As we enter the new year, most brands want to know how to refresh their retail execution strategy to drive sales. The indulgent festive season is over. And the surge of in–store sales has gone with it. For brands, this can bring on a strong case of the January blues. So, what’s the solution? With the right merchandising strategy, you can win consumer attention at point of purchase, drive sales and improve brand loyalty.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted life as we know it. While there is hope on the horizon for combating the virus, it’s likely that things will never return to ‘normal’. This includes the retail industry. We have witnessed dynamic changes across stores in the UK, with new shopping behaviours and consumer trends arising.
Long-term commercial impacts of the pandemic, alongside a post-seasonal drop in sales, can make it especially difficult for retailers to stay on top of their execution.
This requires extra effort from all angles. Unfortunately, stores don’t always have the resources to execute merchandising strategies perfectly and maximise sales of brands in-store, while doing everything else.
That’s where field marketing teams like Logobrand can help. We give brands the edge against competition by delivering excellent merchandising and retail execution programmes. Our field marketing teams can help drive sales in–store by ensuring retailer compliance, on-shelf availability and visibility at point of purchase.
How can a retail execution strategy help your brand?
- Improve customer experience and brand loyalty
- Increase in–store conversion rates and maximise sales at point of purchase
- Become more agile, reactive and competitive
We’ve put together our top tips on retail execution to help your brand kick–start 2021:
1. Identify and fix issues or opportunities in-store with field marketing representatives.
The aftermath of the festive period can present several problems for retailers, from low stock and availability gaps to promotional fatigue and Planogram chaos. Field marketing representatives are a hugely valuable resource, helping brands to get their foot on the gas for a speedy start to the new year. Field representatives lend a much–needed hand to retailers and give brands important in-store insights.
Whether you want to maximise sales at point of purchase, improve product visibility or check on-shelf availability, a skilled field representative will know exactly what actions to take to benefit your brand. Not only will this improve retailer execution and implement merchandising strategies, it will be a cost-effective and efficient solution to reach your sales potential.
Logobrand’s field marketing representatives are experts at delivering effective retail merchandising execution strategies, working with real-time data to quickly and efficiently to find opportunities or fix problems. We’ll deploy a skilled field representative to assess retailer compliance, targeting specific stores that need an extra pair of hands.
Store visits are great ways to audit overall store performance and give teams extra coaching and training, but they aren’t enough alone to constitute monitoring. Additionally, with COVID-19 impacts, face-to-face contact has been limited.
Technology and remote EPOS data monitoring can really help to fill the gaps, providing fast, efficient and reliable in-store data. This brings us on to our next point...
2. Optimise merchandising software to access real-time and actionable insights across stores
Gaps in on-shelf visibility, low stock and underperforming promotions are all issues that can be easily identified and resolved with the right technology & methodology. However, few brands have access to advanced analytics. Outdated data collection methods and software can reduce efficiency, increase costs and lead to missed opportunities.
With real-time data insights, you can keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening inside stores. From managing promotional performance and compliance to identifying distribution points with stock or sales issues affecting availability, data software is a fundamental tool for your merchandising execution strategy. Effective software used in conjunction with an expert field marketing team will enable fast resolutions to problems and reduce downtime. In turn, this will strengthen your planning efficiency, boost sales and improve execution.
At Logobrand, technology is a key part of providing value to our clients. Our approach is not ‘one size fits all’. We offer a bespoke field brief, tailored to each specific store and the ranged item within that store. Our Availability Manager System, for instance, is an in-house data-crunching tool that provides real-time data, analysing your retailer EPOS data daily (ranging, stock and sales) along with field-captured data. From there, we develop SKU level objectives for the field team to assess, and action – fixing problems and exploiting opportunities. This gives your brand’s execution strategy the best chance of success without incurring extra costs.
3. Clear communication is key to an effective merchandising execution strategy
A constant stream of accessible and streamlined communication between brands and retailers is crucial to delivering an in-store execution strategy.
If communication breaks down, even slightly, it can disrupt everything from execution planning and merchandising promotions to brand knowledge and retail compliance. Retail workers might not have adequate resources or know how to comply with directives. Additionally, brands may be unaware of questions, concerns and issues that need attention in–store. This can result in lost sales and declining customer loyalty.
How can you optimise communication so you don’t miss opportunities?
- Set clear brand guidelines and standards in stores to raise brand awareness
- Optimise technology for ease of communication between brands and retail stores. Engage remotely and access real-time data insights with the support of an agile field marketing team
- Deploy field representatives into stores to communicate directly and fix problems on the spot
Engagement and communication are required across the board to drive sales and maintain customer loyalty in the new year. To find out how Logobrand can support your brand with retail merchandising execution in 2021, please get in touch.
4. Prioritise health and safety to make customers feel at ease and return
As we mentioned in our previous blog ‘4 ways the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped retail’, one-third of shoppers were concerned about health and safety in-store.
Customer experience has become more important than ever for maintaining brand loyalty. Above anything else, retailers must instil a sense of confidence and security before customers even walk through the doors.
Implementing social distancing measures, strict rules on masks and communicating empathetically are essential for customers to feel safe and to return. However, on-shelf visibility and availability are also crucial to deliver a safe and satisfactory customer experience.
As more customers have reduced their shopping trips, when they do leave the house, they want to avoid crowded aisles and out–of–stock essential items. What does this mean for retailers? Firstly, high-demand items must be appropriately placed to allow ample space for customers to view and make their purchasing choices, and secondly, shelves must be well-stocked without availability gaps. Traditional retail merchandising strategies, such as placing higher–value lines at eye level and taking every opportunity to diversify and showcase multiple lines, will become irrelevant if shoppers feel unsafe.
An effective retail merchandising strategy must take into account new shopping trends in order to improve customer experience and brand loyalty. If shoppers feel unsafe in-store, it is likely they will shop elsewhere. Field marketing teams can support brands with their in-store execution by maintaining stock levels and availability, improving in-store visibility and making stores COVID-19 secure. With our help, you can get geared up for the new year to meet the expectations of safety-aware shoppers and in turn, lifts sales.
Want to find out more about how your brand can benefit from field marketing in 2021? Have a chat with our team about gaining tailored support to deliver retail execution.
As an award-winning field marketing agency with over 30 years of experience, we are experts in driving sales at point of purchase and helping you reach your sales potential. We are dedicated to providing value to our clients wherever possible, developing strong relationships to help grow sales and brands awareness. Speak to a member of our team to discuss your business needs today.