Product Positioning

Successful retailers make the most profitable use of every square foot of costly space in their store. Floor plans, merchandise positioning and suitable displays are all key factors in the most effective use of space. Misuse of space can be as detrimental to your success as poor buying or employing incompetent staff.

Understanding the way your customers shop is valuable knowledge that you can use to help position your merchandise to increase sales. Analyse the current traffic flow of your store and develop a floor plan which encourages customers to shop your entire store, with their attention focused where you would like it to be. By strategically placing demand products and impulse items throughout your store, you can optimise the traffic flow and increase your overall sales. Ensure that your best-selling merchandise is given the most favourable display areas in your store, your "hotspots", which are usually located near the store's entrance. Take full advantage of them by displaying your newest and most colorful items in these spots, as they will command the attention of shoppers.

If you're testing a new line of merchandise, give it the best chance possible to succeed by placing it in a prime selling area. However, within a short period of time it will need to earn the right to remain in your "hot spot".

These days, many shoppers are busy people. They are more likely to purchase if they can easily find what they are looking for, identify the price, then find the register and check out. Products should be organised in groupings; by item type, color, or any other logical characteristic. Placing coordinating or complementary items near each other makes them more visible to the customer and makes shopping easier.

Customers are prepared to hunt for high demand items, so position them in less valuable spaces. High demand products placed in the rear of the store will pull customers through the store, increasing the visibility of other more impulse-related products along the way. Supermarkets take full advantage of this principle by positioning milk at the rear of the store.