If you sell a CPG brand at the retail level, you are no doubt aware that retail management and brand reputation management go hand-in-hand. Getting consumers to recognize your brand and building customer loyalty is critical if you want your brand to succeed. But sometimes unforeseen challenges can arise. Challenges that occur at the point of purchase should be your top priority. Your customer is your bread and butter and the stakes are high‚Äö if customers have poor experiences with your brand when they try to purchase it at their preferred retailer.
This day and age things run at a very fast pace. The customer experience at the retail level can immediately reflect on your brand’s reputation. Customers who become frustrated because a product is out of stock, or not properly tagged resulting in a hold up at the checkout counter can take to their mobile devices and post witty thoughts to their Twitter or Facebook page. Not only have you lost a customer but now they have negatively influenced those in their networks about your brand. This is why a key component of strong brand reputation management is smart retail management.
Smart retail management leads to increased sales and customer retention. Sales will be needed and, especially in the case of smaller brands, poor sales can lead to retailers de-listing your products.
To better understand how you can improve your retail management, let’s explore some of the top ways that a customer can have a negative in-store experience with a brand?
1. Product is out of stock. Sometimes product is not on the shelf but is in the back. When retailers’ employees become busy, re-stocking your product can fall to the wayside. When a customer is in the grocery store and sees that a favourite product is out of stock, some may seek out the product at an alternate retailer, but most will simply try the same product by a different brand. This is dangerous because if the consumer likes the other brand’s product, you could see a shift in the customer’s loyalty to your brand. One way to stay ahead of the competition is to have a plan in place to ensure that you are on top of what is happening with product at the retail level.
2. Product is moved. Unbeknownst to you and against your planogram your product is moved. Again, another frustrating experience for the customer. Will they look around to try to find your product or will they just buy the next available thing?
3. Product is on the shelf but not priced. Would you buy something without knowing the cost? Not likely. When product isn’t priced it can make it difficult for a consumer to make the decision to purchase.
4. Product is improperly labeled. Product that is improperly labeled can cause confusion for the consumer.
5. UPC scanning issues at the point of sale. This is a big one. When the UPC code on your product doesn’t scan properly, this can cause your customers to get backed up at the checkout counter.
Smart retail management will include having retail merchandising contingencies and resources in place to make you aware of problems at the retail level and to enable you to address them quickly.
For more information about retail management or for information about our retail management solutions please visit www.storesuppport.ca or call 905-847-6513.