From “simple Retailers” to “Innovator Retailers”: how is the field reacting to Digital Transformation?

Although it is still early days for digitization in Retail, it seems that Retailers are now at the forefront when it comes to Digital Transformation and the adoption of end-to-end systems that are integrated with Cloud software.

We have already discussed the impact of technological progress on the Retail industry on a number of occasions. The Emerging Opportunities to Deploy Industry Processes in the Cloud study carried out by Forrester Consulting for SAP has now provided us with numbers that paint a picture of the results achieved by those who have embraced Digital Transformation.

87% of the 135 companies examined in nine different countries have planned or made significant investments in end-to-end and cloud software.

 

What results have been seen?

“Innovator retailers” is the name given to retailers who have chosen to use a combination of types of smart technology to achieve their digital transformation goals, investing in the digital consumer supply chain, smarter distribution technologies and consumer centricity.

81% of these companies now have a 55% edge over Competitors that have been “left behind”.

97% of “innovator retailers” also say that the quality of the services that they provide has improved, while 93% believe that they are more competitive and claim that they can attain better results thanks to the integration of Cloud software in their systems.


How?

The most significant forms of technology are unquestionably the Internet of Things, Machine Learning and Real-time analysis. More than 92% of companies feel that moving end-to-end processes to the Cloud could enhance the digitization capacity of the entire Retail system.

It seems that the Cloud is deemed to play a crucial part in the digital priorities of Retailers and that they are prepared to invest even more in order to improve all of their processes: from purchasing to sales.

 

After all, the benefits are plain to see. Now all that’s left to do is work out how to optimize these resources in order to enhance their performance, although we’re sure that the future has some big surprises in store.

Would you like to discover more? Read also Digital Transformation and Italian Retailers

Unconventional Field Marketing, Unconventional Corporation, Unconventional Team: check out the corporate video!

The thing that makes Pardgroup S.p.A. stand out from all of the other players in the market is unquestionably its unconventional approach.
For instance, over the years we have established unconventional relationships with our Clients, our Suppliers and all of the Staff and Partners who work in our offices on a daily basis. We wanted to share with you some pictures of the passion and dedication that all of us at Pardgroup show every day as we strive to provide unbeatable services for everyone who chooses to work with us. Portrayed in the pictures are our offices, our routine and our faces. It goes without saying that we hope you like them!

Watch the full video and all of the clips on our YouTube channel!

Meet Pardgroup’s Business Intelligence department!

To fully meet Clients’ needs, Pardgroup uses specialist Data Management and Dashboard Analysis professionals who form its Business Intelligence Department (BI).

The Team’s goal is to allow brands to develop strategies based on meaningful, accurate and up-to-date information. To constantly achieve this goal, Pardgroup offers ad hoc designed solutions according to specific needs and for various company areas: marketing, communication and finance.

The services offered are:

Data Warehouse
The storage of data generated by various IT systems (production, sales, accounting, R&D, CRM, etc.) on Big Data databases and platforms.

Data Transformation
The processing of information collected in the database and the control, automation, measurement and analysis of company performances.

Data Visualization
A user-friendly graphic layout for dynamic dashboards, statistics and indicators that are always up-to-date.

What are the advantages of receiving this type of support?

The automation of analysis processes and company reporting and the constant, uniform measurement of information let you carefully assess improvements and critical areas where you need to focus your efforts. Management can therefore speed up decision-making processes and make them more goal-oriented.

To continuously achieve excellent results, the Pardgroup Team monitors personal and company KPIs and uses interactive Performance Dashboards with carefully designed graphics. This allows it to optimise data usability and to make the data multi-device friendly (usable on a PC, tablet and smartphone).

Pharma Trade: Pardgroup gets in on the evolution of the pharmacy channel too

The world leader in the distribution of health and well-being products has landed in Italy with three new stores.

Among the suppliers, Pardgroup has supported the new openings with the creation of planograms in the Pharmacy channel to complete what the Company offers for the Trade.

Planograms are an essential business tool: allocating and optimising the position of off-the-shelf products and their categories is vital for the success of in-store sales. You therefore need to trust a reliable partner who has already gained this expertise in other markets.

The work carried out for the major pharmacy chain is part of a pool of Pardgroup services, providing complete consultancy in the Trade, partly thanks to the support of Business Intelligence specialists who can gather data from stores and sales channels, then analyse and aggregate it to make it meaningful for the Client. Based on this data, Pardgroup then makes planograms, implements them in store and develops merchandising activities thanks to the Field Force working all across the region.

 

Pardgroup is therefore the only partner that can offer integrated consultancy to its Clients, including in the Pharma channel now too.

Read also Field Marketing: which services should we offer today?

Pardgroup Field marketing

Field Marketing: which services should we offer today?

Beyond their relevant sector or channel, all companies are interested in boosting sales of products and services, ensuring the right visibility for the Brand and optimising sales space, a place where Brand, Retail and Shopper meet.

The Pardgroup Field Marketing Services department offers many services to meet the needs of every Customer: from space mapping to store clustering, from stock optimisation to rack jobbing, from visual merchandising to in-store price checking, from drawing up planograms and display criteria to automatic replenishment, fittings and maintenance to both one-to-one and group sales staff training.

Furthermore, thanks to the know-how and constant collaboration between the Project Managers and developers from the Business Intelligence department, this department has developed innovative Data Visualization platforms for all types of customers and target channels that can aggregate and provide sell-in and sell-out information.

See also: Pardgroup’s Field Marketing Services department is about more than just merchandising!

aretail pardgroup vending machines

The first ARetail vending machine is here

Italy’s first vending machine for consumer electronics all by ARetail has been installed at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. Thanks to the development of new technology, vending machines guarantee consumers a complete multichannel experience and can offer products inside the vending machine and the entire online catalogue, letting you finalise the sale through the touch monitor and cashless payment systems on the vending machine. The possibility of remotely monitoring sales and the inventory of the products in the vending machine, together with the option of quickly updating prices, pictures and videos, lets you offer solutions in real time both to consumers, with a range of products and prices that is always up to date, and to suppliers thanks to prompt reporting. The project was made possible by the agreements signed with the biggest telephone and IT producers/distributors who sell products by Apple, Huawei, Samsung, CellularLine, Celly, SBS, SanDisk, Tucano, Fit Bit and Kaspersky. The connectivity was managed with D-LINK’s support. The customisation of the vending machine required several months of tests and work by various engineers, but thanks to the partnership with Nuova Pordenonese Bevande srl, ARetail managed to create an easily adjustable vending machine, which can manage over 60 products and accommodate items of different weights and sizes. Finally, thanks to the close agreement with Pardgroup SpA for handling refills all across Italy, this project with telephone and IT accessories will be scalable in all the biggest cities in Italy and is open to all managers who want to benefit from ARetail’s experience in this specific sector.

 

mistery shopper pardgroup

Mystery shopping: when to use it?

The quality of the service or product proposed and the attention paid to the consumer’s needs are discriminating factors in an increasingly competitive market for companies interested in retaining their customers.

This is what triggers the importance of using a mystery shopping activity for a company. On the one hand, it allows the Brand to weigh the performance of the personnel involved, and on the other, you can understand how much the actions of your company are in line with real desires and needs of the Customers.

The mystery shopping activity proposed by the In-Store Promotion Department of Pardgroup will let your Company understand the perceived value of your Brand and of the products offered or services supplied through a qualitative analysis of the shopping experience.

A shaped and prepared mystery shopping activity allows you to assess the customer experience of your loyal and potential Customers through the monitoring of the employees’ behaviour, the perception of product quality, the positioning of the products in the shop and the in-store visual merchandising activity, in addition to the overall satisfaction of the Customer.

Assessment of the customer experience in fact aims at understanding the reasons for buying or renouncing. Mystery shopping can also support field-marketing strategies thanks to the interpretation of your Brand from the customer’s perspective. This will let you gain an advantage on the next product launches and positioning on the market.

So when do you use it?

  • To measure the competitive strength of your company, how your Brand is perceived.
  • To assess any weaknesses, recognise them and deal with them.
  • To know the customer, assess their needs, desires and opinions.
  • To assess how the in-store staff (your first customers!) approach consumers.

 

Innovating your methods and updating the quality of the products and services supplied may not be easy. And so, the mystery shopping activity can give you a real competitive edge on the market.

Read more

‘Let’s find out more about Pardgroup’s Promotor Division’

‘In-store product promotion’

Business intelligence _big data_ pardgroup

Artificial intelligence and big data analytics

Marketing is one of the areas of business that is keenest to venture into the field of artificial intelligence, partly due to the constant progress in digitization and partly because of the importance of always keeping a step ahead of big Brands, which now have the capacity to gather details about their customers both in stores and online. The crucial factor that can really give you an edge is being capable of analysing this vast amount of information – known as Big Data – and ensuring that Companies can understand and utilize it all.

Research by the Italian Artificial Intelligence Marketing Observatory that was promoted by the IULM University Executive Master in Data Management & Business Analytics (DMBA) programme has revealed that while 75% of Italian companies claim to be aware of the Marketing potential of AI, very few of them use sophisticated solutions for Big Data analytics. There are a number of reasons for this, including: a lack of economic resources, poor knowledge of the tools available, and a shortage of people with qualifications in the field. Meanwhile, the other organizations continue to see Artificial Intelligence as something rather futuristic. They have little or no understanding of its strategic significance for market competitiveness.

Pardgroup’s has an in-house professional team of Data Management and Dashboard Analysis specialists (Business Intelligence) who can cater to the needs of some of the companies that are most interested in analysing the data of their customers, so that they can get to know them better throughout all of the stages in the purchasing process and offer an increasingly optimized response to their requirements. Essentially, the goal is to “make sense of data”. That means providing companies with precise, up-to-date and significant information so that they can make strategic decisions. The Pardgroup BI team can offer its Clients versatile, customized solutions in all areas of business, including marketing, sales and finance.

In Store Promotion pardgroup

In-store product promotion

When consumers look for information about products and Brands, they want to be involved in shopping experiences that go beyond simple items or services.

How can Brands create successful in-store campaigns?

During in-store promotion initiatives, it is crucial for Brands to make direct contact with consumers, engaging them with informative and entertaining activities. Consequently, traditional product promotion efforts are often complemented with schemes to communicate directly with people, which make them feel closer to Brands while also boosting awareness and consequently sell-out levels.

In order to achieve this, it is necessary to set precise objectives and have a widespread presence throughout the area in question, as well as proficient, professional staff with training and qualifications in the fields of promotion and sales techniques.

This helps to ensure that campaigns create interest among consumers and achieve their sales targets, regardless of whether the focus is on a niche or mass market, a small town or an entire country.

Pardgroup’s In-Store Promotion department has an in-house team that organizes campaigns both in store and out. They are available seven days a week.

In addition to promotions inside and outside stores, the professional members of Pardgroup’s team specialize in activities such as Mystery shopping, Leafleting and Incentive competitions.

All figures such as Promoters, Hostesses, Stewards and models are selected for their specific skills, placed under contract and trained for each promotion campaign. The activities are supported by POP and permanent materials, merchandise, free gifts and dedicated logistics.

Furthermore, Pardgroup’s In-Store Promotion department has a proprietary daily sales data collection and analysis platform, so that it can update its Clients every day. In addition, the weekly results can be compared with the sell-out graphs provided by the distribution chains. Pardgroup also has a proprietary geolocation app that can be used to track in-store staff and guarantee that they work at the times and on the days agreed with the Client, in full compliance with the Law.

 

Pardgroup_shopping experience

How can we support in-store customer experience?

In these days we have talked about space and relations between the actors involved in merchandising. How do we use the retail mix in a strategic and unified way?

In addition to optimum merchandising at the point of sale – aimed at improving order, availability and clarity – it’s necessary to help the consumer find what they are looking for and above all to develop their loyalty. How? Here are some ideas: invest in a sell-out person such as the store execution manager; put time into sales staff training with the help of a brand ambassador; enhance display space quality with installations and customised content; enhance additional displays and areas for impulse purchases.

Remember, however, that quality category management requires an integrated use of display space and logistics services. Logistics, dealing with staff functions, is sometimes overlooked, but it is a significant factor in the success of the set-up and preparation aspects of promotions. It must therefore be carefully planned, monitored and given strategic importance.

Apart from promotions, what would the shopper want to find at the point of sale? Being well-used to price wars and taking keen note of price reduction labels, the consumer is now increasingly looking for a rewarding purchase experience. If we look at this requirement in terms of category management, then the suggestion is to think not merely of the shelf, but rather to concentrate efforts on marking out additional spaces that are designed to increase brand awareness and that are properly structured for product tests. Display simplicity underpinned by the ‘more is less‘ philosophy, offering the right assortment and dedicated service.

One idea for improvement can be borrowed from the management approach of the online channels – the offer of fast choices and a varied assortment; but this is obviously difficult to implement in-store. So to get round this, trade should invest in category-specific dynamics to offer a more efficient, informative and gratifying customer experience that will help develop and retain end consumer loyalty. Focusing on speed and quality of purchase to counteract e-commerce is the new challenge for traditional channels.

How can we achieve all this in practice? Pardgroup can offer support at the sell-out stage, monitor the quality and replenishment of display spaces with customised set-ups, train sales staff and brand ambassadors, and help grow an ever more dynamic and rewarding customer experience that develops consumer loyalty and brand awareness.

Read also ‘Category management: what are the issues?