In today's age of retail, the in-store experience is one of the most important elements to consider when you're trying to capture and retain the attention of the consumer.
A great way to enhance the in-store experience is through the visual aspects of the store — this is called Visual Merchandising. There's loads of benefits that follow on from a well-thought-out design, so it's definitely worth learning about how to be more in control of the design to maximise sales. A great tool that helps with the design planning is a planogram (POG).
What's A Planogram?
A planogram is a diagram to show how and where products should be displayed in the store to attract the customers attention, to heighten their visual experience and to make product selection feel more intuitive.
Who Uses Planograms?
Pretty much any retailer of any shape and size uses some form of a planogram, some more sophisticated than others — even your local supermarket!
How To Use A Planogram?
There's several ways to use a planogram, the two most popular use cases are:
- Bird's-eye view planogram, usually referred to as a retail floor plan or schematics: Typically used to focus on the placement of the furnishings, segments, categories and the general layout of the store — much like an architects floor plan.
- POV planogram (also known as space plan or shelf space plan: These planograms are typically used to focus on a specific section of the store's display, with a customer's point of view as a focus. These are great if you want to do something as simple as fitting in new lines of product or even go as far as managing the store's colour palette or spacing.
"While proper planograms are extremely detailed and robust, they can be valuable to many kinds of retailers. Even if you’re not using a “proper” planogram, you can use the philosophies and strategies behind them to help in planning your store layout and product displays." - Shopify
There's a whole bunch of options out there to solve your merchandising needs such as: hiring a planogram or visual merchandising consultant, employ a specialist, use planogram software or you can create your own. There's no right answer, it depends on how much time, money and expertise you have.
Why Use A Planogram?
Not only does it make your shop look like an art installation but it can actually positively impact the way you do business, let's take a look couple of points:
Retail space is expensive nowadays and as a business you need to make profit on the space. There's many variables that influence this cost, including; location, size, lease term, etc.
Regardless of the cost you're working with, it's great practise to keep an eye on your gross sales per m3 vs rental cost per m3 and find out exactly where the less profitable spaces are or find the most profitable spaces to maximise the potential, try to keep a record of the sales data of each m3 of space.
Eye Level Is Buy Level.
By structuring displays and features, you're able to strongly suggest and influence the way consumers browse.
It's good to get into the habit to tweak displays in response to data feedback and what I mean by that is to measure sales performance of each product and amend displays accordingly. If a new line isn't selling well then perhaps move it into eye level or a higher performing space or, if something is selling like hot cakes then try and move it to prime space to maximise the sales.
Just as a tip, if a product line sells through and the quantity looks a little light, it might be worth moving it out of a prime space until it gets restocked. Nothing looks worse than a shop that looks as if it's just been raided prior to an apocalypse.
To wrap this up I wanted to give you some tips on when to use a planogram...
Maintaining the in-store visuals is a continuous process and as I previously mentioned; it's good to get into the habit of tweaking displays based on sales data at least once a week. I recommend to try different layouts, feature displays and to experiment at least once a month (it gets the creative juices flowing), then every quarter try a major refresh to reflect the new seasons of style — use a planogram as a tool to help you decide how the store will look every time you make a change; both the layout of the store and the product placement before you physically move anything - it's a HUGE time saver, trust me!
Stay tuned for more tips in visual merchandising and sales. In the meantime, let me know what you think and if you have anything you'd like me to add.