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  • Writer's pictureM30 Retail

How Retail Merchandising Companies Use Product Placement To Boost Sales

When most customers enter a store, they do not realize the time and effort that went into placing specific products on specific aisles and shelves. The truth is that product placement is both a fine art and science, and retail merchandising companies place items on specific spots in a retail store to deliberately encourage a customer to buy more. The better a retail merchandiser is at placing items in a store, the more profit the retailer will make. It’s all about understanding consumer behavior. The following are some of the strategies in-store merchandising companies use to encourage customers to fill their carts.

Necessity items

The best merchandising companies use necessities to draw customers to high profit impulse items. For example, everyday items are often placed towards the end of the aisle or the back of the store. This way, the customer will pass through strategically placed impulse items as they make their way to necessity items, and then see them again on their way. This increases the likelihood that the customer will purchase one of these impulse items. Placing necessity items at the back also means the customer will stay in the store longer and be exposed to in-store marketing such as signs, banners, promotions, and offers.

Impulse buys

The best spot to place luxury and impulse buy items is close to the entrance. At this point, the shopping cart is empty and the customer’s desire to get a treat is at its highest. A second option is at the checkout counter or till, as they are more likely to pick an item as the pay for their goods. Another great placement spot is end caps along necessity zones.

Shelf placement

Shelf placement can either encourage customers to buy or reduce the chance of them picking a specific product. Some of the placement techniques available to retail merchandisers include:

1. Block placement: This is a technique where related items are placed together.

2. Vertical placement: This technique allows merchandisers to place products on more than one shelf level.

3. Commercial placement: This technique gives high-value items a more desirable shelf position, while items that do not have as much value are placed at the bottom or given a less desirable shelf spot.

4. Share placement: This involves high-revenue generators at spots where customers are more likely to find them. Some studies show that customers scan shelves from left to right. These studies also suggest that customers scan at eye level first and then go down before looking up. A savvy merchandising company can use this information to lay out product placement for the store.

Complementary items

Clothing stores have mastered placement of complementary items to encourage customers to buy more. For example, merchandisers place a jumper next to a similar pair of trousers so that the customer can buy both of them at the same time. In supermarkets, retail merchandisers place items that are often used together in the same aisle to encourage customers to purchase both. For example, they may place batteries next to remote-controlled toy cars to encourage customers to pick both of them.


Canadian merchandising companies use data and real-time shelf analytics to determine hot and cold spots for effective product placement. Product placement ensures the right products are in the customer’s sights in order to entice shoppers to buy. A retail merchandiser often gives the most prominent positions in a store to high-revenue items in order to keep sales volumes high.

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