Retail Excellence

Retail Activity Optimization: Predictive Data That Drives Results

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How RAO will change the face of retail data

With the rise of e-commerce and the nature of navigating a pandemic, retail has never been more competitive than it is right now. With this in mind, every brand is looking for the key to winning at the shelf, but what’s the secret? Retail activity optimization.

Retail activity optimization (or RAO) leverages big data and advanced analytics to improve financial returns in the retail space. While it may be a new term, it will be key to driving strategic decisions in the retail space for years to come. Critical data allows field reps to find more effective and efficient ways to plan necessary retail activities. Here's how.

Get ahead of the competition with retail activity optimization

Touted as a “game changer” by industry professionals, retail activity optimization is all about using real-time information to automate workflows. With RAO retail leaders can leverage predictive insights in order to make better decisions to questions like: Where should teams be? What do they need to accomplish? In what order should tasks be completed to receive the greatest return on resources? Where are there missing resources or team members? What stores need attention today in order to prevent a problem tomorrow?

For example, whether it’s a compliance issue with a planogram or promotion, leaders can easily determine the difference between high vs. low priority visits. Likewise, RAO also optimizes shift sequencing to reduce drive time, as well as fuel and personnel costs. Don’t waste gas money sending someone on a long drive to a store that doesn’t even need attention. With RAO, schedules are automated with high-level data. That means tasks are being handled with efficiency at the forefront.

RAO in action

Looking for real-world data to back up these claims? Let’s take a look at what happened when retail activity optimization was put into action for a global beverage manufacturer.

Using manual procedures and one-off manager adjustments, automatically-generated schedules were creating a mess. The variance from original schedules to actual schedules wasted countless hours of administrative time. One thing was clear: something had to change to avoid wasted time and resources.

After signing on with Movista, access to unique data points made all the difference. Visibility into multiple retail store layouts was more highly-detailed, even down to the types and number of coolers and carts at each location. This was the game-changing moment for the giant beverage manufacturer in question. Valuable time was restored, leading to increased productivity. Here’s a look at the numbers:

  • Delivered improvements in just three months
  • 22% improvement in actual to scheduled variance
  • Three-month cost reduction of $2M

The takeaway? Retail activity optimization allows for a data-driven schedule solution that is automated and can be effectively integrated into existing workforce tools.  

Leverage big data to solve big problems

The face of retail has been changing for quite some time, but recent years have been monumental. Consider the fact that the ratio of in-store to online purchases was 60/40 back in 2019. Just one year later, the COVID-19 pandemic flipped that ratio to 40/60.

That said, customers still love a positive in-store experience. Here are some recent statistics that demonstrate this:

  • 48% of consumers prefer to shop in-person at a physical store when given the choice
  • 47% of people estimate that they’ve spent more than 51% of their shopping budget in physical locations during 2021
  • 35% of shoppers who prefer in-store purchasing say it’s because they “enjoy the experience” and 24% report wanting to interact with products before spending money

While these numbers prove that stores are resilient, there is still mounting competition between traditional retail and e-commerce. And the three players of the in-store puzzle—retailers, brands, and third-party service providers—risk disruption and being disconnected in a way that isn't present with ecommerce. This is when working as a team can become more of a liability than it is beneficial.

Fortunately, data-driven solutions are making it possible to thrive in today’s market. With retail activity optimization, retailers can ensure:

  • Accurate tracking of products
  • Appropriate pricing of items
  • Optimized placement of items on display
  • Effective communication among team members in various locations
  • Scheduling and project tracking
  • Precision in inventory details
  • Planogram compliance across teams
  • Integration with other important retail systems

Gone are the days of a linear journey for every team member in the field. Data helps retailers identify stores and teams that either have issues or greater sales potential.

Move forward with Movista 

Movista is the robust RAO tool retail leaders need to succeed.

Because we’ve served the nation’s largest retailers for more than a decade, we have a unique understanding of your needs. In fact, Movista was founded by industry veterans who experienced the challenges of disconnected and disinformed workforces. This led to the creation of a truly robust platform for retail execution with multiple apps for everything in one place. With more visibility, the results are increased accountability, better data insights, and dramatic revenue results.

As the world’s first platform to enable collaboration between retailers, brands, service providers, and distributors, our goal is to help you cut costs and boost productivity. Connect with us to learn more or schedule a demo.

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