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?’
This post is also available in Italiano