Stocking the Shelves: It’s the Little Things


To build the best experience possible for your customers, you want to make sure everything in your store is as good as it can be.  You have great employees, a great store layout, and an amazing selection of products – but are those same products being displayed as well as they should be? Stocking your shelves well can be deceptively difficult, and very easy to overlook if you’re not checking them often. Many employees think that it’s “just” stocking shelves, so how hard can it be? Unfortunately, that leads them to miss a lot of the nuances involved in the process. 

Why Is Stocking So Important? 

On the most basic level, stocking the shelves is how you can make your product available for customers to buy.  However, it has some less obvious benefits as well: 

  • Inventory Control: If your employees stock the shelves in your store often, then your inventory in the back is more stable.  You won’t have big drops from someone needing to restock an entire shelf all at once, since they’ll just be “topping off” the shelves. This can help you keep a better eye on the inventory and better know when you need to order more product just from taking a glance in the back. 
  • Expiration Dates: Your employees should be trained to check the expiration dates on your products while stocking the shelves.  This can give you a better idea of how fast you’re selling product, and your employees can take expired products off the shelves while they’re stocking, preventing an unlucky customer from buying an expired item. Your store can greatly benefit from employees showing this level of care while doing something as routine as stocking shelves. 
  • Improving Customer Experience: Your customers are in your store for a reason: they want to buy something you have, or hope you have. Having full shelves not only makes it easier for them to buy what they want, but they’ll notice that you’re well-stocked. This can inspire confidence that you’ll have what they need next time as well, and they’ll be much more likely to return. 

Get Your Employees on Board!  

Anyone can take a product and put it on a shelf, but you’ll want your employees trained in the proper way to stock the shelves, and make sure they’re checking the dates on the products.  You can use a learning management system (LMS) to train them on this method, as well as other duties important to convenience stores. Shelf-stocking in particular is an excellent opportunity to use blended learning in the training –  you can use role-play to make sure your employees know how to help any customers that need it while the employee is stocking shelves. Plus, roleplaying about helping customers gives an opportunity to practice suggestive selling as well! When your store’s merchandising goes well, it can improve your store’s image and how smoothly inventory goes as well, but your employees must be ready to help you get there. 

Keeping Up Appearances 

Shelves are only one part of your store – to truly impress your guests, don’t neglect the rest! Ensure your employees know the proper way to clean other parts of your store that customers see during every visit, like your doors and windows, the floor, and the restroom! 

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