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Brick-and-mortar stores remain critical to maintaining brand success and a healthy bottom line in the CPG industry.

Despite the disruptive emergence of e-commerce and digital merchants like Amazon, brick-and-mortar stores remain critical to maintaining brand success and a healthy bottom line in the CPG industry. There’s no replacement for the immediacy that shopping in a physical store provides, and if consumers want to satisfy a particular craving, they don’t want to wait a few days for a delivery to arrive.

To capitalize on brick-and-mortar shoppers and maximize revenue streams, CPG brands need to take a hard look at their in-store display practices. If they don’t consistently review display conditions and monitor merchandising guideline compliance, they could wind up with a disaster on their hands.

Challenges facing the CPG industry

The CPG industry faces several negative factors that impact overall revenue. Beyond the competition presented by e-commerce merchants, CPG companies continue to cope with consumer buying habits that are trending downward. As eMarketer noted, people have generally bought fewer units in the wake of the 2008 recession. Even as the economy has improved, many brands have not seen an improvement in the number of units moved.

In fact, although revenue has increased incrementally over the past several years, industry experts attribute that to cutting costs rather than selling more products. In response, many CPG companies have trimmed back their product lines to focus on well-performing brands. Some have executed rebranding strategies to try and repackage their products for today’s consumers.

The echoes of last decade’s economic woes have drastically changed customer demographics. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, most consumers can be placed into one of two categories: survivalists and selectionists. Survivalists want to get the best value for their dollar and will typically opt for a lower-cost item even if it means a dip in quality. Selectionists, meanwhile, have the income to opt for premium brands. In either case, these customers are often only buying one product at a time.

If shoppers are buying fewer units and being more selective about which products they purchase, then it has never been more important for companies to optimize their in-store displays to feature their brands more prominently and grab the attention of customers.

In-store display merchandising: The missing pieces

Pay attention to product location

Where a product is located on the store shelf can have a subtle, yet profound impact on sales. Items that are placed at eye level are much more likely to catch the attention of shoppers, whereas units sitting on the lowest shelf will fail to catch their attention.

This concept is especially true when consumers are strolling through grocery store aisles that are packed with numerous products. It’s going to be extremely difficult to stand out from the crowd when your product is placed at the lowest point possible. If possible, aim for your products to be placed at eye level.

Increase the units displayed

The number of facings each SKU presents can be a major factor in sales performance.. Ideally, CPG brands should have more units sitting on the shelf than their competitors to avoid being overshadowed. Examine the number of items your competitors are stocking on the shelves, and increase your unit number above that, so your brand is the first to catch shoppers’ eyes.

Ensure your in-store displays meet brand guidelines

Problems arise when store employees fail to comply with brand guidelines regarding how displays are merchandised. Agreements can be very precise, detailing exactly how many facings each SKU should receive and where units are placed on the store shelves. However, it’s not uncommon for these stipulations to go out the window during day-to-day store operations.

To keep stores in compliance with these guidelines, brand field teams need to routinely review retail display conditions and immediately flag any violations they spot. Whether the problem is that specific SKUs are being underrepresented or placed lower than they should be, store managers must be made aware of the problem so they can correct it and reinforce the importance of display guidelines to their staff members.

Streamline in-store display audits with GoSpotCheck

Execution management solutions can be extremely helpful when it comes to optimizing your in-store displays, streamlining field operations so frontline employees can work faster and more efficiently. With the right tools, in-store employees can cover more ground and ensure that retail display best practices are being followed nationwide.

GoSpotCheck can make sure your brand isn’t the victim of a display disaster this year. Give your field teams the power of mobile execution management solutions to keep in-store displays meticulously merchandised. Contact our team of experts to learn more about how GoSpotCheck can help your brand.

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