The secret to success for most items is that they are easily found by consumers. Simply put, if your item isn't on the shelf, consumers can’t buy it.
"Discipline-at-shelf" means having a merchandising plan for retail displays that meets your customers' needs and wants. Having the right assortment, or product mix, is what drives sales and ultimately satisfies consumers and keeps them coming back.
Another important factor is ensuring that you have the right quantity on the shelf: not enough of an item can lead to out-of-stocks while too much will limit your selection and increase your inventory costs.
The item-cost ratio is referred to as an item's space to sales. The object is to maximize your space to sales for each item, category and for the entire store. This needs to be balanced between the need to satisfy your customers and offer a competitive set of items also offered by your competition. The competitive set should include top selling items available across the market.
Benefits of discipline-at-shelf
From the retailer perspective, having top-selling items available for sales in every category will drive traffic while keeping those same consumers from shopping your competition.
Discipline-at-shelf will help you accomplish these goals. This ensures that your core shoppers will find the items they're looking for in each of your retail locations. It also gives your stores familiarity, making them easier to shop. This effective strategy will not limit your ability to offer unique items that differentiate your chain: an important attribute in the natural channel. You simply need to have the proper mix/assortment of items to drive sales, satisfy customers and help you remain competitive.
Another benefit to discipline-at-shelf from the retailer's perspective is your ability to successfully market a manufacturer's brand or items. When you can guarantee market coverage for a promotion you can ask the manufacturer for more money to promote within your chain. In addition, you will be able to take advantage of large order price breaks offered by manufacturers and typically available to only large conventional chains.
From the manufacturer's perspective, this strategy ensures that your core consumers will easily find your products wherever they shop. It allows for cross-merchandising opportunities as well as other promotional opportunities that will help build your brand. For example, it allows retailers to feature your brand across their entire chain. This will increase your promotional effectiveness while maximizing your promotional spending.
What strategies work best with your customers?