Merchandising is the direct application of marketing fundamentals at the point of sale. It includes both presentation techniques (exterior and interior design, use of professional photography , advertising and promotion at the point of sale, etc.) and management techniques (assortment, linear, etc.) that must be applied with a strategic orientation.
The basic objectives of merchandising are: attract attention, direct the customer to the product, facilitate the purchase action and optimize the sales space.
We Can Distinguish Between The Following Types Of Merchandising:
- Visual or presentation merchandising
- Management merchandising
- Seductive or socio-cultural merchandising
- Strategic merchandising
Visual or presentation merchandising
It is the set of tools used in the presentation of the store and its merchandise, in order to transmit a certain image and achieve the sale of the products on display. It integrates aspects such as the decoration of the store, the layout of the establishment, the distribution of the commercial space, the selection, layout and presentation of the products.
Presentation merchandising does not limit its scope of action to the visual field, thus, olfactory, tactile or musical stimuli also contribute to creating a sales environment, which will influence customer perceptions and their purchasing behavior.
Management merchandising implies acting on the two components of profit: expenses and income. In other words, although presentation merchandising is still used as a source of customer complaints and an element of differentiation, the aim is also to obtain the highest possible productivity of the staff, optimize the available shelves, make the assortment offered profitable, etc.
The parts that make up management merchandising are:
Shelf management : display of products in the establishment.
Market study : consumer and competition analysis.
Assortment management : Choice of products that meet the needs and desires of customers.
Point of sale animation : Attract the consumer’s attention (through posters, display furniture, tastings, etc.).
Seduction or socio-cultural merchandising
Seduction merchandising is the set of actions that are carried out to satisfy the new needs derived from the change in consumption habits. In the same way, the set of actions carried out to satisfy cultural, religious needs, etc., is what is called sociocultural merchandising.
An example of this type of action could be the inclusion of new varieties of tea aimed at the Muslim population, the advertising of American products for the different Latin immigrants, etc.
Strategic merchandising involves the mixture of presentation, management and socio-cultural criteria, in order to satisfy customers and achieve their loyalty.
It involves the development of ten different stages.
- Market study to know the needs and expectations of customers, as well as the strengths and weaknesses compared to the competition.
- Distribution of the area of the point of sale between the different sections.
- External layout (signs, shop windows, entrance door and façade) and internal layout (access door and exit boxes, corridors, etc.) of the establishment.
- Distribution of the available shelf among the families or integrated references in each section.
- Placement of products on the shelves, according to their power of attraction, complementarity, image, knowledge of hot and cold spots, etc.
- Design and application of animation techniques, as well as advertising and promotion at the point of sale.
- Line management according to economic criteria (sales volume, rotation, etc.).
- Assortment management.
- Setting and application of the pricing policy, taking into account economic criteria (margin, profitability, etc.), market criteria (competition and clientele) and image.
- Design of specific actions at the point of sale according to sociodemographic, cultural, religious criteria, etc.