The importance of how to place products on shelves is often underestimated and requires product and shopper background knowledge, and merchandising knowledge. An abundance of research has been conducted to investigate the effects of product placements on shopper’s purchasing behaviour.
There are several classic visual merchandiser product placements principles, also called merchandising principles. First, products are considered to be showcased at an eye-level for the targeted audience (e.g. children have a lower eye-level than adults) and should be in reach. Another classic principle is the ‘Rule of Three’ where products draw more attention to the customer if merchandised in an odd number, as imbalance attracts attention. The Pyramid Principle is a product placement method with one clear focal point (often a product) at a higher level whilst other products are placed beneath it.
Product adjacency and product flow is also important as some products can stimulate the purchase of other products. Product adjacency is also called cross-merchandizing. For example, a store might want to place merchandise kit next to core products, for example placing makeup remover next to make up. Also, unrelated products can be placed adjacent to products that sell well to boost the sales of the other products by a higher visibility due to higher traffic.
When deciding on the product flow, products can be merchandised from economy to premium, placing brand leaders at eye level or at lower levels instead as shoppers will search for them anyway. These guidelines should be well documented and followed in every store to create consistency between all stores.