Stores, merchandisers and product companies all have their own goals, timing and strategy for ensuring they net the sales they need. Whether you’re a merchandiser, retailer or product company, the three essential tactics below will ensure everyone involved gets the sales they need from your merchandising magic.
- Build Strong Store Relationships
Store merchandisers do not have an easy job. Every product company represented in a store is struggling to get the most space they can, and they can’t bring home the bacon if their product is stuffed into a wedge in the far distant corners of NoWheresVille.
That’s why each staffer needs to make the best impression they can on store managers.
The first way to do that is to…
Wait, why does it matter what kind of impression they make?
Well, imagine you’re running a store.
The doors are open and customers are flooding in; they’re hard-working, cash-flush, and they’ve rerouted their daily journeys for a bit of retail therapy at your shop.
You know why they’re here, too. That catchy new ad for that product you okayed has hit the airwaves, their phones and their computers.
You might as well be selling half-price smartphones with a millennial discount; the place is that full.
Bad news: the registers are empty, and the customer service line is full.
Did the merchandisers forget to stock the product? Are they late?
Nope – they’re here. But they’ve got crates of the product blocking the aisle, store staffers are helping clear off the old shelf and a crowd waits nearby. Customers with more money than time are walking out empty-handed.
You’re relieved to see a customer pluck the product out of the shipping case and buy it.
At least that’s one sold…
So much for their promotional spending – and, you, the store manager make a mental note to reduce that merchandiser to one foot of shelf facings next month. MAX.
They’d better not ask for more.
As said: the best way to build good relationships with your stores is to communicate before and after merchandisers are scheduled to be on site.
Why Communicate Before Retail Execution Is Started?
If other execution teams are supposed to be in the same area or a stock room situation needs to be handled, you can arrange for teams to work with stores smoothly and efficiently. No mobs. No traffic jams. No fuss.
Why Communicate After Retail Execution Is Done?
One word: Insight. After your staff has executed on their duties, you’ll want staffers to check in with the managers to see if more shelf space is available. Are they reducing any products from a competitor? If so, offer your hottest-selling product to fill the gap. You get the picture.
You’ll also learn what plans the store has for upcoming promotions, store layout changes or entire floor redesigns.
Either way, after tending to that store relationship and information, have staffers report back to team leaders and managers. Try structured questions with multiple-choice answers to limit how much free-form info you have to sort through.
It works both ways, too. Stores will benefit from this coordination – encourage staff to coordinate and follow up with third-party retail execution staff. More information means smoother, faster rotations and updates and jumble-free stock handling.
- Make Each Trip Count
Building a great relationship will help grow your shelf presence and earn a spot in those hard-to-obtain areas like the checkout and endcaps.
It won’t mean much, however, if your execution is less than perfect.
Have merchandising staff take photos of their work to prove that everything went smoothly and the designs in their instructions were followed exactly.
If reviewing these photos shows less-than-perfect execution, perhaps you need a different strategy.
Videos and step-by-step instructions can take the mystery out of display and shelf setups.
Experiment with verification and education techniques until you find the winning combination.
Then, as you collect your execution data and can review the work of teams in real time, you’ll have the information you need to ensure timely work, perfect your staffers’ skills and plan future work. This collection and visibility strategy works for retailers, merchandising companies and stores alike.
- Reconsider Your Staffing Strategy
It can be tempting to manage stores by sending staff to various locations based on varying needs from week to week.
You often end up, however, with staffers rediscovering the same information over and over: Where is stock located in the back? When are store staff rotating items in the various departments? When are deliveries arriving?
By varying the staff you assign, you create slower execution times and risk the same kind of traffic jams and logistical issues that make plans go haywire.
Assigning staff to a strict set of stores – preferably on mostly fixed schedule – will circumvent relearning and the other headaches which impact sales and store relationships alike.
Uniting the Retail Execution Process
Merchandising magic depends on every element above working in perfect harmony at every location. Movista’s merchandising software empowers retailers, product companies and merchandisers the tools, communication suite and logistical powerhouse you need take your sales to the center stage.
Schedule a demo to see Movista in action – and learn how to be first in the basket.