Brands are aware that they should place an emphasis on strong retail execution so that their products can stand out on the shelf.
It is no longer enough to simply sell your products. The retail sector of today requires brands and merchandisers to have an in-depth knowledge of customer profiles, their wants and needs, and their shopping habits.
Learning all of this should be used to create a great retail experience for them. This means you have to make sure you plan out your retail execution as organised and as efficiently as possible so that you can achieve great results from your products.
What is Retail Execution?
Retail execution describes all of the activities that have to be performed by brands at point of sales which are aimed at increasing conversions. Your retail execution strategy is directly linked to your sales success.
Retail execution aims to place the right product on the right shelf at the right time. Some activities that cover this include shelf merchandising, order replenishment, store audits, trade promotions, and more.
Why is Retail Execution Important?
Here are 2 important reasons that show why retail execution is important:
They help strengthen your brand in retail locations.
In an environment where consumers love to seek experiences, retail stores can provide brands with another crucial opportunity to tell their story to a customer and to give them an experience with their brand.
This places an emphasis on how you should plan out your retail execution in stores. It is important for brands to have a great execution plan so that consumers will react favorably when they see your product and your brand in a store.
Luckily for brands, there are merchandising apps that have a lot of features to support field reps in monitoring your retail shelves and making sure that your retail execution is on point in all stores. (Check out 7 Reasons Why Brands and Distributors Should Use A Merchandising App)
Monitoring your store shelves in real-time by taking photos of the shelves, comparing them to your planograms, taking stock of merchandise, and making sure retailers never run low on your products is not just good for inventory tracking, but also helps you check if your retail execution is being followed.
Your displays and promotions convey your brand image, so it is crucial that those ideas and values are perfectly executed in-store. Mobile merchandising apps can guide your field reps to follow best practices in store so that your retail execution goals can be achieved in each outlet.
They help you gain actionable sales insights.
Merchandising activities that stem from your retail execution plans provide brands with updated reporting on the status of your product’s inventory, sell-through data, competitive information, and many more.
This data is valuable as it can provide you with actionable and tangible insights that can help you improve your retail execution.
8 Retail Execution Tips Every Brand and Merchandiser Should Know
1. Create a strong relationship with your retailers.
Creating a strong relationship with retailers is a key component of successful retail execution. Strong relationships will help you negotiate for more and better shelf space with retailers.
Since retailers are charging brands based on the amount of space they want on a shelf, it is important that you should be trustworthy and reliable so that they can be assured that your products will bring in high returns for them.
2. Build clear support plans.
Building clear plans for how to create a high demand for your products is an effective way to show retailers that they will not be wasting their time and budget on your brand’s products. These support plans include how you will avoid stocking problems like product returns and shortages.
Preparing a plan and having a system in place to regularly check on your product displays and stocking helps reassure retailers and lets them know that you are fully committed to their store.
3. Create packaging that can immediately grab the attention of consumers.
The packaging of your product can often be underestimated in terms of its importance in retail execution. However, every brand should have in-depth discussions and considerations on how you want your packaging to look like.
When thinking about packaging, it will heavily depend on what type of product it is and what would be most appealing to your target audience.
Packaging is not just important for attracting potential customers, but it can also be crucial for retailers as well. Retailers will be more confident placing your products on their shelves if they come in creative and eye-catching packaging because more people will be interested in it.
4. Compete for a good position for your products.
It is important for you to nail down the details of your retail execution once you have a solid relationship with a retailer, like thinking about the position of your products in their store.
Fighting for great shelf placement is a crucial part of your retail execution and should be one of the first points of negotiation. Shelf placement is so important that it can make or break your product.
5. Make sure to have solid store displays and avoid out-of-stocks.
Preventing empty shelves and unavailable products is crucial to making sure that your customers are satisfied with your products.
If they see that your products are not on the shelf, they may leave and find something else even if you may still have additional stock in the back.
This is why it is important that your inventory is always updated and that there are no holes left on your shelves. Your displays and signages have to be clear, consistent, and accurate for customers and employees.
When you can create and organise a great shelf display as part of your retail execution plan, the customer, the retailer, and your brand all win.
6. Use and capitalize on the use of in-store promotions.
While your shelf placement and product packaging are extremely important, one effective way of optimizing your retail execution is by having in-store promotions for your products.
Floor stickers, hanging signs, and window posters are great examples of effective in-store promotions that can attract consumers that are already engaged.
7. Monitor your promotions by using different kinds of data.
Just as previously mentioned, promotions are an important part of a brand and store’s success. However, it is not a sure thing to get great returns for every promotion.
A high return can only come if these promotions are correctly executed. To better analyse the effectiveness of these promotional campaigns, it is important for you to use and review different types of crucial data.
While point of sale information can be useful, brands, retailers, and sales associates should focus on qualitative and experiential data to take full advantage of promotions and learn about what works well for customers.
You should take note of things like how visible your display was when customers entered the store, if people were stopping to look at your displays, and if they were asking questions about it.
Once you have monitored different kinds of data from your promotion efforts, you will be in a much better position to make your future promotions even better.
8. Use the best tools for you and your field reps.
To make sure that your field reps can efficiently do their jobs and make your retail execution as great as it can be, they have to use the best retail tools.
Mobile merchandising apps can make the entire retail audit process smoother because of the various features that are included in it. Great merchandising apps can provide these main features to its users:
- Workforce Tracking – this helps managers see where field reps are at all times when they are on duty. This helps them monitor all employee interactions and create team accountability for all members.
- Mobile Forms – merchandising apps provide field reps with a way to track their interactions with customers and manage their communications between them and the office. Having customised forms can make it easier for field reps as they can quickly complete unique jobs.
- Communication and Team Collaboration – These apps can also be an information hub because it allows reps to message anyone in the team instantly and to post important announcements.
If you are looking for a mobile merchandising app that can help you with your retail execution, then you should have a look at the Optim Merchandising app.
Optim Merchandising has a lot of different features that can help you and your field reps gather important information and data which you will need to plan out an organised and effective retail execution plan.