Friday, November 28, 2014

Shearing Layers - Part 3

In the previous Shearing Layers post, I was talking quite theoretically about the rate at which stores could change their layouts to suit some time period. E.g. changing seasonal merchandise, etc.
How about we get even more radical. Perhaps we could (and maybe should) rearrange the store by time of day.
The traditional grocery store (at least in the USA)  remains relatively stable in layout (produce and deli at the edges, dairy and other cold stuff at the back, frozen food in the middle, other processed items in their own neat aisles). This well arranged for the weekly shopper. However for the quick in and out shopper this is not particularly convenient.
Let's do some imagineering here:
There is some body of shoppers who would like to go to the store more frequently and buy less stuff at once.
This group comes in in the time before dinner so they can buy what they need for dinner.
This group is intimidated by having to go all around the store to find what they need
We know what things are bought at which time of day.

Perhaps if there were a way to understand these kinds of habits we could arrange the store layout so it is a bit easier for these people to find what they want for dinner that evening.

Use small temp displays that can be prepared in the mystery area at the back, and have them rolled out to the specialized area. Create an ad campaign that matches the philosophy. Give extra points/rewards or whatever for people buying the dinner time special items. Vary the items a bit by day so you don't see the same can of beans each time.

The bottom line - Think about what can be changed easily (simple shearing layer), look deeply into the data you already have (and can get) to see if there are changes that might be beneficial. Make the changes quickly and cheaply (it shouldn't be an expensive operation - if it is you are at the wrong shearing layer). Measure effectiveness. Rince and repeat.