9 Retail Shelving Mistakes You Should Avoid

Retail is an ever-evolving ecosystem. Multiple approaches are available to design and set up a store layout. From telling a story to creating immersive experiences to attract customers, everything comes at a later stage. The basics remain in the structural design of your store.

Shelving is an ever prominent part of your retail experience and In the Indian context, even more so. It is the small things that count. So check out the list below to refer to any shelving mistake you might be making.

Hear from a retailer, how important good shelving is for business.

Lack of consistency

Multiple shelves exist, different materials, could be wooden, could be plastic, could be glass, it all depends on your brand and the atmosphere you are trying to create. The thing of utmost importance is consistency.

If there is a wooden shelf next to a glass one the only image being created is that of unappealing aesthetics. So decide and maintain the image of your store.

Multiple variations could exist within the store but your placement will make all the difference.

Dirty shelves

Word of mouth does wonders for every retail store. The last conversation you want your customers to be having with each other is the fact that your store is dirty.

The largest and most diverse range of products won’t make a difference if the basic range of your products is appealing to the eyes of the customer. So to be on the safer side constant cleaning and monitoring of your shelves should be done.

Improper installation of shelves

Dirty shelves are bad, rickety shelves are worse. Apart from being a hazard to your customers, they also pose a risk to you as retailer looking incompetent.

Retail fixtures falling over and looking shabby will hurt your business when it comes to retaining the loyalty of your customers. It is a given fact that retail thrives on returning customers. This is not possible when fixtures are falling on your customers.

Shelves exist to make your merchandise appear better, so it is essential that you take care of the installation and upkeep.

Cluttered signage

Shelves are meant to sell and lack of signage that poses a huge risk to selling. As a customer know exactly how much one is about to spend is essential. Cluttered signage can make a customer feel frustrated and can lead to loss of conversion.

The budget shoppers to the heavy spenders all prefer getting the best deal, easy to read clear signage will invite customers to compare products and ensure that they walk out of the store feeling satisfied and happy.

The same feeling of frustration also arises when discounts are placed on the shelves but the product is actually not discounted. The signage needs to be constantly updated and products restocked to ensure smooth functioning.

Reachability of products

You have stocked your shelf and price tags are neatly labeled but they are too high, which makes it an issue for the customers. Shelves should not extend all the way to the top where the customers can’t reach them.

Shelving exists to maximize the storage space available to you, but stacking them all the way to the top would discourage customers from coming back to your store. You may place staff members throughout the store but there is no guarantee that they will be there when the customers want the product. Reachability thus becomes a huge issue.

A limited assortment of products

The products on top of the shelf are as important as the shelf itself. You would not want to overstock your shelf but your customers will not appreciate having a limited variety in your store. Depending on what kind your store is having a healthy product line up is an appreciated quality.

Offering the product line up comes up with the simple method of localizing your assortment plan. Understanding your customers spending power and adapting to their ever-changing needs is an essential part of knowing what you want to sell.

Bad layout of shelves

Beyond just knowing the type of shelf to put, it is essential that you know how to put them. A disorganized store with no actual layout can make you lose a customer instantly. Shelves need to be aligned and neatly stacked. The foundation of your store is essentially the layout. A proper plan needs to be drawn up so that your shelves can be designed according to the layout of the store.

Chaotic merchandising

There is no point of having shelves if they are going to be empty. The point of shelves is to sell the merchandise placed on it. The products have to visually appeal to the customer to ensure that conversion takes place.

Shelf planning is something one needs to pay attention to. Not just how much product goes on the shelf but rather what goes where. The eye level shelf needs to hold your most popular products, the best sellers, the products which are slightly expensive variants of the popular products. Under the popular products should be the products that children would ask their parents to buy them and top shelves would have the premium products. The lowest shelves would have the bulk and discounted products.


Often it’s the little things that one does not pay attention to. For a retailer, the correct lighting can do wonders. Well, lit shelves and aisles give a pleasant outlook to the entire store. If natural light is available to you pay attention to the products that are displayed in those areas.

Even if you have constraints of budget try and invest in some creative lighting units. It’s not the lighting that calls attention to itself but rather it’s the area.

It is essential that as a retailer you pay attention to the small details of your store as to make sure you sustain in the business, it’s the little things that make the entire customer experience. Retaining the loyalty of a customer is a tough job in this over-competitive market but hopefully, if you follow our tips you would be one step closer.


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