For many years, square-inch analysis was delegated to the newest member in a catalog marketing department and was almost considered a rite of initiation. Assigning this relatively tedious task to the newbie provided the added benefit of making sure every member of the department understood and appreciated square-inch analysis.
Square-inch — aka “squinch” — analysis is a method for determining the relationship between the space allocated to the sale of a product or set of products and the sales and/or profits stemming from their appearance in that space. Quite simply, you compare the sales and profits to the cost of the space the product set occupies.
Squinch reports provide a consistent and objective way to measure merchandise sales. They can help you decide whether to give your products more or less space, or perhaps not carry them at all. Large or small, B-to-B, B-to-C or hybrids, all multichannel merchants can use squinch analysis.
Examine Every Page
If your company is totally new to squinch analysis, start by examining the sales and profits for every page in your catalog. Naturally, some pages will have higher or lower sales and profits than others. The poorest-performing pages can be improved or removed and replaced with new products. Or, they can be used to feature products that need or deserve more space because they sell well. Many catalog marketers, especially those who extensively use spreads to sell, prefer to look at sales by spread.
You can even start with a study of the amount of space you give each product category vs. the sales and profits from that category. Consider a test in which you give the best-performing categories more space, more products or more prominence. You can move the strongest product category to the front, for instance, leading the catalog.