Retail Interest

Real time retail information and a happier, more effective Merchandising Team…

by Jimmy Ho on 04/19/2016

Just like you, chances are your merchandisers have a lot on their plate. Customer relationship and order management, collecting retail data, monitoring in store execution of your strategy and fixing issues when and where they arise are just a few of them.

None the less, they provide a critical link between your brand and actual customer experience. If your product is not available on shelf, poorly displayed or doesn’t show pricing, it WILL affect your sales and in worst cases, provide shoppers with the necessary motivation to try something else. Merchandisers prevent this from happening – at least some of the time. 

Simply put, merchandisers can only solve problems they find, when and where they find them, and if your team is working across a large number of outlets, there will always be gaps. 

You can deal with this by focusing attention on a sub set of the most important outlets and adopting a rotation system, whereby you cover all of these outlets at least once within a within a cycle of say one week (or a month) – a good solution for making the most of a limited resource.

New technologies in real time retail information collection are, however, providing another option;

  1. Outsource retail data and compliance checking – use a real time retail information platform to collect key compliance data and location imagery (on shelf availability, pricing, SOVI, POSM execution or whatever your key retail success metrics) for your all your SKUs from hundreds or thousands of outlets in hours or days.
  2. Run ‘fix reports’ – reports which list locations with specific outages, like out of stock for particular SKUs or displays that needs fixing.
  3. Focus – apply the team to problem locations where immediate fixes can yield real improvements in sales performance, particularly during key promotional periods. 
  4. Escalate – Identify locations which routinely have problems and escalate – work with the retailers to see how things can be improved for everyone’s benefit. 

Real time retail intelligence platforms also bring the advantages of automated data consolidation and report generation – there is no need to wait for data to be compiled and formatted into a usable report – location specific and aggregated data is available for reporting within minutes of stores being audited.

By making use of real time retail information platforms for data collection and compliance checking, you can achieve more with a limited resource – get more information from more locations, fast enough to make a difference. At the same time, focus your merchandisers on higher value, more important activities while better equipping them to drive excellence in your retail strategy.

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