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Common Retail Shelving Mistakes

How you may be losing customers as a result of your shelving arrangements.

Just like how you thought the Rubik’s Cube was actually a toy, and Milli Vanilli was actually a band, you might think that retail shelving is just a place to store merchandise.  But, just like some toys and boy bands, there is more to retail shelving than meets the eye.  This is because shelving is the best way to entice store visitors to buy merchandise that perhaps wasn’t on their shopping lists.  Failure to properly stock shelves, however, can discourage shoppers.  So, in order to be sure that your retail shelving produces maximum impact, here are some common mistakes to stay away from:

 Confusing customers

Some shops cram too much merchandise onto their shelves and confuse their shoppers.  This is a mistake.  Pack your shelves so that they make sense to shoppers, and are inviting.  Also, use displays sparingly as these can add to the clutter.

Forgetting your main products

Supermarkets are a different story, but specialist shops should always highlight their main products.  If a shopper goes to a pharmacy, they don’t want to have to root through heaps of magazines, sweets, toys, and other products just to find some headache tablets.

Forgetting about the shopper’s journey

Shoppers want convenience out of a shopping trip.  Remember this when planning your shelves.  You may want your customers to see all your merchandise while in the shop, but sending them all the way across your floor for similar products is just going to aggravate them.  Try to arrange your stock so that your customers flow through your shop.

Failing to properly utilise your bolted steel shelving

Bolted steel shelving is incredibly versatile, so you should use that versatility to really accentuate your products.  The shelving’s structure lends itself to customisation, so design your shelves’ look to suit the product that you are selling.

Not rotating your stock

It is important to keep changing the position of your stock on the shelving.  This keeps customers from only ever visiting the parts of the store that they need, and will give them the opportunity to discover new stock.

Not seeing the potential of your front window

This is like the cover of a magazine.  Having an attractive window display can turn a passerby into a customer.  It is also important to make sure that the items in your window display are easy to find in the shop, so place these in the front displays.  Failure to do this could cause your new customers to turn right around and not buy anything.

Failure to group similar items together

This is important to the customer’s journey through your shop, but it is also a good way of selling more items.  Placing items that complement each other together might persuade customers to buy extras.  For example, place scarves and gloves next to your display of jackets.

Forgetting a call-to-action

A call to action is something that prompts customers to act.  In this case, that action would be buying the product.  Signs that read “Limited offer – today only” will encourage customers to buy the product or risk losing out on the special.

These are some common mistakes that can drive customers away from shops.  So, for shelving arrangements that are geared towards selling merchandise, make sure that you aren’t guilty of any of these practices.

Image credit: hindsiteinc