Merchandising Mistakes to Avoid

Brick-and-mortar retail stores have been facing growing challenges over the past several months. Shoppers are being cautious about in-person purchases, and eCommerce has become ubiquitous — even for consumers that never bought anything online before being faced with a pandemic.

With social distancing, curfew limitations, and occupancy guidelines in place, retail store owners need to do anything in their power to gain an edge. The right merchandising can offer that edge, but the wrong moves can send shoppers running for the competition. Here are the merchandising mistakes you need to avoid, straight from our merchandising experts.

Bad Lighting

You can have the best-looking products and inventory in the world, but if the lighting in your store isn’t great, nobody will give it a second look. Research shows that 70% of shoppers don’t decide on what they want to buy until they’re actually in-store. That stat alone is enough to convince store owners to upgrade their lighting.

As much as the right lighting helps to showcase products and make them appealing for customers, too much of a good thing can be distracting. The point here is to avoid overwhelming or overstimulating shoppers and drawing their eyes away from your inventory.

Distracting Signs

On that note, you don’t want your retail signage to be another distraction from what’s bringing in the revenue. Yes — you absolutely need signs in your store as they attract about 20% more attention when they’re on a merchandising display, but they don’t have to steal the show.

Ensure that signs are clearly worded with bold type, with information that helps to educate and inform shoppers about their purchases. This is not something you want to DIY; handwritten signs look sloppy and unprofessional. Definitely consult with a team that has experience creating signage that converts

Disheveled Shelves

How you allocate shelf space to a product will determine its value to customers. Expensive luxury products would never be thrown together the way less expensive “bargains” would be. The same theory can be applied to how organized your shelves are. 

If you’re not giving attention to keeping things straightened, your customers won’t think your inventory is valuable enough to pay the price you’re asking. Be strategic and give high-value items the real estate they deserve on clean, organized shelves that are placed in areas of the store that are easily seen and shopped.

Traffic Jams

If you know that the highway is bumper-to-bumper during rush hour, it makes sense to take a different route. Think about this as you plan the footprint of your merchandising displays; if shoppers now can’t effectively navigate your store, they’ll go elsewhere to make a purchase. (It’s also important to make your store accessible to those with disabilities.)

You need to give customers room to not only move about freely, but also browse displays without feeling cramped. Better yet, make the merchandising displays mobile so you can move them around and switch things up, giving the store a new feel with minimal effort.

Boring, Boring, Boring

On that note, how often do you change out your displays? Do you rotate your products to keep shoppers on their toes while helping them find what they need? Is your signage relevant and interesting? If you don’t have answers to these questions, your merchandising is probably pretty boring.

An easy way to do this is with seasonal merchandising and decorating. Don’t just make things exciting during the weeks when most people are doing their holiday shopping. You can even use technology like QR codes or augmented reality to make merchandising interactive and immersive. The trick here is that customers have to shop your store in-person to take advantage of this tech.

Ignoring the Experts

You know your business inside and out, but unless your business is merchandising, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to make things more exciting without help from the professionals. We specialize in creating custom injection-molded single-serve coolers to drive impulse purchases at convenience and grocery stores. 

We also design and manufacture a variety of specialized retail racks and fixtures made of plastic, wood, metal, or wire. When you’re looking to fix the merchandising mistakes you may be making in your brick-and-mortar store, count on us to provide you with the tools to do that.

We help drive customer’s brand preferences and ultimately, sales. From concept through distribution our capabilities are not limited by the medium, retail channel, customer size, or delivery requirements — let’s start a conversation about transforming your merchandising.