shelf space in retail stores

Share of Shelf: Why You Should Measure It & What Tools Can You Use

It is important for all brands to discover the different kinds of metrics that will give them a better understanding of how well their products are performing in retail stores. One of the most important things that you should always keep an eye out for as brands will be the amount of shelf space your products get. Finding out your share of shelf is important because it lets you find out if you are in the best position for maximum sales, if your products are stocked, and whether you are actually getting the share of shelf you agreed on with retailers.

So, what is Share of Shelf?

Share of shelf is a metric that is used to compare the facings of a specific brand to the total number of facing positions available in a store.

Using this metric helps brands quantify the display prominence of their products on shelves. Share of shelf is something similar to market share but it is based on the allocation of shelf space instead of retail sales performance.

4 Reasons Why Brands and Merchandisers Should Measure Share of Shelf

1. Measuring your share of shelf lets you track how hard your products are working on their shelves.

Measuring your share of shelf data along with your sales data allows you to discover whether your brand and your competitor brands are getting their fair share of shelf space compared to how much of a contribution they make to category sales.

This gives you a look at other specific products and brands that are either over-spaced or under-spaced which may be drainers or drivers of the category growth of your products.

If your products are over-performing vs. their sales contributions, they may be able to deliver increased sales if they receive more space at shelf. Also, if the products of your competitors are underperforming, this also presents an important opportunity to grow your share of shelf at their expense.

2. You will be fully prepared for new launches based on your data.

Sometimes, it may be difficult for your brand to introduce new products as you face the risk of cannibalizing your other products which are older.

However, when you can measure the share of shelf data of other competitors, you can have access to relevant data which can help you prepare and optimize for new launches.

This data can help you make a compelling argument for taking space from a competitor and using it for your new product launch instead of sacrificing your own space for your other products.

Related article: How to Use a Merchandising App to Simplify Retail Reporting

3. You will be able to identify new growth opportunities for your products.

When you are able to measure your share of shelf data along with your sales data, you can verify the success of any new product launches based on its execution and sales contribution.

These new product launches and the data and results that you have gathered for them is a great way for you to identify and improve new growth opportunities for your products.

This information allows you to engage in meaningful conversations with your retail partners at a strategic level like negotiating your shelf spaces and proposing other product launches.

4. You can use the share of shelf information of your competitors as a competitive benchmark.

While measuring your own share of shelf is vital for learning about how you can improve your bottom line, looking into the metrics of your competitors can also provide valuable insights for you.

Learning about the share of shelf of your competitors will show you which verticals and which brands they are most invested in.

Measuring this metric can be an effective competitive benchmark because it can demonstrate you and your competitor’s market position. This is because having more SKU’s (stock-keeping units) than your competitors in the most important categories will show that you are winning over those segments.

Tracking the share of shelf metric will help you gain a better understanding of how your products are in key categories over time. This can indicate potential threats from competitors and help you address these early on.

Related article: Retail Planograms: What Are They & Why You Should Use Them (+ Tips)

shelf space in retail stores

3 Methods You Can Use to Measure Your Share of Shelf

Understanding why you should be measuring your shelf space is important, but what is more crucial is learning the actual methods you can use to measure it. Here are 3 most common methods for measuring them:

1. Measuring the physical shelves where your products are

One method you can use is using a tape measure and then calculating the percentage of the actual length of the physical shelves that is occupied by your products.

This is one of the most accurate ways to measure as it allows you to account for the various packaging sizes and can give you accurate and reliable data for a better share of the shelves. However, this method is also the most time consuming.

2. Estimating all of the SKUs visually

The SKU or stock-keeping unit is a number that is assigned to a specific product in order to determine its options, manufacturer, and price. A SKU is something that is used to track a product’s inventory in a store.

A fast and easy method of measuring your share of shelf is by simply eyeballing or estimating all of your SKUs visually on shelves. If you are using this simple method, make sure that you use consistent increments like 25, 50, 75 or 15, 30, 45, etc.

This method can be quick and convenient for you but it can also be more prone to errors.

3. Calculating the facings

Probably the most precise method of measuring your share of shelf will be calculating the total SKUs on your shelves and your competitors and then dividing them by the number of  your SKU’s.

Measuring all of these facings will be very time consuming for sales reps but this will give you the most accurate results.

If you are looking for a mobile merchandising app that can help you measure your share of shelf data, then you should check out the Optim Merchandising app.

Optim Merchandising has a lot of different features that can help you and your field reps gather important information and data about your share of shelf and shelf space.

Click here to watch a demo and experience a free trial now.

Learn how you can measure your share of shelf with OptimMerchandising