The Role of AI in Optimising Shelf Space: A Deep Dive into Transforming CPG Retail Execution

Fraser Neil
Fraser Neil Fraser.Neil@traxretail.com

The Role of AI in Optimising Shelf Space: A Deep Dive into Transforming CPG Retail Execution

Phone with Shopping Cart in Futuristic Shopping Aisle

In today’s rapidly evolving Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) landscape, optimising shelf space is more critical than ever. Retailers and CPG companies alike strive to maximise every inch of space to drive sales, enhance customer experience, and gain a competitive edge. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and image recognition technologies revolutionise the way businesses approach retail execution and shelf optimisation.

The Importance of Shelf Space Optimisation

Shelf space is a premium real estate in retail. Efficiently allocating products, ensuring availability, and maintaining a visually appealing display are paramount for attracting customers and influencing purchasing decisions. Traditional methods of monitoring and managing shelf space often fall short, relying on manual audits, periodic checks, and subjective assessments.  Whilst many CPGs provide some form of support to retailers, this is often intermittent at best meaning that the reliance falls on the retailers’ staff to monitor the shelf and take the relevant actions, often without the knowledge or understanding of what is best for the category and what will return the greatest revenue for the retailer. All the while, they are also dealing a multitude of other problems from stock holding to shrinkage and pricing/promotional accuracy across multiple categories and therefore, thousands of products all at the same time.

AI-Powered Image Recognition: Transforming Retail Execution

AI-powered image recognition solutions are game-changers in optimising shelf space and enhancing retail execution. Whilst CPGs could spend more money with the retailer, hire a team to manually audit/merchandise or rely on customer satisfaction scores, AI-powered image recognition solutions are the key to real-time and the highest level of accuracy in insights. These advanced technologies leverage machine learning algorithms to analyse in-store images, providing real-time insights into product placement, availability, pricing, and planogram compliance.

By capturing and processing images of shelves, AI algorithms can:

Detect Out-of-Stock Items: Instantly identify products that are out-of-stock or misplaced, enabling timely restocking, and reducing lost sales opportunities, further gaining return on investment for brands.

Monitor Planogram Compliance: Ensure that products are displayed according to the predefined planograms, maintaining brand consistency and maximising visibility. Afterall, category management spends an inordinate amount of time analysing the data which helps to maximise category sales form the space available. It’s in everyone’s best interest to ensure it’s executed as accurately as possible. Analysed results from images can increase the chances that store staff and/or sales reps and merchandisers ensure products are placed in the right place with the right space.

Analyse Shelf Share and Product Placement: Evaluate the effectiveness of product placement strategies, analyse shelf share metrics, and recommend optimal positioning to drive sales and enhance customer engagement. Many of us know that certain products sell best when located next to key competitors or specific brands, therefore, why wouldn’t you want to analyse this and be able to target the outlets where this needs to be fixed.  Similarly, what if your products are situated out of reach of the majority of your key target buyers.

Identify Pricing Discrepancies: Detect pricing errors or discrepancies, ensuring accurate pricing information and compliance with promotional strategies.

Trax Retail: Leading the Way in AI-Driven Shelf Optimisation:

I’m pleased to say that one company at the forefront of AI-driven shelf space optimisation is Trax Retail. Leveraging cutting-edge image recognition technology and advanced analytics capabilities, Trax offers a comprehensive solution designed to transform retail execution within the CPG industry.

The Trax platform provides:

Real-Time Shelf Monitoring: Capture and analyse in-store images in real-time, enabling instant insights into shelf conditions, product availability, and compliance metrics.

Actionable Insights and Recommendations: Generate actionable insights, alerts, and recommendations based on AI-driven analysis, empowering retailers and CPG companies to make informed decisions and drive strategic initiatives.

Enhanced Collaboration and Efficiency: Facilitate collaboration between retailers and suppliers, streamline communication, and optimise inventory management processes to ensure seamless execution and maximise sales opportunities.

Cost effective packaged solutions: Using 14 years of knowledge within the AI/IR sector and backed by hundreds of years of CPG and Retail expertise we have tailored packages that suit all budgets.  Within each package we can offer Starter, Professional, and Enterprise level pricing structures and, for the CPGs who want that little bit more, we can customise elements of the solution to ensure you get everything you need.


AI-powered image recognition technologies are redefining the way CPG companies approach shelf space optimisation and retail execution. By leveraging advanced algorithms, real-time analytics, and actionable insights, businesses can enhance visibility, drive sales, and deliver superior customer experiences.

Trax is the pioneer of this transformation, offering innovative solutions that enable retailers and CPG companies to overcome challenges, capitalise on opportunities, and achieve sustainable growth in today’s competitive retail landscape. Embracing AI-driven strategies and technologies is no longer an option but a necessity for success in the evolving CPG retail industry and is a move already made by clients such as Unilever, Mars, Coca-Cola, Beiersdorf, and many more.

Fraser Neil
Fraser Neil Fraser.Neil@traxretail.com Fraser Neil is the Vice President of CPG for EMEA & Oceania at Trax. Fraser has responsibility for new business development alongside strategic leadership for one of our largest global clients covering over 45 individual markets. Based in the UK, Fraser has over 25 years experience in CPG Retail Execution having worked for one of the largest retail chains and having served on the senior leadership teams with one of the largest outsourced field sales providers in the UK and Ireland. He has worked on projects that include field optimisation, field force automation, and EPOS data analytics solutions which are designed to direct resources to the outlets and actions that will deliver the greatest ROI. In over 5 years with Trax, Fraser has supported the acquisition of new clients alongside growing existing business, whilst also influencing our product roadmap and being a voice for our clients internally. In his time at Trax, Fraser has become a trusted member of both the Trax International (EMEA & APAC) and Global Leadership teams.
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