Everything you need to know about merchandising optimization! 😉💡

Definition of merchandising

Merchandising combines all optimization techniques related to the allocation of product exposure areas at points of sale (PDV) and the presentation of these products to consumers. The main goal is to maximize sales and profitability of products.

The layout of your store meets pointed merchandising rules and strongly influences the development of your business. This is a marketing approach that involves optimizing product presentation in order to be as cost-effective as possible.

Screenshot of our tool. Different photos of linear merchandising can be seen in a sign.

The pillars of merchandising

Merchandising of seduction

Denotes the layout of a sales space in its entirety. This goes from commercial animation to window decoration, layout furniture and signage. The principle is to seduce the customer through a universe, a unique atmosphere.

Management merchandising

This axis refers to the space allocated to linear lines based on the sales area and the width of the assortment. Positioning the product well is now essential to be seen and purchased.

  • How high do you place the product you want to sell?
  • How is it placed in relation to the customer? Across the street, at eye level? Down (entry-level) or up (high-end)?
  • How do we put it first? Decor on the linear?

Organizational merchandising

It refers to the organization of an assortment in a point of sale by theme or family of products. Think about paceing the presentation to avoid the uniform mass effect. Currently the assortment is structured, it must tell a story through the choice of colors, materials, etc. …

Different stages of the VDP (merchandising)

First, the company studies the potential market for the area in which the VDP is located and then evaluates the commercial attractiveness of the VDP. Secondly, it must specify the layout of the VDP in order to be as efficient as possible when it opens.

This work requires a four-step reflection:

  1. Define the assortment offered to customers.
  2. Identify the location of the rays in the VDP.
  3. Implant products in linear lines.
  4. Put in place a control procedure that ensures the best profitability of linear lines.

1. Define the assortment offered to customers

The assortment consists of the commercial unit of the products offered by the company to its customers. It is also called a mix-product. It must be necessary and sufficient to meet the needs of customers.

It is defined across three dimensions:

  • Length: the total number of references offered by the company. For example, all fixtures at Leroy Merlin.
  • Width: the number of different needs that the assortment will be able to meet. For example, suspension, spot, lamppost and wall applique.
  • Depth: the number of different possibilities the company has in its assortment in order to satisfy the same need.

2. Set up the linear in the VDP

To set up the linear in the PDV, it is necessary to define hot and cold areas (bottom of the store, where the customer takes the most time to go), traffic zones, the direction of the gondolas (positive or negative), attractive areas usually dedicated to commercial animation (gondola head, podium, table, silhouette on mannequin).

It is also necessary to know how:

  • Encourage the customer to travel to encourage unpredictable and spontaneous purchases.
  • Avoid theft and unknown marks.
  • Limit handling.
  • Optimize the quantities stored gripping by the customer to facilitate self-service.

3. The implementation of the products

The surface occupied by a product in a linear line is measured by two elements. On the one hand, the ground linear, which relates to the length of the soil occupied by the product, and the developed linear, which concerns the number of levels occupied by the product.

Visual merchandising is an activity that takes care of the visual organization of sales areas. It can be defined as the art of staging products by reconciling objectives of commercial efficiency, aesthetics and brand image. It relies in particular on the establishment of a merchandising book which should be the reference for implementation with photos, sketches, a planogram and a nomenclature of the layout.

4. Optimize your in-store merchandising

The outlets still have a very bright future ahead of them. Indeed, they remain strategic in the customer journey and keep your customer loyal. We offer you a new way to monitor the good and bad practices of your employees, like those of your competitors.

Retail Shake allows you to share your best merchandising practices with your community (other store, central, supplier…).

Screenshot of our tool. Different photos of linear merchandising can be seen in a sign.
Here's an example of how to use
it: Irwan, department manager at Leroy Merlin Ajaccio, posted photos of his linear lights on Retail Shake. Its community (the powerhouse and other stores) can love, comment and share its achievements. 

Do you want to optimize your ranges, make the right decisions quickly and have a real-time photo of your competitive space?

Job offer: Tech Lead / future CTO

Find our job offer on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/2005421142/

What do we do at Retail Shake?

Retail Shake gives superpowers to retail professionals!

It is a subscription application (SaaS) dedicated to the pros of the mass distribution (generalist or specialized), marketplaces as well as brands, whatever their field of activity! It allows teams to track their positioning and marketing-mix (4P) on the market and to be alerted in real time: prices, promos, stocks and photos…

We have just finalized our first fundraiser, and now have the means of our ambitions! For the past 18 months, the founder, Irwan, has built the technical architecture with his small arms and trained 3 junior developers to launch the team. We are now looking for a talented and ambitious tech lead to join the adventure and help us accelerate.

Our stack tech:

  1. Web Front and back-end: PHP, Javascript, MySQL (Bootstrap, jQuery, Smarty, Leaflet), Apache SolR, Spark
  2. Mobile: React Native (Expo)
  3. Scraping: Scrapy, Selenium, Python
  4. Image recognition and machine learning: Tensorflow, OpenCV
  5. Servers: DigitalOcean, Amazon AWS, OVH.
  6. Environment: GitHub, Visual Studio Code, Slack
  7. Monitoring and QA: Uptime Robot, Selenium

You will be responsible for…

  • Build: animate the roadmap, strategist of the architecture and general design of the platform, listen to needs, build and write the code of evolutions
  • Deploy: Animate the continuous integration of apps and data (GitHub actions and scripts)
  • Run: operate a reliable, stable, available, secure platform
  • Management: being the undisputed reference for the developer team and growing them

Depending on your skills, your ambitions and your professional project, you may eventually become a CTO associate.

Your skills and abilities

  • Entrepreneurial spirit: motivated, ambitious, visionary and also pugnacious
  • Tech enthusiast: being both strategist and pragmatic while being on standby
  • Sense of customer contact: listening to needs, participating in pre-sales
  • Autonomy / RIgueur: deliver quality, on time, on budget
  • Taste of management: being a leader, dedicated and loving to grow your team
  • An experience in retail would be a real plus


Compensation: 35-50K depending on your profile – possibility of bonuses and BSPCE (participation in capital)

Location: Euratechnologies (Lille) – telework

Duration: CDI.

The recruitment process

In 3 steps: 

  1. Meet the Founder, Irwan
  2. Meet the tech team: Christophe, Clémence and Philippe
  3. A day of testing at the office (Euratechnologies Lille) with technical test