Your pharmacy shelving actually has the capability to make or break your business as an independent drugstore because it's responsible for creating a major part of your overall merchandising environment. While it's the prescription dispensing function that brings most customers to you and produces the greatest percentage of your store's revenues, it's the front-end merchandising area that shoppers have to walk through to get to the prescription counter located near the rear of the store. If shoppers are put off by what they see, it will negatively affect their “buying mood” and may even convince them that they just might want to purchase their prescriptions elsewhere.
On the other hand, if your pharmacy shelving choices and product display strategies are appealing, customers may decide to patronize your place of business instead of exercising their other, often many, choices to purchase the types of items you offer from someone else. Much of successful retailing has to do with the way shoppers feel when they're in your store. Make no mistake, there's typically plenty of competition out there from stores that sell the same or similar items that you sell and, as the owner or manager of an independent pharmacy, you need to take every advantage you can to set your drugstore apart from those others. There are numerous factors involved in creating the type of shopping experience people want and are looking for, and maximizing product exposure through the best use of your pharmacy shelving is one of the important ones.
Why Pharmacy Shelving is Important: If they can't see it, they won't buy it!
Following are some easy to incorporate tips for maximizing product exposure on your pharmacy shelving.
- Shelving should be strong and sturdy enough to hold the items you're asking it to support. Ideally, except for certain exceptions, shelves should be virtually invisible to the shopper's eye, highlighting, instead, the merchandise they're holding.
- As a departure to the above tip, occasional use of specialty shelving can be incorporated in various places in the store as features rather than for the housing of basic inventory.
- There's a science to the placement of products on shelves and exactly where in the store those shelves are located. Everyday items, such as diapers and toilet paper, should be located to the interior or rear area of the store, so customers have to walk through other areas in order to arrive at these items.
- Gondola shelving in the store's center area and slat wall or pegboard displays on perimeter walls will allow you to display the highest number of items per linear foot of merchandising space. Products with a higher perceived value or with a greater profit margin are best located on shelves at eye level, which is considered choice territory. Items that provide less profit should receive less favorable positioning on shelving.
- Items relating to one another can be categorized together on adjacent shelves, encouraging shoppers to buy multiple items in the same store section. An example would be cold and flu medicines placed next to pain relievers and oral thermometers.
- Shelves shouldn't be too tall as people may have difficulty reaching top-shelf items and store staff will have trouble keeping an eye on different sections of the merchandising area.
- Use end caps on the end of some of your gondola shelf runs in order to bring special attention and focused awareness of a particular product or brand.
- Use well-designed POP displays in a variety of locations such as near the pharmacy and checkout counters to help stimulate impulse buys.