How to Make a Planogram: Template & Types

Planograms are essential for retail planning and operations. If you’re new to the retail industry, or your retail business needs to improve its planogram design, you may wonder about planogram best practices and making a retail planogram. 

A well-designed planogram can help boost sales, delight customers and cut costs. This article will guide you through how to make a planogram and “retail planogramming 101.”

What Is a Planogram?

Planograms are diagrams that visually depict your product display plan. Typically, this schematic is a simple visual blueprint of the store’s shelving unit, whether a display rack, cooler, slat wall, gondola, endcap or pegboard, along with where products sit on shelves, their facings, product details and more. 

There are numerous benefits to a planogram. Primarily, store employees use this visual merchandising tool to arrange (or set), rearrange (or reset) and stock shelves more efficiently.  By optimizing product placement, stores can improve operations and margin. Planograms also help maximize visual appeal and optimize your store’s interior real estate.

What Are the Types of Planograms?

Planograms are designed to address one or multiple business goals. Retail merchandisers typically consider these different types of planograms:

1. Planograms based on retail merchandising goals 

Merchandising goals may include maximizing market share/revenue or maximizing margin. They can also involve brand blocking or visual goals (such as horizontal or vertical banding) or a specific assortment or category management focus, such as gluten-free or non-GMO products.

2. Planograms based on supply chain goals

Some planograms are designed to optimize days of supply, just-in-time replenishment, inventory management, store costs or other supply chain goals.

3. Planograms based on physical fixtures

These planograms are based on specialized fixtures, such as peg-wall and shelf combination fixtures, coolers and freezers, bins and other merchandise-specific fixtures.

As you can see, stores can optimize their planogramming techniques to place products for specific priorities. Some stores may want to capitalize on a product’s profitability or popularity, organizing shelves based on market share, while others might look at profit margins or adjacencies. Your planogram’s organizational methodology will be a store and category-specific  and could change as the store evolves. 

4. Planograms based on multiple factors

Retailers frequently consider a combination of the above goals when designing planograms. Your particular planogramming technique should be tested and reassessed regularly to achieve the greatest success.

How Do I Create a Planogram: Step-by-Step Guide

To make a planogram, you technically only need a pen and paper. However, planogram software tools make the process much easier. Let’s discuss how to make a planogram in general terms to help you better understand what’s involved. 

1. Identify Your Fixtures

The first step in making a planogram is to ensure the fixtures in the floorplan can contain your assortment. 

Look at your floorplan, find the categories you’re responsible for and identify the fixtures associated with those categories. Determine if you need new fixtures or a change to existing fixtures. Collaborate with your floorplanning or fixturing team to make any changes to the fixtures.

2. Find An Existing Planogram

In most instances, you will begin with an existing planogram. Common scenarios for updating a planogram include a product swap or revamping a category. 

If you use modern retail space planning software, the existing planogram will be attached to the fixtures in your floorplan. In some cases, the planogram may not exist, may be outdated or may be difficult to access. Occasionally, you will need to make a planogram from scratch. However, creating a planogram from scratch is the exception, not the rule, and rarely happens in practice. 

3. Process the Assortment Instructions

Next, you’ll decide on product placement. You will receive assortment instructions from your merchandising team to help you build the planogram. Each product in the assortment will have an associated action, such as:

  • Discontinue (Disco) – First, remove all products that are discontinued to make room for products that will remain in the assortment and net-new products. In graphical planogramming software, you can click on the visual representation of the product and delete it to remove it from the shelf. 
  • Maintain – Next, some products will maintain their place in the assortment. You may need to adjust a product’s facings to open a spot for a new product or different brands, or rearrange these products to maximize adjacencies for other products. 
  • Add – Finally, attempt to add all the products for which you have an “add” instruction. If you are using planogram software, drag the product from the pallet that contains the assortment onto the visualization of the shelf (or other product “space”). The added products might have a rank associated with their priority, and you should add them in priority order when possible. You may not have room to add all new products to the shelves for every retail store. 

4. Revise and Finalize the Planogram

Most likely, your planogram will need multiple revisions to resolve conflicts. For example, you may have a fixture that doesn’t have enough shelves. You may need to address legal constraints, compliance requirements, adjacencies, layout issues or minimum shelf occupation for certain products. A good planogrammer takes all of these considerations into account when putting a product on the retail shelf.

Planograms are also subject to a review and approval process before you can finalize them. This process varies by retailer and by store. 

Creating the planogram is only the first step. Planogramming is not complete after you print the planogram or send it to an associate’s mobile device. Many retailers find the next step of planogram implementation (or planogram compliance) even more challenging.

Example of Planogram Template

Planogram templates make it easy to build “from scratch” planograms from some of your most-used set types, whether mixed visual merchandising (shelves and pegboard) or a more standard gondola fixture. You can also easily leverage kit concepts in planogram software tools, such as gondola base deck and associated shelving, to drag and drop standard fixture kits onto your planograms. Either way, you can apply the assortment instructions after properly laying out your planogram fixtures within just moments. 

Simplify Planogram Design With Merchlogix

Merchlogix is sophisticated, yet easy-to-master planogram software that makes product placement and the planogram process far more efficient. Contact us today to discover how to make an effective planogram that delights customers and is easily accessible across your company.

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