At a recent Retail Industry Council event a major topic of conversation was the future of retail and what impacts e-commerce will have on bricks and mortar retail locations. While e-commerce is resulting in major changes to the way we shop in some types of retail, such as electronic stores, book stores, music stores and more, the food industry at retail is unique.
When you are shopping for food, you want to be able to touch and feel the produce you are buying, feel the texture of baked goods, and thoroughly inspect your meats. These are reasons that many consumers will continue to want to physically go to the grocery store to purchase their foods. While there have been grocery services around for years that enable you to buy online and have the food delivered to your door, they haven’t managed to make an impact whatsoever in the way people buy food.
This is why the in-store experience that a customer receives continues to be so important to the success of brands that sell their products at food retailers. It is also a major reason why brands must ensure that they maintain some level of control over in-store merchandising.
Leaving in-store merchandising to the retailer is a dangerous plan because the consequences to the brand can be significant.
Consumers are creatures of habit, especially in the retail food industry. Once a consumer gets hooked on a brand they will often add it to their grocery list to be purchased week after week. When a consumer visits a store and suddenly the brand that they love is not available because it is not on the shelf or has been moved and they can’t find it, many consumers will try another brand that sells the same product. If they love the product, the original brand could lose their customer’s loyalty altogether.
A brand’s success at a retailer depends on its sales. Brands that sell more will be able to negotiate better product placement and priority, so it is crucial that brands that are not dominating their market space at a particular retailer hike up their socks.
Many brands are turning to merchandising services to boost their sales at retail. Merchandising services take the control of in-store merchandising away from the retailer and empower the brand to have more control over their customers’ experiences, which then results in increased sales. Merchandising services will go to all of the retailers where the brand’s products are sold and ensure that products are stocked and on the shelves and also ensure that if there is a product placement issue that the brand is made aware of it immediately, rather than finding out when seeing that sales have dropped at a particular retailer. Merchandising companies also assume the role of setting up in-store displays and literally become the brand’s ambassador at retail.
Brand’s that want more control over their in-store merchandising are best served by looking to retail merchandising services to ensure that customers are always able to access them, and to ensure consistent profitability across the retail stores where their products are sold.
For more information about how you can take more control of your in-store merchandising and our merchandising services, please contact Storesupport by calling 1 (877) 421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.