The Merchandiser Role is to Maintain the Outlet to Standard
The merchandising services function is responsible for filling in and replenishing shelves and racks, merchandising and performing in-outlet execution according to the look-of-success standard.
The look-of-success standards represent how the company wants its brand products to be presented in the market place, at the point-of-purchase. The aim is to focus on selling more products from the outlets through use of effective outlet standards and execution programs. Pre-designed execution standards, guidelines and principles are the foundations for developing effective sales cultures.
Following are ten effective sales and merchandising guiding principles that must be taken for consideration:
1. Prospect the outlet for opportunities: The objective is to have the skills to prospect the outlet for opportunities by studying the shopper traffic flow and points of interactions through the outlet.
2. Products and brand placements: The company must determine a category block rule for grouping of products and packages into pre-set brand order in the shelves. Should the brand products block setup be horizontal or vertical? What is the most effective brand block setup to drive impulse purchases? One must expose how many facings and how much shelve space each brand and package size should acquire in the store shelves?
3. Products handling: Develop clear guidelines for brand products handling in the market to secure that consumers will buy highest quality products to carry all the way for usage.
4. Inventory management: Determine how to optimize sales inventory in shelves to meet consumer demands. Moreover, secure that the “first-in-first-out” rule is applied when products are merchandised in outlet shelves.
5. Price communication: Design clear rules for price communications and develop promotional price communication as a standard part of the manual.
6. Products housekeeping: Design rules and guidelines for housekeeping products and shelves which must always be kept clean and dust free. Make rules to remove all damaged and outdated products from stores shelves and dispose them according to standards. Determine when and how often shelves and products inspection should take place (spot check) to guarantee the look-of-success standards are maintained in every outlet.
7. Housekeeping of assets: Establish a standard and a rule for cleaning company displays, shelves, coolers, posters, equipment and so on.
8. Products sampling: The objective is to attract new consumers by creating in-outlet excitement and engagement through in-store “product sampling”. The shoppers must experience that value is being added to their shopping experiences. Rules must be applied for sampling preparation lead-time and the duration of the sampling. All sampling equipment must be clean and rules applied for the commercial stand setup, sampling targets including dump bin placement and cleaning rules.
9. Promotions: Promotions are to sell more products by triggering consumers to buy more. Only attractive promotions executed in the greatest detail will generate effective sales success. Effective communications, right signals and messages and price information must be according to best-in-class standards, if they are to attract and trigger the desired purchasing attention.
10. Develop a learning culture: Develop a learning culture that focuses on execution excellence at the point-of-purchase. The successful market leaders have developed great learning and understanding for what works and what does not work. Thus, they have become very effective in creating needs and fulfilling consumer demand at the point-of-purchase.
It is a concern how many sales and production companies operate without any formal look-of-success standards and guidelines. In that case, there are no service standards and guidelines that help the sales and service teams to be more effective in servicing their customers and consumers. Paying attention to all the great details can make a difference between a success and a failure!