Retail Digital Transformation and 4.0

The Ultimate Guide to In-Store Product Placement

Product Placement: How It Drives Retail Sales And What Brands Need To Know To Get The Best Store Real Estate.

Product placement can be the difference between success and failure for consumer goods. From technology stores to supermarkets, retailers put a tremendous amount of time and effort into planning their spaces, and, as a brand, it’s up to you to do everything possible to earn the best placement positions.

In recent posts, we’ve talked about how important retail product placement is for grocery stores and chains. But owning the prime real estate in a store is vital for any brand looking to excel in the brick and mortar space. Let’s start with a basic definition of product placement.

What Is In-Store Product Placement?

In a nutshell, store product placement is the method retailers use to determine where and how brands and products appear in stores. There are tools, like planograms, that are part of the process. But what you need to know is that store product placement boils down to which products sell best; which brands understand and work with retailers most effectively; and which brands have the data to prove they deserve prime shelf space within a store.

As you can imagine, the most sought after product placement is in high-traffic areas of the store and on shelves or endcaps at eye level. Eye level is buy level in retail and it’s the space every brand is vying to win. Whether or not you do depends on how well you understand the placement game.

Get Ready To Deal With Slotting Fees

Slotting fees are upfront payments that retailers require of manufacturers and brands in order to guarantee them a spot on their store shelves. Some retailers have gotten away from this pay for space placement strategy. However, most supermarket chains, big-box stores, and convenience stores still require brands to pony up some money before promising placement.

As you can imagine, this puts smaller brands and start-ups in quite a tough position. After all, most of these companies are already struggling to make ends meet and slotting fees certainly aren’t going to ease the situation.

The good news is there are ways to lower, if not outright avoid, these pesky costs.

Shelf Placement And Eye Level Success

Let’s assume you’re a young brand, or, perhaps a relatively established brand introducing a new product or products. Go ahead and assume that you’re going to be asked to pay slotting fees, and even when you do, it’s unlikely you’re going to be considered for that prized “eye level, buy level” shelf space. Stores are going to reserve that prime placement for more established brands. On the off chance you are considered, you’ll be going up against a plethora of other brands and products all looking to secure prime shelf placement.

So what’s the product placement plan? How do you get that shelf positioning you know will grab customers and boost your retail sales? How do you whittle down those slotting fees? It’s time to get creative.

Retail Product Placement – Forming A Strategy

You don’t often get a second chance to prove yourself, so it’s important to go into a retailer with every advantage you can muster. Here are a few ways you might be able to convince a retailer that your brand is ideal for their stores.

Cooperative Marketing: Pitch your brand as the perfect partner to display with another, perhaps, more established, brand that sells products that align with yours.

Target A Struggling Competitor:If you can identify a product or brand in your competitive set that’s having trouble meeting its sales goals, and, therefore, isn’t generating positive numbers for the retailer, you may be able to make a case for your product placement. If they’re not delivering, why not give you a try?

Marketing & Promotions: Do you have a particularly compelling marketing strategy in place? Better yet, have any of your marketing efforts delivered big sales returns? If so, use the facts to make an argument for better placement.

Consider Working With A Broker or Agent:They negotiate on your behalf and often have established relationships with retailers that can be leveraged to get you the best placement.

Supermarket Product Placement

Grocery stores work with countless items and their placement strategies are extremely complicated. One common goal is to entice consumers to buy items on impulse that they didn’t have written down on their shopping lists. Would your product be a great impulse buy?

Data – The New King Of Product Placement

Customer insights, real-time sales figures, and compliance data are giving brands a new arsenal of arguments to gain better product placement.

If your field teams are equipped with the right digital data solution, you can prove performance on a regular basis. Plus, you can hold retailers accountable for the promises they make you.

Advanced software solutions, like the one offered by Mobile Insight®, a leading supplier of retail data solutions to the world’s largest brands and retailers, provide real-time reporting that adds up to quantitative, actionable insights.

For example, using any mobile device field teams can instantly track, compile and report on things like:

Store appearance and cleanliness: is your retail partner presenting you in the best light. Is the store a place customers want to shop.

Sales volume by date, time, location: get an accurate account of how well your product or products are performing. If you’re doing better than the competition, it’s time to secure even better placement on shelves.

Display and shelf compliance: are your products on the right shelf, in the right location, and faced properly? If not, you’ll know it with real-time efficiency, so you can remedy the situation immediately.


Retail product placement is critical to the success of any brand. Yet, getting prime placement remains a financial and tactical challenge, particularly for products that are not yet established.

The better you understand the store product placement process, and the more time and effort you invest in measuring your own strengths and weaknesses, the better your chances are at winning the shelf space you want.

Real-time data solutions provide brands with a way to track performance, measure sales, and make a case for better placement. If you found this post helpful and would like to learn more about digital retail solutions, visit

Mobile Insight® is the only retail and merchandise management solution designed to meet the brick and mortar sales challenges of high-value brands and retailers. Unlike hardware and software providers that focus on fast-moving goods, the Mobile Insight® platform delivers assisted sales solutions for more complex, interactive, and customer-centric environments. Combining data from in-store systems, 3PLs, employee and partner activity, Mobile Insight® enables informed, smarter decisions that drive sales and operations excellence. For more information, visit


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