Saturday, July 19, 2008

Importance of Shelf Space

Gaining shelf space is a guiding principle for most business enterprises.

What do we mean by shelves? There are both literal and figurative shelves.

In the conventional world of bricks and mortar, the physical limits on shelf space determine the volume and variety of goods that companies can display and sell at any one time. In every retail venue, the battle is all about who gets to use the most attractive, best-located shelf space. In the real world of grocery stores and other retail spaces, shelf space is finite -- even in the largest Wal-Marts. Only the most powerful vendors get the best space, and their power is defined ultimately by their ability to pull sales through the shelve

But shelf space also exists outside the physical world of supermarkets and shopping malls. There are plenty of examples of jockeying for prime slots on virtual shelves -- including newspaper front pages, magazine ad pages, movie cineplexes, Internet ad banners, and the play-lists of radio stations. All of these are empty grids that must be filled up, and the battle for the best slots at the right price is furious and constant.

The electronic shelf space can be defined as the "real estate found on the computer screen. Almost all hospitality transactions taking place today, except for small country inns in Europe or the United States, employ some form of computer terminal where hotel availability is checked and reserved. For call center reservation agents, travel agents and individuals booking through the Internet, the physical screen, which displays GDN (Global Distribution Network) information, is the location of the virtual shelf space. Controlling electronic shelf space - and the number of "eyes" that view GDN information through one specific portal into this virtual inventory is of utmost importance to the world's leading hospitality and travel companies.

The Battle for Electronic Shelf Space on the Global Distribution Network

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