Effective retail merchandising is key to the success of consumer goods products. Creating the right environment for a product is all about effective retail audits: making sure that everything about a product’s presence in retail is optimum for influencing a consumer to buy. Companies have to ensure their products are in stock, that they are positioned in all of the agreed-upon locations, that all scheduled promotions are running and properly advertised, and that the each product looks appealing on the shelf. To have an effective retail execution strategy, it is imperative that field team managers follow these three steps:
Plan Your Team
Your first priority should be to focus on your team: it needs to be organized and well run. Your field merchandising team is representing you, your product, and your entire company. You need to be sure that you have hired the right makeup of people to do this. Then, you need to train these field reps and ensure that they are receiving feedback while in the field. In addition, you need to map out which territories will belong to which reps. Make sure each client will receive adequate attention from your reps!
Have the Right Tools
Having a well thought-out field team is useless if your reps can’t efficiently do their jobs. Often, the solutions used in the office will be irrelevant to your field team. Having the proper retail audit software will make the entire retail audit process smoother. Great software will provide the following services to its users:
Workforce Tracking: Managers who can see where their field reps are at all times will be able to monitor their employee interactions and create team accountability.
Mobile Forms: Giving field reps a way to track their interactions with customers or manage other aspects of their job is vital to keeping communications strong between the office and the field. Businesses should look for mobile workforce management software that allows customized forms, so that each unique job can be quickly completed and accounted for.
Communication and Team Collaboration: Water cooler chats and mutual lunch breaks are not a part of the field-team work day. Missing out on both casual chatter and business talk stops any tip-sharing or leading by example among field-based teams. A solution which allows reps to instant message with each other and post announcements will offer far more than software that doesn’t.
Measure, Analyze, and Adjust
Adaptability is key for a retail execution plan. You need to be constantly analyzing your outcomes in order to find what works, what snags you’re hitting, and what simply doesn’t work. As you collect data via retail audit software, don't just glance at it. Make sure you really thoroughly understand what’s happening: look for trends and patterns, and understand what is causing them. Then, make adjustments based on the data. You can never measure or analyze too much!
With a retail execution plan based off these three points, your company will absolutely be able to keep up with how quickly your product flies off the shelves! You will have phenomenal relationships with your retailers, and the results will show in your numbers.
Molly Brogie is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly with a passion for innovation. She is committed to providing readers with informative and engaging material. Molly is a self proclaimed gym-junkie, and loves Shakespeare.