While e-commerce is a key driver in enticing customers in the digital age, bricks and mortar still plays an important role in boosting revenue.
Steve Bonsell, Account Director of the EMEA region for StayinFront, said that while online content is key, the mobile CRM and sales force automation solutions provider has noticed changes in the last few years.
“While customers will continue to use the web for purchases to fit time into their hectic lifestyles, there is a greater appreciation of the importance e-commerce plays in enticing customers into store, or better known as the Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO) shopper,” he explained.
“What happens when a customer has been enticed by the glitz and glamour of online shopping into the brick and mortar store? This is where brand owners play an important role to success, if a product is stocked in store, on the shelf and at the right price, then the higher the chance customers will make the purchase.”
Distribution, availability, visibility and promotion (DAVP) are the biggest challenges for brands and retailers.
Distribution: brands need to ensure they have the greatest reach as possible with distribution into as many retail partners as possible.
Availability: once distribution has been agreed and product assortments are selected, the continuous availability of product at the point of purchase becomes the focus.
“Delivering to a retailer’s depot is just the start of the journey,” Bonsell noted. “The supplier ensures perfect service and delivers units that can be easily picked at depot, transported, and then merchandised at store with minimal effort. With more and more automation within the supply chain, product packs, shape, size and durability are more relevant than ever.”
Visibility: There are a number of considerations to executing the perfect planogram: How many facings? Should a product be at eye level? How many locations should a product be merchandised in store? All variable by product, by retailer and geographical location and its population.
Promotion: With the basics in place, promotion comes into focus. Events throughout the year could dictate a promotion period, while competitor activity could also be a driver.
Can technology help boost revenue?
According to Bonsell, retailers and brand owners can be caught in reaction mode rather than prevention mode in this fast paced world.
“Knowledge is king,” he said. “Using audit and compliance data, overlaid with supply chain and inventory data, can further be enhanced with historic and current EPoS data. Some of the challenges of empty shelves can be predicted before they happen.
“Through the use of StayinFront’s Sales Force Automation software, combined with the power of 20:20 RDI, intelligent insights and analysis and preventative measures can be put in place to ensure the principle of DAVP are closer monitored and ensure sales are maximised at the shelf.”