As the battle to win at the shelf intensifies, brands are starting to understand the importance of perfect retail execution. Perfect store execution has always been the key ingredient in achieving sales growth and consumer satisfaction. It is no new fact that people buy what they see. Which is why CPG companies are spending heavily to improve their in-store brand visibility.
How consumers behave between aisles plays a major role in deciding upon important business and sales strategies for CPG brands. With ever-going market research, retailers have understood that consumer behavior is directly proportional to product availability and brand visibility upon the shelf. This makes monitoring shelf presence for brands crucial.
In a previous blog, we discussed the features of a perfect store and how it can be achieved with the help of image recognition technology. In this blog, we discuss four strategies that the biggest CPGs are implementing for attaining perfect retail execution.
1. Give Merchandising Enough Time
As we mentioned earlier, more often than not, shoppers buy what is easily visible to their eyes. Their buying decisions are a combination of what they plan to buy and what is available on the shelf. So, how much time retailers spend on their merchandising directly influences their sales rate. Presentation matters a lot, especially when it comes to modern trade systems.
In a survey, it was found that as much as 44% of retailers use manual methods for in-store audits and measuring compliance
Although several modern techniques have been introduced in the retail market for conducting market research and store auditing, most retailers are still stuck with traditional approaches. Manual auditing methods are error-prone and easily subjected to human bias. They are inaccurate and cost a lot of money as well. There is tremendous scope for companies to save costs and time with more advanced solutions like image recognition and object detection. Tools enabled with image recognition technology, like ShelfWatch, can free up 60 percent of sales reps’ auditing time and allow them to focus on selling activities.
2. Every SKU is Important; Leave None Behind
With thousands of products distributed across an ever-increasing store universe, maintaining brand health takes a lot of time and effort. Gathering knowledge about shelf presence or ensuring products are in the right location on a massive scale is something that cannot be achieved through traditional methods.
But automated image recognition solutions like ShelfWatch can accurately identify and analyze every individual SKU across all stores. In a study, it was found that a large FMCG manufacturer saw up to 20% variance when they used image recognition instead of manual methods while measuring share of shelf. This is an essential increase when it comes to strategizing for perfect retail execution.
3. Reward Sales Reps Based on Retail Execution Performance
The lack of reliable store data means there’s no proper way for companies to track and identify good execution performance and reward the reps accordingly. The existing data collection methods tend to be inaccurate and vulnerable to biases. Image recognition solutions provide instant insights that allow merchandising managers to track the reps’ execution performance withing minutes of capturing images.
ShelfWatch’s mobile app works on real-time data quality-check by immediately notifying the sales reps in cases of blurry images. It also supports automated geo-tracking to find the nearby store previously entered by the field staff to curtail the manual addition of the store each time sales reps go to gather data. Also, as soon as the reps upload the images, the merchandising managers get instant insights regarding retail execution. They also get alerts on product availability and OOS in time to take instant corrective measures.
4. Use Insights to Boost Shelf Value
With instant, real-time monitoring techniques, brands can gain a fresh perspective on what’s influencing their customers’ buying decisions between the aisles. Required measures can also be implemented in case of OOS, assortment and placement errors, etc.
Merchandising managers can also keep track of promotional displays and gather shelf-wise data to calculate individual shelf value. This would help then categorize shelves from lowest to highest priority with respect to taking corrective measures. Ultimately, this would help brands achieve desired compliance and retail execution.
Instilling a perfect store mindset and using image recognition tools such as ShelfWatch is the ultimate strategy that CPG companies can use to win the war of achieving perfect retail execution.
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