At the start of the pandemic, stores marked with one-way arrows, masked shoppers, and empty shelves were often referred to as signs marking consumer purchases when we knew it was over, that the current shift to commerce. digital would simply accelerate. But recent survey data indicates that a large portion of shoppers will continue to shop in person and, in fact, remain very attached to them. Deloitte’s Consumer Health Tracker tracks consumer trends each month and provides insight into purchasing habits. Consider that when shoppers were asked about their intention to buy in-store in October 2020, and then surveyed again in August 2021, they said their in-store purchases would continue at the same level or even increase:
In-store purchase intention changes for the following products from October 2020 to August 2021:
Clothing / shoes: 54% => 62%
Electronics: 51% => 59%
Furniture: 65% => 65%
Groceries: 82% => 81%
Household: 79% = 79%
Catering: 63% => 70%
Retail execution remains the key differentiator for businesses. And with changes in customer preferences due to the pandemic or digital familiarity, smart retailers are adapting to meet their demands. Some retailers are making changes with staff shifts to optimize the execution or layout of stores towards more interactivity. But just as there’s no doubt that retailers’ investment in better execution is paramount, only 29% of consumer goods companies say their organization is good at it. Below are three tips to help sales teams succeed at retail execution.
Capture and use data
An integrated data strategy should be part of any retail strategy, given that SalesForce has found that high-performing sales teams are 1.5 times more likely to predict on data-driven insights. Data – if successfully analyzed, shared, and integrated – can be a key differentiator for consumer and packaged goods (CPG) brands. Sales teams recognize both the opportunity and the challenge; The Promotion Optimization Institute State of the Industry 2021 found that 47% of organizations say limited data and information is the number one issue in exceptional and limited retail execution. Basically there should be a clear process for capturing data before, during and after store audits. But beyond just collecting basic inventory activity, merchandising, planogram, promotion data, etc., think about how to partner with retailers and their data feeds to gain insight. more in-depth and business information. Additionally, a consolidated stack for sales reps enables greater observability at every stage of the sales cycle, from compliance issues to promotions, predictive inventory, store checks and ratings, and access to personalized and interactive content at each representative’s visit.
Regularly look for ways to innovate and simplify
Released almost a year after the onset of the pandemic, Gartner’s Top Trends in Digital Transformation and Innovation in Retail for 2021 highlighted the opportunities of digital initiatives and the many unique ways in which suppliers can exploit them. Sensor-based shelving and logistics can improve supply chain visibility and provide real-time inventory management and analysis. The omnichannel implementation of “buy online, pick up in store” (BOPIS) has led to a revenue explosion. Innovations in gamification, virtual and augmented reality, and guided sales teams can be incorporated into the sales process to improve both the quality of the customer experience and the effectiveness of the sales force. Innovation can lead to better retail execution and customer engagement, leading to better guidance on forecasting, schedules, communication, and overall increased sales.
Streamline the sales experience with technology
While digitalization is revolutionizing sales, it’s not a panacea, as studies show that 62% of a salesperson’s time is spent using sales technology, not active selling. Field forces shouldn’t have to be digital natives to do their jobs, and organizations should be careful not to increase their burden by simply adding worthless friction. Despite the proliferation of sales-enabling technologies, many representatives say they lack the tools to make decisions at the point of sale. This is in part due to the wide range of applications in retail – CRM, business intelligence, lead management and prospecting, analytics and reporting, order management, retail business optimization, automation and integrations – but it’s also because teams don’t invest in proper training. Too many tools are complicated and add friction, leading sales reps to abandon new solutions and seek personal workarounds. So think about centralizing the experience of representatives, allowing them to have a single portal through which they can manage everything.
While the contours of the post-pandemic consumer shopping experience have yet to take shape, savvy businesses are adapting to the new normal through digital initiatives. The in-store optimization objective remains the same, but teams can now equip themselves with digital tools to ensure success.
Author: Mert Yentur
Mert is the Founder and CEO of Pitcher, creator of the SuperApp, a unified, end-to-end mobile sales activation and content management platform. Mert brings to Pitcher over 20 years of experience as an IT engineer and 10 years of mobile innovation. Mert started his career as a computer scientist … View complete profile>