Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mess Around with Merchandise Arrangement

When your shelves, racks, and showcases contain inventory that’s been systematically arranged, shoppers can more quickly find what they’re looking for. This speeds up each sales transaction and allows for more shopper self-service. It also pleases those of your customers who are Mission Shoppers—people who enter your store wanting to go directly for a particular item and, if the value is right, buy the item as soon as possible.
     But there’s also an advantage to having those who enter your store browse for a while, treating them as Possibilities Shoppers, who even if they have a specific item in mind, enjoy considering the alternatives. This is more likely to occur when the items are not so strictly organized.
     Moreover, researchers at San Diego State University, Arizona State University, and Washington University advocate retailers moving further—toward quite disorganized merchandise arrangements—in certain circumstances. They found that disorganized shelves which are not fully stocked increase sales of nonfood items. The disorganization and lack of full facing imply that the items are in demand, drawing extra interest from shoppers. In addition, when the merchandise is not packed in closely, the spacing around each item makes it more readily noticed by prospective purchasers.
     This was not true, however, for foods and beverages, where a scarcity of packages can imply old stock and disorganization can imply spoilage or lack of sanitation. Still, lack of a strict organization here can increase browsing, which would elevate sales so long as it doesn’t irritate the shoppers. 
     Long ago, I’d hear grocery store operators claim that shoppers buy more varieties of soup when the varieties are shelved in random order rather than alphabetically. The explanation went like this: The shopper’s interested in finding a particular variety. They look for that particular variety, but because there’s no order, the shopper’s eyes run over many varieties. As they do so, they start thinking, “Gee, maybe I could use that variety, too.”
     Researchers at University of Pennsylvania and University of Illinois confirmed that random arrangement of a product set can lead to more buying, but with a different explanation. The reason the random arrangement works, they said, is it gives shoppers a feeling of there being more to choose from. It takes time for the shopper to run their eyes over what’s there, and the increased time translates in the shopper’s mind to the impression of a larger assortment.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Charge for Entertaining Possibilities Shoppers
Randomly Arrange Limited Product Sets
Keep It Clean
Clear Up Clutter Ambiguities
Double Duty to Prevent Shoplifting
Scare Up Creativity with Scarcity

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