In fact, after you complete your squinch analysis, you may choose to divide your products, pages or categories into three groups: winners, losers and average performers. You can give winners greater exposure, eliminate losers and test different ways of showing the products in the middle to see if you can improve their performance.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to try to use more space to make the poorest selling products winners. Instead, focus your energies into strengthening your winners.
White Space, Too
The term “square inch” literally means you divide each page of your catalog into a specific number of square inches and measure how many are allocated to each product or set of products. Next, calculate the cost of each page so you can use the divided page to apportion the cost to each product or group of products.
Remember to include the cost of all the white space, editorial content and ordering information — all the costs of the catalog. Ideally, spread these costs across your products, so they’ll all hopefully enjoy the benefits.
Next, decide which metrics matter the most. Ponder these questions, for example:
• Do you want to look at sales or profits?
• Will returns be included?
• How will overhead and/or fulfillment costs be included?
Keep your metrics consistent to compare and trend them. While it’s interesting to know how a widget sells in a single catalog, it may be more important to see how the sale of that widget changes over time. If you measured catalog sales for the previous catalog at 10 weeks after your mail date, for example, wait 10 weeks after the mail date to measure sales of the current catalog.
One of my favorite expressions is that catalogs and Web sites are evolutionary. If you start slowly and plan to increase the space given to winners and decrease the space given to poorer performing products, you’ll be able to improve sales and profits, as well as your return on investment.