Imagine you’ve created a toy that you think is going to be a huge seller in stores this season. You and your team spend months designing the visual merchandising until it is perfect. When you’re shopping on Black Friday you find your display a complete wreck. Now you’re wondering, are all my other displays nationwide like this? Is this impacting what my customers think about my brand?
Black Friday is the unofficial kick-off to the holiday shopping season. The holiday season is a critical time for retailers. The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that Americans will outspend last year—Americans spent $691.9 billion in November and December 2017—this holiday season.
Brick-and-mortar retailers are facing increasing pressure due to the massive growth in e-commerce, as well as shifts in consumer trends and other macroeconomic factors and preparations need to begin to adapt to this transformation. In spite of online shoppings’ increasing popularity businesses are expecting plenty of shoppers in stores this holiday season, and brands should be using this time of increased traffic to understand new challenges and how they can adapt to build better customer and brand satisfaction.
Increasingly shoppers are expecting an improved in-store shopping experience. You could say as consumers we’ve become spoiled by online shopping. We’ve now come to expect the same personalization and efficiency as we experience online, in person.
With the saturation of the consumer goods market there is an increasing need for businesses to find an edge to remain competitive. Many top-performing companies are finding an edge by using in-store data to better understand omni-channel purchasing experiences.
Since brands often get data through third-parties (retailers like Target, Macy’s or CVS), they lack the visibility into on-the-ground conditions needed to understand the challenges facing customers. Add on that brands often ship their products to thousands of stores in the U.S. and around the world making it can more difficult to ensure consistency when retailers often vary from location to location.
During the holiday buying season, retailers often become overwhelmed by the influx of traffic and the presentation at stores can sometimes fall through the cracks. Technology and data are integral for brands to understand what is happening at retailers. Five areas companies can use technology and data to help gain greater insight include:
- Merchandising: Ensure that the time and money you invest in your visual merchandising is delivered. By crowdsourcing visual confirmation, you can quickly see what your product looks like on shelves in numerous global locations.
- Efficiency: Shoppers want to get in and get out. They no longer want to wander the mall or browse the aisles, they are focused and know what they want to buy. Technology can be used to make the in-store experience as efficient as possible. Ensure that customers can get in and out quicker. With mobile technology companies can measure how long it takes from when someone enters a store until they successfully find a product and pay.
- Inventory: Not having a product in-stock has the potential to be a huge deterrent to shoppers who are looking for specific items when they shop at physical locations. Understand how much of your product is available and in comparison to competitors can provide valuable insight for your brand.
- Competition: Gain insight into what your competitors are doing to better develop your strategies and target customers. See your competitors visual merchandising and understand their share-of-shelf.
- Pricing: Due to a tight market for brands, price is often a key competitive differentiator. Use technology to stay on top of pricing trends for various products or competitors and understand other microeconomic trends in targeted areas.
This holiday season make sure you have access to data that is accurate and credible and answers your questions. To learn more about how Premise can help deploy technology to gain visibility on-the-ground for your brand, visit premise.com or contact us at email@example.com.