Chapter 3: Retail and field execution goes virtual


Flexibility, transparency, and responsiveness of the retail distribution network was critical in getting valuable merchandise to stores in the face of erratic demand. Field representatives still made in-person store visits, but they did so at a greatly reduced pace as CG companies worked to keep frontline workers safe. At the same time, retailers minimized unnecessary in-person contact to protect shoppers so field reps had limited time in-store for merchandising.

To maintain engagement from afar, CG companies introduced remote store visits. Field reps checked shelf-compliance and conducted merchandising activities remotely, while retailers were able to interact directly with reps to get what they needed to support shoppers.

Now, CG companies are embracing remote work for the long term and pivoting away from traditional field operations. Forty-four percent of CG leaders are looking to adopt more remote-based retail and field execution technologies in the next 3–5 years.

This includes real-time shelf-monitoring (40%), the Internet of Things (IoT) for merchandising audits (39%), and object and facial detection (37%) to support tasks like shelf audits and planogram compliance.

CG companies looking to adopt the following in 3–5 years


Chapter 4: Investments in B2B digital commerce heat up

Learn about the B2B commerce priorities for CG leaders.

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