The practice of displaying related products from different categories or departments together, encouraging customers to make additional purchases and increasing basket size.

What is Cross-Merchandising?

Cross-merchandising is a retail strategy that promotes complementary products together to drive additional sales. It benefits retailers by increasing sales, enhancing the customer experience, and improving inventory turnover. However, it requires careful product selection, adequate space, and monitoring for potential cannibalisation.

How Cross-Merchandising works

  • Complementary product placement: Cross-merchandising involves placing related or complementary products in close proximity to encourage additional purchases.

  • Increase sales: By showcasing related products together, retailers can boost sales by suggesting additional items that customers may need or want.

  • Enhance customer experience: Cross-merchandising creates a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience for customers, making it easier for them to find related items in one location.

  • Improve inventory turnover: By promoting the sale of related products, cross-merchandising can help improve inventory turnover and reduce the risk of stagnant inventory.

  • Strategic product selection: Retailers must carefully select the right products to cross-merchandise, ensuring they are truly complementary and align with customer preferences.

  • Adequate space allocation: Successful cross-merchandising requires sufficient space to display the related products effectively without causing overcrowding or confusion.

  • Monitor for cannibalisation: Retailers should monitor cross-merchandising efforts to ensure they do not cannibalise sales from other product categories or create confusion among customers.
Overall, cross-merchandising is a strategic approach that aims to increase sales, improve the customer experience, and optimise inventory management through the thoughtful placement of related products within a retail environment.

Pros of Cross-Merchandising

  1. Increased sales: Cross-merchandising can lead to increased sales by exposing customers to complementary products they may not have considered. By placing related items together, retailers can encourage additional purchases and boost revenue.
  2. Enhanced customer experience: Cross-merchandising creates a more convenient and enjoyable shopping experience for customers. By grouping related products together, retailers make it easier for shoppers to find and purchase everything they need in one place, saving time and effort.
  3. Improved product visibility: By strategically placing related products together, retailers can improve the visibility and exposure of certain items. This can help increase awareness and generate interest in products that may have gone unnoticed if displayed separately.

Cons of Cross-Merchandising

  1. Confusion for customers: Cross-merchandising, if not executed properly, can lead to confusion for customers. If the product placement is unclear or if unrelated items are grouped together, customers may struggle to find what they're looking for, resulting in frustration and potentially lower sales.
  2. Potential inventory management challenges: Cross-merchandising requires careful inventory management to ensure that all related products are adequately stocked and available. If there is a mismatch between the demand for one item and its accompanying cross-merchandised product, it can lead to inventory imbalances and potential stockouts.
  3. Increased operational complexity: Implementing cross-merchandising strategies can add complexity to store operations. It may require regular monitoring and adjustment of product placements, coordination between different departments or teams, and additional training for staff members. This can increase workload and resource requirements for the retailer.


Below you will find answers to common questions
How can I determine which products to cross-merchandise together?
When selecting products for cross-merchandising, consider complementary or related items that can enhance the customer's shopping experience. Look for products that are commonly used together, have a natural association, or can create cross-category appeal. For example, placing sunscreen and beach towels together during the summer season can encourage customers to purchase both items for their beach trips.
How can I measure the success of my cross-merchandising efforts?
Measuring the success of cross-merchandising can be done through various metrics, including sales data, customer feedback, and observational analysis. You can track the sales performance of cross-merchandised products to determine if there is a noticeable increase in their sales compared to when they are displayed separately. Additionally, collecting customer feedback through surveys or analysing their shopping patterns can provide insights into whether the cross-merchandising displays are effective in influencing purchasing decisions.