A short guide on how to read a planogram in merchandising

  • Jul 21, 2022
  • 5 min read
Cover: A short guide on how to read a planogram in merchandising

Planograms are useful visual aids in describing shelf layouts. Planograms, on the other hand, can reveal far more useful information than merely how things should be set out on the shelf when read and processed correctly. To get the most out of planograms, they must be read and comprehended correctly.

Planograms are created by retail sales teams to improve customer experiences while also providing a blueprint for employees to know where each item belongs. Learning how to interpret a planogram is essential for verifying that it corresponds to the real state of your store shelves and identifying areas for development.

Most planograms are now digitized and created with specialized planogramming software. In terms of sales and inventory management, these solutions are critical. Although planograms are typically photographs, more advanced solutions employ movies and other formats to create a 360-degree virtual overview of the store. This is a terrific way to bring the planogram to life and get a better sense of the customer experience.

The significance of planogram compliance

Every SKU's best location is shown on a well-developed planogram. Planograms must be customized for each retail location as well as the specific needs of their customers. Planograms, on the other hand, frequently fail to match the anticipated in-store experience. This lack of compliance could be due to a lack of understanding of how to read a planogram, but it could also be due to external causes. Supply chain disruptions, for example, are a major impediment to planogram compliance.

Planograms must match the actual space and layout of each store to offer an optimal shopping experience, avoid waste, and effectively manage inventory. This is why businesses should create a unique planogram for each location. For a more consistent experience for both customers and employees, these planograms should ideally be based on predetermined templates.

Before you read your planogram, what do you need to set up?

To ensure that the planogram can be understood accurately, a few elements must be in place from the beginning - even before it is built.

  1. First, you must guarantee that the data being used is accurate. This indicates there are no duplicate numbers, commas, or inaccurate period information on your planogram, which could lead to errors. The product report, as seen below, can be used to check your product data.
  2. To guarantee that your category roles, strategies, and tactics are reflected in the planogram, you should be aware of them. The retailer's goals can be met this way, thanks to data-driven shelf planning.
  3. After you've settled on your category roles, you'll need to figure out how your items will flow on the planogram.
  4. For the planogram to make sense, the retailer's merchandising principles are also vital, and features such as merchandising pack sizes from small to large must be followed and adhered to regularly.
  5. The way a planogram is read and interpreted is influenced by whether it is based on a cluster or not. A planogram designed for a given region, for example, will not work in a store in a different region.
  6. The size of your fixture must also be exact. This has a substantial impact on factors like product capacity and the number of facings. Merchandisers who will be packing things from shelves may find this information extremely useful.
  7. Also, high-quality, accurate product photos are critical in facilitating planogram reading and interpretation. The more realistically a planogram resembles the real thing, the better.
LEAFIO Planogram
LEAFIO Planogram

How to read a planogram image or video

Planograms occur in a variety of shapes and sizes, therefore there are several ways to read them. The most significant distinction is whether you're employing a static image-based plan or an interactive solution such as a virtual store walkthrough or planogram video.

  • Because written planograms only contain text and numerical values to identify the desired location of each SKU in the store, they are less user-friendly. While there may be a graphic representation of the shelf space, product photographs are rarely included in these layouts.
  • Because they use real product photos superimposed on the shelf-space diagram, image-based planograms are much easier to use. Instead of manually matching every SKU on the shelves to its location in the planogram, visual planograms allow you to utilize image recognition software to automate planogram compliance checks.
  • 360° walkthroughs of the store, which also enable sales staff to obtain a better grasp of the customer experience, are a new feature of new technology that takes planogramming to the next level. This allows clients to take a virtual tour of the store. Lighting and other effects can also be used to gain information about all aspects of your visual retail displays.

Introduce a full-cycle macro and micro space management Leafio system for retailers that allows for automated planogram production and optimization, execution control, and improved shelf space performance.

Shelf efficiency

Merchandising management maximizes sales through product presentation.


Clear user design and a comprehensive modeling engine enable astonishingly fast and efficient construction of shop designs, equipment, and planograms to improve store aesthetics and the financial performance of the shelves.

Process of intuitive design
Process of intuitive design


To produce a realistic environment and grasp the possible performance of the future layout, get rid of 2D forms in Excel and acquire a realistic image of the shelves in 3D mode.

Understand the environment in three dimensions
Understand the environment in three dimensions


Using versatile and intuitive design tools, as well as automated planogramming distribution and control systems, centralize and standardize all merchandising activities.


A considerable income gain is achieved by optimizing merchandising operational operations with intelligent control of commercial space and sales.

Improve your revenue and margins
Improve your revenue and margins
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