AI + Data + CRM Trailhead Quests
3 min read
If poor merchandising was responsible for 25% of lost sales, would you change your retail execution solutions? Of course you would. Unfortunately, many consumer goods (CG) brands suffer such losses, even though the industry spends $200 billion each year to promote products in stores. CG companies can’t afford to miss sales opportunities. Margins are tighter than ever as rising inflation and supply chain issues make it harder to price items affordably and keep them in stock.
To bring in more foot traffic and boost overall sales, CG companies have traditionally relied on seasonal products. But to execute this strategy successfully, companies must ensure their goods stay stocked on retailers’ shelves at the right time and price. That’s a lot easier said than done — hence, the billions of dollars in lost sales and revenue. Want to improve your retail execution? Start by focusing on three areas: inventory visibility, strategy adherence, and always-on pricing access.
Unlock productivity and empower your field teams with retail execution.
What’s scarier than a pumpkin-shaped candy shortage at Halloween? Inventory problems like out-of-stocks or delivery slowdowns that last all year long. For CG leaders, keeping products on store shelves is a persistent challenge: In fact, 52% of leaders want better visibility into their inventory.
Maintaining a smooth flow of goods from the warehouse to the store sounds simple. Still, most consumers have found favorite products missing from shelves at some point over the last couple of years. Supply chain challenges are only part of the story. Sometimes, products aren’t delivered where they’re most needed. Customers in some sales territories, for example, may be more interested in products for Easter than Valentine’s Day, and vice versa. Mastering those nuances is critical to retail success. Field reps who use the right retail execution solution can tell their company’s supply-and-demand planning teams where the real needs are and help them optimize the flow of goods. This is likely to win over retailers, who don’t like missing sales, either.
To keep shelves stocked, your field reps need solutions to help them plan more efficient store visits. Mobile devices, such as tablets that work with and without connectivity, let reps access current inventory levels; plan routes intelligently; order products; and send reports, no matter where they are. For example, field reps can reorder inventory right at the store — and if the warehouse is out of stock, they can suggest alternatives on the spot. If connectivity is spotty, orders will execute as soon as those wireless bars return.
Have you ever run into the grocery store on July 3 for hot dog buns and left with spur-of-the-moment sparklers? That’s the power of a well-planned display. Effective merchandising keeps consumers spending and retailers happy. In grocery stores, for example, placing products on an endcap yields a 93% increase in exposure — a huge advantage since 62% of grocery store purchases are impulse buys.
And yet, only 48% of CG leaders say their merchandising and marketing plans are executed as intended at their retail locations. Give your field reps the information they need to carry out your carefully planned strategy. This is especially important during seasonal events, which have limited time to capture consumers’ attention.
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A lot of moving parts go into creating the perfect store for your target audience. At the heart of this task is education: field reps need to understand your brand’s goals and express them clearly to retailers. Some of this education may help get retailers excited about product updates – like how that 5% elastane in a new line of swimsuits improves comfort and fit. Education can also be technical, like making sure displays meet trade promotion rules.
Field reps are the connective tissue between your brand and retailers. Providing them with accurate information — and keeping that information up to date and accessible with smart retail execution solutions — plays a major role in how your brand presents to consumers. Ultimately, field reps are your eyes and ears, evaluating competing merchandise and sharing what’s happening in the shopping aisles.
It’s early February and your hottest products are champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Your field reps are eager to keep shelves stocked before Valentine’s Day, but they’re missing order opportunities everywhere they go. Why? Without in-store access to pricing scales, per-unit cost, and manufacturer discount information, they can’t place orders easily or at the right moments. That harms your retailer relationships, especially when your competitor’s field rep can immediately place an order for their right-priced, heart-shaped balloons.
Penny-perfect pricing is a must-have in the industry – and your field reps need it at their fingertips. With it, reps can answer product questions and quickly place seasonal orders while on site, and feel confident they’re priced competitively.
Prices and inventory might look different every year, but seasonal products aren’t going away. How can you make sure your company keeps up with your retailers’ needs, from the Super Bowl to New Year’s Eve? With inventory visibility, well-executed displays, and penny-perfect pricing, your reps can keep driving business all year long.
Keep retailers stocked and shoppers happy with the right product at the right price at the right time.
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