Manufacturers: you’ve done your market research, developed a strategy, built out your marketing and promotion campaigns, paid for your shelf space and your ad activity – and as a result your new product has been listed. Now you can sit back and relax while stores order your products to fill that shelf space and automatically receive them. Right? Unfortunately not. This is one of the biggest retail distribution issues manufacturers deal with and we often don’t even realize it is happening until months into a campaign.
When you think that your products are being sold in 300 stores but they are actually only physically on the shelf in 100, your numbers are not going to be near where you’d like. You are not reaching the number of consumers you originally intended to, and much of that money spent on promotions and ads, let alone shelf space, is going to waste. This week we talk retail distribution to retail execution and how to overcome this challenge.
When retail execution issues arise, often the biggest problem is that neither the retailer nor the manufacturer is aware of them. The retailer assumes (and we all know what happens when we assume) that the product is automatically on order and being delivered, and the manufacturer assumes that the retailer is taking care of this. The best way to make yourself aware of any issues is by conducting a retail audit.
A retail audit, conducted by an unbiased 3rd party, is a great way to find out what is actually happening in the store. Where is your product placed? Is it on the shelf or is the shelf empty and is the product sitting in the back room? Are your tags up for re-order? Did your promotional displays get onto the floor with YOUR product on it? Is your product actually in the store in the correct section? These are all very important questions – the questions an audit can answer.
If the answers are all positive, that’s awesome. You know that the execution standards you rely on to cover orders is getting the job done. If, however, the audit comes back with a few answers that are not the ones you’d like, you now have the information required to fix the problem. If information is power, you’ve just become an army of one.
When it comes to retail distribution, if problems exist, you need to be able to fix them, and quickly. Being caught unaware is never a good thing – so conduct a retail audit today to get those retail execution issues straightened out so your product has the best potential for maximum sales.
Want some help? Storesupport can conduct a seamless retail audit, quickly. Call us today at 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca for more information.