It is pretty much common knowledge amongst consumer-packaged goods companies that profitable retail execution needs a well-planned strategy that is effectively implemented. But only a tiny 19% of brands and wholesalers are satisfied with their ability to merchandise effectively in retail outlets.
The problem arises when that strategy doesn’t always work as intended. This article identifies four of the most common obstacles companies face in the struggle to achieve their goals and suggests how to overcome them.
1. A low uptake by retailers in complying with your promotions
One of the best ways to boost your products in retail outlets is to run promotional campaigns. But a staggering 90% of B2B companies say their promotions aren’t executed to plan, even though they have been negotiated well in advance with retailers.
This issue seems to be caused by a lack of communication between the suppliers and retailers with no accountability for compliance.
The solution is to use an automated solution that your sales reps can use to record data about pricing, promotional material, and the placement each of your products at the stores they visit.
The most effective way to gather data is to take photos with the camera on a mobile device. When this data is collected electronically it provides detailed information about the promotional environment at the store and gives you concrete proof of promotional compliance.
2. Slow replenishment on the shelves
One of the most frustrating issues for a brand or wholesaler is hearing the shelves are empty with no sign of their products displayed. You want to make sure your best-selling items never run out in-store. This was not always possible in the past as retailers may not have made orders in a timely manner, meaning dead shelf space.
But retail execution software avoids this. Your sales reps now have the tools to monitor inventory levels and take new orders knowing lead times for when your products are due to arrive.
3. Lack of sales data for business analysis
Brands and wholesalers know they can’t rely on retailers to provide data about their products’ sales performance. It’s something you need to control yourself. As mentioned above, the ideal solution is empowering your sales reps to collect details of orders, pricing, active promotions, and more each time they visit your customers.
But that is only half the battle –all this vital information needs to be maintained and organized correctly for it to be of any use. The solution is installing a simple automated interface which can collect and record data straight from their mobile device and sync those activities directly to managers in the office. Everyone wins.
4. Lack of innovation
As consumers, we are always looking for the latest thing but it’s not often that a promotion really catches our eye. We tend to pass by most of them as we’ve seen it all before. Some commentators say retail is drowning in a ‘sea of sameness’.
So for brands and wholesalers, it’s even more vital you stand out on the shelf. New promotions can be fed to field sales reps and merchandisers via the software. Let your imagination go wild, confident in the knowledge that at the click of a button your stunning new promotions can be communicated immediately and implemented quickly in the field. Performance can also be monitored effectively using retail execution software.