Walk into a ‘store’ today and you suddenly experience the shift in environments. Out of the heat or cold or general chatter on the street, store spaces are made inviting, with a décor that goes with the brand. And of course the racks of products, accessories, etc placed at intervals, divided by artsy pieces or some other form of divider. It is almost like walking into a sacred space!
The way the jeans are stacked up, or thrown haphazardly over each other; the way T-shirts are segregated by color; the various pastel trousers are stacked together with a dash of darker shades in between; seems effortless no?
There is a catch; it ‘seems’ effortless. It is anything but! Brands, departmental stores and retailers have understood that positioning your products in the market is not enough. Positioning them in your domain, shop, aisle, et, is equally important.
Experts have recognized the importance of placing their products in the correct places; the main reason is to ensure that the customers’ attention is drawn toward more than what they came to buy. Call it a gimmick- but it has been proved that if you can give your consumer what he wants; a step ahead from what he needs, you will have a slew of ever happy shoppers at your door.
Marketing pundits have even got a term for this- “planogram,” they call it. Watch the famous series by the name of ‘Paradise,’ on-line and you will find that this has been going on for quite some time. Ask all those Indian ladies who go shopping for groceries at the local ‘kirana’ (grocery shops) stores, and they will confirm that planograming has been going on forever!
A planogram, to be precise, is a diagram that shows how and where specific retail products should be placed on retail shelves or displays in order to increase customer purchases. People have been studying product placement for some time now too. And much has been said about planogramming.
So why are we talking about it too? Because at IntelligenceNODE, we work with leading eTail organizations, specializing in apparel retail. And they have to keep up with that incredible appeal that consumers get when they end up shopping in brick and mortar stores.
It is not an easy feat. Most consumers who shop online are much focused. They know exactly what they wish to buy. Of course, there are always those who will get enticed with a completely different product and add it to their cart too. But most know what they are buying. And they are not deterred easily.
Discounts and sales notwithstanding, eTailers do have relevant, even important, questions.
How do they draw a planogram for on-line stores? Are website designs and planograms the same for on-line? How do I choose what products to display on my home page? What products should be displayed when my consumer clicks on a specific category? How do I decide what works? Will my consumer use the search or sort options on my website? Or just buy from the initial display?
E Tail websites are hard pressed to guess, at first. Note the ‘at first.’ Because once selling starts, you dear retailer, draw an advantage. You know, by using the lovely tool called ‘clicks,’ what your customer likes. You now have data at your fingertips. Data that can essentially create a picture that even a very intuitive salesman may not get.
There is a very simple, twofold actually, solution to your questions, dear retailer!
The Usual Solution…
We have observed a trend among etailers, on the question of planograms or aesthetic displays; quite a few e Tail websites display their newest products first; or the ones they wish to sell off- the last of the season; they also may display specific designs that they think will attract the customers based on geography.
Quite a few websites put their most selling items, top picks, etc, on the front. Chances are, they think, even more consumers will like and buy them.
Our Favourite Solution…
But there is a chance- maybe just that little chance that even your best efforts are not making it as easy as it seems, for the consumer. And taking such chances, betting on the unknown is so passé! You, dear retailer, are rather well endowed, pun not intended, with information!
With data you receive from your consumer, their mind is open to you- without a word being said or a question being asked. And you know exactly what products should be the first things they see. A little insight turned to action and reaction.
An example then: The famous Mr. Bond has been buying on your website for some time. You know he likes dark shades in formal wear. You know he likes pastels when it comes to casual wear. He loves brands like Armani, Polo, etc. And he likes hats; flashy accessories are a big no no. Everything he buys points out to simple yet elegant. He has no budget woes either.
Is it not possible to make a leap and display products on his login- specifically for him? A planogram made for each customer, and a generalization in terms of maybe similar types of people- making it easy on your team!
And going a little further, when he visits your physical store, your customer service associates greet him by name, ask him what he wishes to buy, and then show him the perfect choices- no need to dig for preferences and such!
Fancy names like ‘Merchandising Space Advisory,’ are being created to refer to this planograming on-line. We simply call it “walking the extra mile.”
At IntelligenceNODE, we are always evolving innovative methods to reach out and touch peoples’ lives. And you, dear retailer, are creating a similar seamless experience. Promoting your brand. Retaining pleased customers. And sharing more joy. We love being associated with you just for that!