Retail Excellence

How to Perfect In-Store Execution: NRF Big Ideas Session 2023

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Brick-and-mortar stores have taken over as the hub for record-breaking omnichannel sales.

More than 122 million people visited stores over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2022, up 17% from the previous year, according to National Retail Federation (NRF) research.

Meanwhile, consumers’ expectations are on the rise as they seek frictionless experiences in a world of disruptions. Today’s omnichannel consumers expect to be able to find in-store what they have researched online prior to their visit, raising the stakes on replenishment speed and quality.

At the NRF-hosted “Retail’s Big Show” in January, Movista’s Chief Customer Officer Eric Wilson sat down with Brian Buckner of The Reese Group to discuss how retail leaders and service providers can work together to overcome today’s operational challenges and attain perfect in-store execution.

Below are a few key takeaways from their session called Hindsight is not 20/20: How to perfect in-store execution for 100% OSA.


Eric Wilson and Brian Buckner


Out-of-Stocks are Out-of-Hand

In 2021, U.S. grocery retailers lost billions in sales due to out-of-stocks across product segments, according to NielsenIQ. However, while the supply chain has been unpredictable as of late, the majority of stock-outs are caused by poor execution, not supply chain shortages. Exceptional execution is critical to avoiding a negative experience for customers with an immediate impact—when they can’t get what they need or want, and they leave the store.

But that’s easier said than done. Running a physical store was complex before adding omnichannel into the mix. Store managers must not only orchestrate their own team’s work but coordinate with a variety of third-party field teams, from service providers to distributors and CPG.

Store leaders are highly dependent on third parties to execute work to a high standard in stores, which becomes especially important for fast-moving items like daily essentials and fresh food. A platform like Movista, however, can give store leaders more visibility and control over in-store work activity.

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The Right Technology Makes All the Difference

Applying technology to ease communication between these various store and service teams offers one of the best opportunities retail and service teams have to ensure maximum employee productivity, on-shelf availability, and customer satisfaction.

Most stores use spreadsheets to track complex operations, Buckner said in the Big Ideas session. This approach doesn’t scale when it comes to just-in-time communication between service providers and store managers and their teams about OSA, promotions, and merchandising.

Neither do text messages, said Buckner, when it comes to requesting a third-party service provider to visit a retail location. While they want employees’ jobs to be easier, and texting is simple, text messages can’t be adequately tracked or audited and present many compliance issues (not to mention the unorganized nature of texts).

Putting retail execution technology in the hands of store leaders solves that problem and connects them directly to retail service providers like merchandising service organizations (MSOs), brokers, distributors, and direct store delivery partners.

“Retailers want to make fast decisions, and we want to make sure they can make good decisions fast,” Buckner said.

His team achieves this by using technology that enables them to optimize the three Ps of merchandising: placement, pricing, and promotion. By optimizing their own processes, they are able to deliver even greater wins to their clients.

Buckner’s team at The Reece Group partners with Movista, a retail execution and collaboration platform, to serve their customers and empower their frontline employees. From placing product orders through our mobile app to collaborating on promotional execution, The Reece Group leverages Movista’s platform to the fullest.

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Why Today’s Stores Need a Unified Retail Execution Platform

In the Big Ideas session, Buckner said Amazon has mastered the home delivery sector, and that for retailers to compete, they must embrace physical stores as the unifying hub for their operations.

Naturally, then, it is important for retailers to unify their store operations into one centralized and efficient platform, a platform that distills all the moving pieces of in-store work into a single digital hub.


Here are some of the capabilities possible with a unified platform like Movista:

  • Manual and automated tasking built for retail-specific work
  • In-app ordering and item management for quick and seamless shelf replenishment
  • Real-time visibility of all store work, including the work of store employees and third-party partners, for accurate and actionable store insights
  • Integrated, organized, and compliant communications within the same desktop and mobile platform used for other in-store work
  • Mobile proof-of-performance
  • Seamless two-way collaboration between central planning, store managers, and frontline teams (as well as brand partners)


The solution to navigating today’s complex and fast-moving store environment is relatively straightforward:

“Give store managers the tools they need to make good decisions fast."

A platform like Movista has all the tools store teams need (even a few that they may not know they need).

Retail changes fast, meaning that new operational challenges arise in the blink of an eye. With a technology partner that keeps up with current and emerging store work challenges, your organization can stay ahead of the curve and consistently knock your store execution out of the park.



Learn what Movista can do for your team



Fresh food inventory

Fresher Inventory Management through Unified Planning and Execution

The key to improving fresh food inventory management is to unify the teams & technology of central planning & store execution. Learn why in this thought leadership blog between Movista and RELEX Solutions.

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