Structured data is perhaps the most precious of all information.
Companies across the globe have realized the tremendous potential of analytics tools and continue to gobble up as much information as they can—wherever possible. Structured data is perhaps the most precious of all information, because organized data sets offer insights regarding customer preferences, market trends, and in-store execution.
For brands and distributors that rely on traditional retail stores to reach consumers, merchandising analytics can provide some incredibly profound insights into current operations and guide better decision-making processes.
Here are five examples of merchandising analytics in action:
- Closing Voids
A lack of information surrounding in-store shelf stocking can be detrimental. Retail managers always strive to get the most out of their real estate, filling gaps in shelf space with whatever products are available in back rooms. This could mean that if a brand’s particular SKU is completely sold out with no remaining units to replenish stock, a shelf space void will be filled with a competitor’s product.
Rectifying this kind of situation can take several weeks from the time a brand rep notices the issue and alerts store employees to when managers actually place and receive a fresh order. Real-time merchandising analytics help CPG companies avoid losing out on sales by flagging product voids and prompting store managers to replenish sold-out SKUs.
- Battling for Shelf Share
Brand reps often need to advocate for product lines and ensure they are properly represented on store shelves. Retail trends sometimes develop slowly, and store managers may be among the last to respond to changing consumer preferences. Merchandising analytics can provide the data needed to convince store managers to devote more shelf space to high-performing products. If a certain product line performs well with 5 percent shelf share, but only has 3 percent in a specific store, a brand rep can prove—using collected data—that the product line deserves more facings.
With quality merchandising analytics, brands can present compelling arguments to persuade store managers to devote more shelf space to their products and specific SKUs.
- Recognizing Brand Equity
There is sometimes a disconnect between what companies think their brand stands for and how consumers view the same brand. Brand perception changes constantly, and what was once considered a luxury product line can be surpassed by artisanal upstarts. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but recognizing the current state of your brand image is essential to making course corrections.
Reviewing merchandising analytics can bring certain trends to light and help reflect on the overall standing of your brand compared to similar competitors. If your brand image isn’t quite what you imagined it to be, it may be time to review your brand story and consider overhauling your messaging. Merchandising analytics can put you on the road to successful brand rehabilitation, bringing consumer perception issues to the forefront.
- Examining Brand Compliance
CPG companies invest a lot of time and energy into brand guidelines, often without ensuring processes are in place to verify compliance. Store employees may have directives of their own —handed down by retail chain executives. Part of ensuring brand compliance is helping store employees correctly prioritize guidelines and instructions.
Ensuring that each store complies with brand guidelines requires regular display updates and in-person visits. By streamlining the data collection process with mobile platforms and user-friendly dashboards, companies can quickly and easily obtain merchandising analytics to verify current displays, shelf share, and more. Structured data also helps keep business relationships honest and provide a persuasive argument for store managers to combine internal directives with overarching brand guidelines.
Companies can go beyond analyzing shelf conditions and check for compliance with instructions that are focused on the customer experience. Brands such as Crocs want to ensure every one of their customers enjoys the same quality in-store experience, especially when it comes to how staff members present and sell Crocs’ products. A mobile data collection app facilitates how in-store sales associates collect data surrounding brand standards for customer interactions.
- Measuring Marketing Effectiveness
Brands develop new marketing campaigns with the intention to grow sales, but how can brands know that specific ideas gain enough traction with consumers to pay off across different markets and locations? Ground-level metrics and merchandising analytics can shine a light on the relative effectiveness—or lack thereof—of any particular campaign.
Levi’s, for instance, leverages GoSpotCheck’s mobile platform to get a more complete view of its brand footprint, which informs how well existing marketing campaigns engage with consumers. This information provides insight into ongoing trends across different stores and regions, which may show that certain messaging works well in some areas while falling flat in others. You can’t make effective marketing decisions if you don’t have actionable insights from the store level. Merchandising analytics and clear reporting provide the information needed to reshape brand messaging and engage with today’s consumers.
Write your own success story
Despite numerous success stories, some companies struggle to find their footing with analytics strategies. One of the most common reasons for analytics projects not living up to expectations, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, is siloed data. Often, people who need instant information to make quick, effective decisions simply don’t have access to real-time data. As a result, the consulting firm’s researchers estimate that U.S.-based retailers are only capturing 30-40 percent of the value they should from analytics projects.
With the right execution management software, companies can collect and access real-time data. GoSpotCheck’s mobile platform enables frontline employees to quickly gather in-store data and instantaneously share that information with all relevant administrators and stakeholders. With data in hand, business leaders can respond to market changes faster than ever before, and store reps can maximize sales on a local level by ensuring that product lines are given the appropriate amount of space and shelf share.
To find out more, reach out to GoSpotCheck today.