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Why is product placement important?

Why is product placement important?

Where you place your products within your store has a huge influence on the buying habits of your customers. There’s a reason why every supermarket displays their fresh fruit and vegetables at the front of the store, and a range of snacks by their checkouts. You may also have noticed that the big brands are placed in the centre of shelves, while budget brands are generally placed on the bottom shelf - but why?

"In-store product placement is the art of determining where your products appear within a retailer through planning, negotiation, and design."- Repsly [1]

Eye level is buy level!

This is the key concept that you should always have in mind when deciding the layout of your products. Products placed within the eyeline of browsing customers are more likely to sell better - that’s why big brands and products with the highest mark-up for retailers are nearly always placed in this position, while products that bring in the least amount of revenue for the store are placed on lower shelves.

Recent studies have thrown a spanner into this theory slightly, as researchers found that the ideal spot for attracting customers’ attention is approximately 14.7 inches below a shopper’s eye level [2]. Given that the average person’s eye level is around 62 inches, the optimal height to display your key products is anywhere between 47 - 62 inches from the ground.

How can I use my store layout to boost sales?

The layout of your store is key to deciding how to position your products for maximum impact. If you are a big business who can afford to carry out detailed research, it is worth investing in real-time shelf analytics and other technology to drill down into the difference in sales between products when placed in certain areas.

For smaller retailers, there are five good rules of thumb that we advise you follow, in order to make sure that you make the most of the space you have in store.

1. Put essentials at the back of the store

Popular and essential food products, such as milk and bread, should be placed on the back walls of your store so that customers have to walk past a large amount of your other products to get there. This makes them more likely to pick up other items on their way through your store and increase your average order value.

2. Place high-value items at the entrance

Conversely, placing high value, limited edition and luxury items towards the front of your store entices customers inside and makes them more likely to make additional impulse purchases.

3. Eye level is buy level

As discussed, placing key items in the middle of your shelving at (or just below) eye level is a great way to boost sales. The only exception to this rule is for products aimed at children or toddlers, as their eye level is lower so they are more likely to notice products on bottom shelves.

cross-sell supermarket

upselling and cross-selling in retail

eye level is buy level
shelf signage and product position in retail

store layout

4. Group products by occasion, as well as function

Use aisle end caps or display stands to place complementary products together based around an occasion, such as cards and flowers for Mother’s Day, or beer and charcoal for BBQ season. This is an easy opportunity to increase impulse purchases!

5. Leave enough room for customers

If you want customers to browse for longer and increase your average order value, then you need to give customers enough room to feel comfortable. The more cramped your store is, the more likely it is that people won’t want to stay for long. Where possible, make sure that your aisles are wide and that there are no places where bottlenecks can form as customers navigate around your store.

"[C]onsumers make price inferences based on products’ vertical shelf space position (i.e. higher equals better and more expensive)."- Wongkitrungrueng et al. [3]

Use traditional POS to help your shelf placement marketing

Now we’ve established the best places to display your key products, how can you use signage and merchandising displays to draw maximum attention to them?

Shelf signs

Draw attention to promotional prices, new products and special offers on your shelves using shelf wobblers, talkers and strips.

Using brightly coloured shelf signage is great for quickly catching passing customers’ attention and is easy to update when your information needs to be changed.

shelf signs and strips in retail
 
product display stands for cafes

Display stands

Boost your key products to the optimum eye level height when they are not placed on shelves by using freestanding display stands.

We have a wide range of stands in stock, including ladders, pedestals and crates, all designed to prompt customers to take a look.

 

Colour schemes matter too

While your product placement is key to boosting sales, you also need to consider the impact that colour is having on your business. Unlike text signage, a colour scheme can have a big impact on customers’ feelings - whether they realise it or not!

Blue is often used by technology brands, white is associated with medical brands and red signifies some urgency, such as limited time discounts or danger.

You may consider aligning your store’s product selection with the colour they are most associated with, in order to give your customers a sense that you are trustworthy within this industry.

effect of colour scheme on consumer behaviour in retail

Alysha Bennett

Alysha is a copywriter at UK POS, with experience working in B2B and B2C companies, as well as with charities. For over three years she has been curating consumer and retail trends, to assist retailers in implementing effective point of sale materials into their own businesses.


References

1. Colin Chiakpo, ‘The Ultimate Guide to In-Store Product Placement in 2020’, Repsly, https://www.repsly.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-in-store-product-placement [accessed June 2021].

2. Chen et al, ‘Understanding Lateral and Vertical Biases in Consumer Attention: An In-Store Ambulatory Eye-Tracking Study’, American Marketing Association, Journal of Marketing Research, 2021 [accessed June 2021].

3. Wongkitrungrueng et al, ‘The Cake Looks Yummy on the Shelf up There: The Interactive effect of Retail Shelf Position and Consumers' Personal Sense of Power on Indulgent Choice’, Journal of Retailing,Volume 94, Issue 3 (September 2018), pp. 280-295 [accessed June 2021].

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