Catalog Merchandising: Five Steps for Easy Square Inch Analysis, part 1 of 2
Because catalog space costs you money, you need to know which products are paying a return on investment and those that aren’t. However, square inch (squinch) analysis can be used to determine the relative strength of your customers’ demand for each and every product.
This invaluable information then is used to make decisions about the catalog, such as featuring high-demand products and eliminating those with little or no demand. More importantly, however, squinch analysis provides a guide for correcting marginal items and shows you how to make them winners. The result is often an increase in total sales per catalog –- not just products featured. By featuring the products your customers are most interested in, you make the entire catalog more attractive.
The mechanics of producing a squinch analysis are time consuming, but not difficult:
1. Measure how much space each product takes up on each page including both image and text.
2. Measure all editorial and white space so you account for every inch of space on page. The editorial and white space is weighted back to each product and the total is entered into one column on a spreadsheet.
3. Place the sales for each product into another column.
4. To find sales per square inch, divide each product’s sales by the space it takes on the page. For a complete picture of each product, include columns for units sold, profit per item, profit per inch, item number and product description.
5. Finally, include an index column. In this column, divide the sales per inch of each product by the average sales per inch for the entire catalog. An index of 1.00 indicates the item is performing equal to the average; whereas, results greater than or less than 1.00 indicate the item is performing better than or less than average, respectively. This provides an instant gauge of the relative strength of each product.