‘War of the Shelves’ – The corona effect in retail according to top-tier players
The war to win the best positions on store shelves. That’s what it’s all about, according to the feedback from the attendees at Avento’s round table event for users of Fearless Leader, Avento’s mobile CRM app. As always, we were able to welcome the cream of the crop from the fast moving consumer goods sector.
“We are not being melodramatic. This is effectively what everybody at our round table event confirmed; all of the producers’ efforts in the fast moving consumer goods sector are exclusively focused on positioning in the stores,” explains Avento’s Business Development Manager Chantal Roobrouck. This ‘War of the Shelves’, as a knowing wink to the legendary ‘War of the Worlds’, a radio play about an invasion of Martians by Orson Welles, which caused widespread panic on the streets in the United States when it was broadcast, is certainly not out of place.
Completely different times
“The sales channel for the hospitality industry has almost entirely dried up for some players. All producers are now having to focus on retail. However, in retail, they are dealing with rushed and sometimes anxious consumers who spend a lot less time inside stores and quickly pick what they need from the products that catch their eye. Which makes more important than ever to have your products positioned in the right place on the shelves. There’s a lot of pushing and shoving,” Chantal adds.
Changing the assortment up to four times a year
But the products not only need to be positioned at prime shelf locations. Getting the composition of the assortment just right is equally crucial. Chantal: “Some producers will adapt their assortment up to four times a year, in consideration of new product launches, the different seasons, and so on. This may involve dozens or even in excess of 100 items. The quicker you can have your new items in the right place on the shelves in consideration of new circumstances, the higher your sales. Good ‘assortment management’ really makes the difference in times of heightened competition.”
Armed with Fearless Leader
These are two interesting ideas. But what is the role of Fearless Leader in all of this, Chantal?
“Good store checks have become more important than ever. Fearless Leader is perfectly equipped for conducting efficient and effective POS visits. Fearless Leader provides all the relevant data for the assortment, exactly customised to the specific POS, it offers a comprehensive history of all previous store checks… It provides a 360° view and even an insight into upcoming promotional campaigns. Armed with correct information this subsequently enables the field worker to spend quality time with local managers to ensure the products are shown off to best advantage at the best locations.”
“Fearless Leader also enables management to take swift action. Where new campaigns are being planned, management is able to roll out these sales drives via Fearless Leader to the field workers so that they can take concrete action when they next visit the store. The attendees at our round table event agreed that Fearless Leader is a great weapon for businesses engaged in the current competitive battle,” Chantal concludes.