Retail shelf merchandising techniques and hacks:
The solutions to enhance shelves and fixtures

This shelf enhancement provides a wide assortment of chocolate with a clear layout and communication. Besides, the shelving stands out nicely! All materials are easy to fix on various types of shelving. ©Pilotes

While there is no miracle solution, one thing is certain: merchandising techniques, organising and enhancing retail shelves and fixtures create value and increase profitability in stores. With numerous solutions available, tailored to various contexts and products, it is crucial to understand which solutions are effective and how to use them to attract attention and boost sales.

Before you move on

Team Pilotes specializes in designing and producing custom solutions for point-of-purchase materials, display, merchandising, and retail furniture. And because we care climate and environment: at Pilotes, each project's eco-score is calculated with the aim of reducing its impacts 🌍🌿

What is shelf enhancement?

If merchandising is defined as the set of techniques employed by retail and brand to optimize the meeting between consumer articles and shoppers, shelf enhancement is one of those instruments to improve the effectiveness of store shelves and fixtures. It has proven effective in terms of sales in physical stores, which are one of the main buying-decision centers.

The materials create impact with attractive product presentations. They allow shoppers to easily understand the products being offered - one of the basic rules of merchandising.

Inconvenient, cluttered spaces require more cognitive effort and reduce buying intention. Organization, informative or educational messages, and other techniques improve the buying experience and shelf efficiency - a win/win for retail and brands.

What are the shelf enhancement solutions?

1. Price tag holder

Display price, keystone for any transaction, is the primary function of the price tag holder (strip, rail, profile, ...) placed along the shelf. There are various rails for all (electronic) label formats and for any type of shelf.

The rails offer possibilities to transform the shelf edge into a communication tool. They can be provided with a printed visual to decorate, to segment, to communicate product benefits, consumption moments, or they can orient shoppers.

They can be fitted with various accessories, such as LEDs to attract the eye and enhance the range or advertising messages (or both).

2. Shelf tray

When a consumer evaluates an item, he or she takes it in the hand, reads the information on the packaging and then, he puts it back. Some shoppers are more precise than other!

Designed to give the perfect fit every time, shelf trays are the ideal solution to provide better stability. Especially useful when space is at a premium, they can define and preserve allocated space. Also, they can carry out branding and communication.

3. Shelf divider system

Shelf divider systems have been developed to reduce time spent keeping shelves well-organised. It ensures an appealing product presentation and can be adapted to fit many packaging formats.

Easy to install and adjust, dividers are clicked into a rail, which can be fitted with many other accessories.

4. Auto-facing or self-levelling systems

The activity of facing, also known as levelling, recovery, straightening, mirrorring, ... is simply the act of getting a retail store ready for customers, a common multi-daily activity to increase shelf impact and make the store looks great. Shop associates pull the products on the shelf to the front to keep the shelf appearing neat and organized. Well-executed, it gives a better visual understanding of the offer.

Auto-facing brings together the various techniques by which the facing is done automatically. When a product is taken by the customer, the product behind it automatically takes its place.

Automatic systems can be based on push mechanisms, gravity or roller shelves.

5. On-shelf communication solutions

Stoppers or barkers, tags, plinths, posters, banners, cheeks, frames, holders, screens ... various materials can bring live into the limited space of the shelf.

6. On-shelf display

Retailers use standard shelving – steel uprights on which repositionable shelves are attached. It is possible to replace the shelves with a custom-made POS material ... in general to adapt the presentation to the range presented, to increase shelf efficiency or to add service.

It is also possible to remove several shelves to fix a mini shop-in-shop or a shelf-on-shelf.. This exercise offers the opportunity to innovate with a sleek, dynamic and disruptive universe, corresponding to a brand's DNA.

Suspended by hooks, a custom-made wing or sidekick display can be fixed to the shelves, for example for cross-merchandising initiatives.

Guidelines for shelf management materials

Permanent facing et cross-merchandising, double win for Coca-cola
Permanent facing and cross-merchandising, double win for Coca-cola

1. Shapes and design

Ideally, the material is designed to enhance consumers' touch behaviour - shoppers prefer to touch round, soft shapes. For their safety and comfort, avoid sharp corners and edges.

The materials should improve the presentation of the products, without stealing the spotlight.

2. Space optimization

The number of articles in retail is increasing, shelf resources are limited, competition is tough, every centimetre is counted. It is clear that the desirability of a solution depends on its footprint on the shelf. Any idea to optimize, define or preserve the space is worth exploring.

3. Shelf life

Most investments in these materials are intended to last for a long time. Solid materials, easy to maintain, reliable shelf fixation, resistant to intense usage at point of sales thing is sure, if they are adaptable to assortment changes, their shelf life will be extended.

4. Eco-design

Although eco-design does not compromise in any way on effectiveness nor desirability, it aims to bring together all conditions to reduce the environmental impact of the initiatives.

The effort of the POS industry has led to a number of operational recommendations for the use of materials.

5. Profitability

The objective of any merchandising initiative is to stimulate consumer purchase. All retailers and brands can use merchandising to enhance their product presentations. This requires however a careful choice of techniques based on the products and the margins they generate.

Date: Aug 2020 — bh

Have the advantages of retail merchandising aroused your interest? Reach out today, we will gladly ideate for your product.