The Best Shelf Space Management Techniques

In one of the most competitive industries, brands must be able to stand out in the store. The average number of items carried in a supermarket is 31,119. Even though the CPG space is crowded, there are methods you can incorporate into your shelf space marketing strategy.

What is Shelf Space Management?

Defined as careful placement of products and organization of categories on a retail shelf within a store to generate more sales, shelf space management is one of the most important strategies for retail managers.

When choosing which products to accept and place on shelves, retailers consider a variety of factors. A brand’s goal is to drive sales, and in order to drive sales they have to sell as many products as they can on shelves. In a saturated market, there are times it can be challenging because of your competition.

It’s important to understand how your brand can benefit from understanding the customer’s experience when they shop in store. Put yourselves in their shoes. How are you positioning your product on shelf to influence a consumer’s purchasing decision?

Packaging Power

A product’s packaging is one of the first things a shopper will notice. Immediately, a shopper will assess your product by color, size, shape, material, and more. You can enhance the consumer experience by telling your brand’s story through your packaging.

Depending on your audience, you can cater your packaging to appeal to a specific demographic. For example, the product Celsius stands out from other brands because of the transparency on its packaging. The company includes the beverage ingredients on the front and has modern, trendy packaging design that targets young consumers.

Think about your brand identity; what is your voice, your story, and how will your packaging differentiate you from the rest of your competitors? Utilizing recent trends such as sustainability, diet trends, and types of packaging can catch the eye of a consumer, as well as detailed messaging on what your product offers to the shopper. Having memorable packaging increases brand awareness and equity.

Shelf Strategies

Choosing Your Retailer

It’s important to choose a retailer with a consumer base that includes your target consumer in order to drive your sales. Understand consumers buying behavior by utilizing sales data. Using industry data will allow you to save time and money because you’re going after the stores that matter most for your product.


Having better shelf placement than your rivals can provide you with an advantage. Think about the height of where certain items are placed in a retailer. The most attractive facing is eye-level, but you’ll also want to consider the easiest placement for a customer to reach and put into their cart. Notice the product assortment. If you and your competition are positioned closely together, it’s important to set yourself apart from them. Does your packaging stand out or is it time for a refresh?

Buyer Relationships

Another way to build shelf presence is to develop a relationship with buyers or a retailer. Position your business as a partnership that is mutually beneficial, as it will show at retailers that you’re committed to doing what it takes to succeed.

Providing planograms with data in buyer meetings can also help you negotiate shelf space. This will show the retailer or buyer that you are dedicated to helping them achieve their category goals and meet their customer needs, while growing your sales.

Shelf Techniques

There are many different techniques to help your product stand out on crowded shelves. These tactics enable consumers to recognize your brand and remember your marketing message.

Shelf Tags

Shelf tags are an important part of the retail industry. Tags can be located on shelves and can be made from paper or plastic. This can show the consumer the promotion that you’re running whether it is a temporary price reduction or a BOGO.

Including a QR code that shoppers can scan is another great way to promote your brand or product and brand education. The QR code can lead to your website where consumers can find more information about your product and special offers.


IRCs are one of the most-utilized on-pack signage solutions in the industry. IRCs are defined as an Instant Redeemable Coupon, which gives shoppers a chance to instantly save money. Often enticing to first-time buyers, the shopper can take advantage of the special offer, and in return become a lifelong customer. Once a consumer purchases your product and has a positive experience with your product, there is a high chance they will repurchase.

IRCs come in a variety of formats and sizes. There are many benefits to using an IRC because they are eye-catching, save space, and give an opportunity for shoppers to try your product. Execution can be fairly simple for IRCs, which makes it easier to create, execute, and communicate your brand’s relevant promotions.

In-Aisle Displays

This type of display allows merchandisers to place product in a strategic location to maximize visibility inside a store. In-aisle displays are positioned along the aisles of a retail store and greatly improve visibility because customers can easily see your product, key selling points, and grab to put into their shopping cart.

You can design signage and displays to your brand’s image with a variety of colors and even provide an LED function. An LED display is attractive because shoppers will notice it from a distance. In-aisle displays allow you to differentiate your brand from others which gives you an opportunity to increase sales.

Alliance Sales & Marketing is a future-forward broker serving brands coast to coast. Our data-driven approach allows us to create a custom marketing strategy to take your brand to the next level. Contact us today if you want to learn more about our shopper marketing programs.