful information and visibility from pharmacy advertising. It is these types of promotional products that can encourage a person to purchase.

Health&Beauty Store Display

Health and beauty

People who are interested in beauty tend to value aesthetics, so visual merchandising has a strong impact on this consumer group. A feature of perfumery and beauty stores' displays is that there are test samples. Because of this, cosmetic showcases often become disorganized and even dirty after a long period of testing and trying by consumers. So, the issue of cleanliness and order is particularly acute here. However, this is not a single feature, let's consider all the features of merchandising in cosmetics stores.

There are a lot of products and the display of goods takes place by category and by brand. As a rule, these are small-sized goods with their own design, so the stores should not choose bright colors for the design of the trading floor. There is also a less obvious reason: too bright a store can be associated with something just for children or women, which can distract an already small male audience.

If there are no luxury cosmetics, you’d better place products by their intended purpose, instead of by brands. That is, shampoos should be on one shelving rack, lipsticks on another, and shaving products on the third.

For cosmetics, the principle of additional purchases works well – this is important to consider when placing associated goods: conditioner, hair mask, shampoo, or rinse. Kits can be formed, making the complex selection process easier for the buyer.

Cosmetics often come with new products. The customer is not accustomed to them, may be indifferent or wary of them. In such a situation, it is necessary to attract the customer’s attention and arouse their interest. POS-materials and original display will be useful here.

Pet Store Display

pet store

Customers associate cleanliness with something new and valuable. Pets often live in pet stores, and the customers buy them. There can cause dust and odour. The first impression is very important, so organize cleaning control and set clear standards.

Many pet shops are small and have only a limited range of products. That’s fine, but can result in empty shelves or inconvenient product placement. If your store has large shelving racks with only three or four items per shelf, consider filling the extra space with decorations. Visual merchandising is very important for a pet store, you have to take every opportunity.

Displaying products according to the life cycle of a pet makes it easier for customers to buy. It will also help novice pet owners who may not know where to start or what to buy.

For example, the life cycle of dogs is as follows: puppy, teenager, adult, and senior. Thus, it is recommended to sell all products for dogs according to this life cycle. You can sell puppies to adults dog food and then according to different package sizes.

Today, there are five main groups of vertebrates: mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians. It is important to keep these groups together and then subdivide them into categories, subcategories, segments, and subsegments.

You can achieve this in your pet store or category by placing products of interest next to everyday essentials. For example, you can add a clipband with small toys and bells to the cat food shelving racks.

As you can see, now that traditional stores compete with online platforms, merchandising is especially important in all areas. Display in different areas has its own merchandising characteristics, depending on the presented range and the features of its presentation. All these points should be taken into account at the stage of planning the trading floor, selection of equipment and development of display planograms. If you want to build the right merchandising business process from the outset, check out the Leafio Planogram Optimization tool to help you organize effective product display management.

Kristina SamyBusiness analyst



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