Improving sales is a common goal within the retail industry—

complicated by an abundance of challenges. Shelves are cluttered and over populated with products; inventory levels are unstable, and events like product launches are poorly executed. Sales suffer because products are getting lost on shelves, so consumers can’t easily find desired products. As a result, brands are struggling to stand out and differentiate themselves.

The larger product development process, ending with in-store retail execution has many components. Brands begin with research, product creation, market testing and analyzing predicted revenue. Then, after sales teams spend a significant amount of time striking the right contract terms, brands hand over their products to retail buyers—the last step before the products reach consumers. The assets, product information, planograms and marketing material that brands give retail partners is crucial for proper retail execution.

By arming field reps and retail partners with the proper tools, brands increase compliance with retail execution guidelines. While anticipating approval, brands should base their plans on in-store feasibility and retailer capabilities so that execution will be easier and more timely. Also, retail execution needs to be measurable. Establish metrics and performance standards, and ensure communication to field teams who are responsible for touching base with retailers. Progressive companies rely on mobile technology solutions for retail data collection, analysis and collaboration. A software application that displays aggregated data clearly will illuminate ways in which a brand can improve retail execution and stand out from the competition.

The appropriate technology tool will enlighten retail partners in a similar way—inviting collaboration with field representatives who can help resolve out-of-stock issues, correct inaccurate product tags and so forth. A productive working relationship between a brand and retailer will increase the potential of a clear value proposition. Well thought-out retail execution is the final step to differentiating your brand and product.

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