Cross-merchandising has become a popular trend in the grocery industry.

Basically, it refers to the practice of displaying products from different categories (or store departments) together, in order to get customers interested in additional items at the point of sale. Even though these items might not be related to each other, they in some way complement each other, and the cross-merchandising setup allows customers to draw a logical connection between them.

Cross-merchandising kills two birds with one stone: by supplying customers with more items that will satisfy their needs, and also by increasing revenue for the brands. Here’s how to improve retail sales with cross-merchandising:

Visual Merchandising

One important component of cross-merchandising is visual merchandising. The latter entails developing and utilizing a store’s floor plans and three-dimensional displays in order to maximize sales. This technique works great in a cross-merchandising plan. For example, in front of a display of butter, a store could have a stand of freshly baked artisanal baguettes. When a buyer goes looking for butter, they will draw the connection between bread and butter and be more likely to purchase both items at once. Visual merchandising enhances retail execution and maximizes store space all at once.

Retail Mobile Data Collection Software

Retail mobile data collection software helps with cross-merchandising because it synchronizes the processes between field teams and sales teams. It helps collect data in the same place, so making sense of the information and using it to increase sales is easier. Retail mobile data collection software also enables interdepartmental collaboration and the sharing of information between teams.

Working in Real-Time

You work in real-time, and your data should reflect that. If the cross-merchandising of two products is working, then retailers, manufacturers, and distributors need to be aware of its success so they can update other displays, keep current displays stocked, and appeal to their audiences while the trends continue. This kind of fast-tracked retail execution can have an awesome impact on sales.

Finding the Right Mix

It’s important to find the right mix of products when implementing cross-merchandising, and it can take some trial-and-error to land on the best combo. You’ll need to take a number of factors into consideration, such as location, weather, time of year, price of the products, etc. For instance, a bottle of Dom Perignon might work well when cross-merchandised with an expensive caviar, but not so great with hot dogs. Likewise, fresh turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce are going to be a hit in November, but might not increase sales the rest of the year. It’s good to think outside of the box and to pay attention to customer shopping patterns in order to find a combination of products that will work to boost sales.

When implemented correctly, cross-merchandising can be incredibly effective at increasing sales and boosting customer happiness levels. Finding ways to listen to your customers and respond to their needs will help ensure your cross-merchandising campaigns are successful and worth the effort.

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