Grocery store shelves become increasingly bare during times of uncertainty. To make matters worse, store owners may not have enough overstock to replenish in-demand products – an issue that can become especially problematic.

Excellence Industries New Solutions to Bare Shelves & Moving Grocery Items During COVID-19

Unsurprisingly, every retailer has its own merchandising strategy that dictates the most effective ways to display items. During tumultuous times, you may need to revisit your store’s strategy to ensure your products are properly displayed to reflect consumers’ current needs.

At Excellence Industries, we believe there are many solutions to new and ever-growing problems with maintaining grocery supply. Here are a few ways to reimagine the grocery items on your shelves to maximize your sales.

Reimagine Grocery Item Placement

According to DotActiv, stores tailor the placement of every single item on their shelves. Gum, candy bars, and magazines, for example, are displayed near the checkout lanes for a reason – to encourage impulse buying.

The first step of successful merchandising is to identify your best sellers, as well as similar items from different brands. Establish where and how you want to display each item according to the manufacturer's guidelines.

Research market trends and select the brands that are either currently or on their way to trending in the market. Then, arrange grocery items based on their distribution capacity.

Given the overwhelming demand for comfort foods, toilet paper, and other PPE, understanding each brand's distribution capacity is vital to keeping shelves stocked. A name-brand product like Brawny paper towels could easily have better distribution abilities than a no-name paper towel product.

Finally, to ensure a cohesive merchandise strategy, develop a playbook to teach your employees where to display each product (and why) for the best chances of flying off the shelves.

Expand Visibility With Secondary Placements

Products do not always have to go to one designated place in the store. There are numerous styles and ways to be creative with your merchandising, so consider secondary placement opportunities, too.

Nick Kolenda, an expert in psychology and marketing, suggests thinking outside the box when choosing where to place grocery items. Primarily, think about where consumers will be most tempted to add products to their baskets.

Excellence Industries New Solutions to Bare Shelves & Moving Grocery Items During COVID-19

For example, you may initially think gourmet sauce belongs in the condiment aisle but find it gets more traction near the butcher counter as a great mate for a meat product.

Signage can also have a profound effect on a consumer's decision to buy grocery items. Point-of-purchase (POP) displays with accompanying signage outperform similar displays without signage. Similarly, full-price merchandise has been shown to outsell sale or clearance items when signage is present nearby.

Think Like a Consumer

Researching how and why consumers make impulse purchases enables you to leverage these inclinations and make better decisions about secondary placement options for grocery items in your store.

Consider how consumers interpret pricing signage. Even a detail as seemingly insignificant as whether the sale price appears to the left or the right of the original price can make all the difference in a consumer’s decision to purchase certain grocery items.

Category placement – a sales strategy to direct patrons to a specific product or brand – is another factor in a consumer's decision to buy. For example, candy bars at the register tend to drive impulse buying. Likewise, placing complimentary items like wine and cheese beside each other can increase sales.

Understanding your consumer’s needs and your grocery items’ distribution capacity can help increase your profits. With the above tips in mind, you can keep your shelves full and your patrons happy.

Contact us for more information about maximizing your store’s sales during bare-shelf times.