The rapidly changing retail world demand the adoption of technology in the everyday life thus establishing the importance of retail execution solutions
The ascent of SaaS has inspired companies world over to establish such solutions that provide instant, useful insights and pave way for assessing and implementing new execution strategies. These strategies, in turn, improve brand presence and uplift sales. The rapid changes occurring in the retail world demand the adoption of technology into everyday processes; thus establishing the importance of using retail execution solutions to their maximum potential.
But merely using solutions is not enough. There are brands adopting technological approach for optimizing their perfect store and they are winning at it by
- Providing technology and tools to streamline and simplify retail execution
- Guiding sales reps with the steps and best practices to achieve their store targets
- Empowering field reps with data and tools to engage store managers with valuable information
In this blog, we discuss the four most important features every retail execution solution must have to help Consumer Product Goods (CPG) comapnies achieve their perfect store.
1. Image Recognition/Object Detection for Retail Execution
Before the technological boom, merchandising managers had to rely upon field reps for gathering in-store information. This information was often inaccurate because of personal biases and lack of proper instructions. But this gap can be filled if managers have images of the shelves that provide them with direct insight into what's happening on the shelves. This is possible with image recognition.
Image recognition is an advanced trait that can automatically detect Key Performance Indicators (KPIs ) like: out-of-stock, empty spaces, share of shelf, share of visible inventory, planogram compliance, and also competitor strategy at the store level. Image recognition uses machine learning technology and is capable of scanning even the minutest of details on the shelf and analyzing it with pre-defined KPIs and compliance metrics.
2. Sales Reps Management
Data collection is one of the most significant steps of the retail execution process. Field reps play a crucial role in data collection. That is why this feature is critical and should be a part of every effective retail execution solution.
It helps CPGs track their field rep activity as well as assign stores and optimize routes. The manufacturer can use Point of Sale (POS) data to determine the next store that deserves attention and set a remedial course to improve sales. The reps can also review POS data before arriving at the store and set a plan, identifying the most important tasks to perform in the store.
3. Data Visualization and Analytical Dashboard
Data visualization is important for everyone from the top-level to sales reps to in-store staff. Every retail execution tool must possess business and retail intelligence as part of their solution. It should be able to create and measure KPIs and analyze trends in order to make necessary changes in the business strategies.
Analytics dashboards are the most efficient way to measure individual or collective performance in the retail industry. Through it, insights on sales, merchandising, promotions, and shopper experience can be gained. Implementing an intelligent analytics dashboard in your retail execution solution is guaranteed to provide growth to the business.
4. GeoTagging and Mapping Integration
GeoTagging and mapping features facilitate the approach where the decision-maker can identify and pin particular stores that require improvement. They can then go over the strategies and take necessary actions. Automated GeoTagging can also help sales reps easily find and locate the store near them which would make the process of data collection faster.
This feature is helpful when it comes to sales rep management. It can help track their route activity to ensure they are adhering to the plan and strategy.
ShelfWatch- The Perfect Retail Execution Solution
ParallelDots shelf monitoring tool ShelfWatch helps retailers achieve the desired in-store execution and compliance with the help of image recognition technology.
It first prepares the Master Data where criteria for KPIs is defined. This is followed by ShelfWatch's proprietary one image SKU training.
Moreover, ShelfWatch's data collection app gives near real-time retail KPI feedback using image analysis and deep learning. It makes it easy to collect images that are directly transferred to the ShelfWatch cloud/algorithm that detects Point of Sales Material (POSM) and Stock Keeping Units (SKUs ).
ShelfWatch's User Interface (UI) is exceptionally user-friendly. Multiple users can do data collection for the same project, making the process quick and uncomplicated. It also solves the major problem of data quality because it works on real-time image quality check. In case of blurry images, it notifies the sales rep of the same.
ShelfWatch has automated geo-tracking to find the nearby stores previously entered by the field staff. This curtails the manual addition of the store each time sales reps go to gather data.
ShelfWatch also provides a detailed Insights dashboard for the brands to monitor the latest trends. The dashboard provides competitive analysis by Counts, Presence, and Shelf area covered by SKUs and POSMs. It helps understand brand presence across all the stores along with geographical breakdown over a map overlay.
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