Exciting! This past September TNG completed its 50th Ripley’s Aquarium live fish delivery.
Customer-obsessed companies are using their data in ever smarter ways. Today, technology systems are a great resource, allowing for smarter decisions being made at retail. Those systems are providing more and more sophisticated analytics to be able to slice and dice the information for those decisions. John Tavolieri, President of U.S. FMCG and Retail and Chief Technology and Operations Officer at Nielsen states... “Now more than ever, speed of data is imperative. Earlier data delivery leads to faster, data-driven actions. For all companies navigating the current dynamic business environment, every day counts.”1.
Being part mind-reader, part strategist, helps
So much is in the news about how retail is stumbling, sinking, closing and shuttering. It is true. There are many dying retailers. As times change and customer demands evolve, retailers must keep up or stay ahead. Actually, the successful retailers are the ones that anticipate what their customers want before the customers know themselves – part mind reader, part strategist all wrapped in the most enticing of packaging.
Every retailer knows that times are tough right now. It can seem unrelenting with an onslaught of new issues every day. With one part of the puzzle in hand, another seems to falter in a constant battle to remain relevant and thriving. The pinch is real.
A recent article outlines the wildcard nature of the supply chain as the integral link for retail success. It starts the discussion with: “…as much as grocers continue to invest in building a better shopping experience, consumers still think of a trip to the grocery store as a chore”1. If that is the case, then consumers will continue to look for alternatives to cut out just one more ‘chore’ in their already busy lives. If we look at retailers that are doing “better than” some of the others, are there patterns? Does the excitement of discovery and treasure hunt in a Costco make the shopping experience better for the shopper? If so, how does grocery incorporate more of that element into their stores? It could be that they customize more, experiment more with different products or try to localize products. It could be how they present that product to shoppers. The store within a store is gaining ground. Retailer operations along with limited distribution space often don’t make this an easy task, however.
In June, TNG attended the GMDC Conference. Here’s what we learned…
It was no surprise to us or anyone that traditional retail is certainly challenged. Retailers that have not responded to this ‘new world’ have definitely felt the sting, if not utter decimation (think Toys R Us). Manufacturers are also under pressure as consumer tastes have and are changing at a rapid pace. The move to health, wellness, minimal ingredient, natural and less processed foods have left some reeling. The center store is under attack; the front-end is under attack! There are stressors everywhere.
You’re wanting a new front-end look and are designing your checkout. When does it make sense to bring in a supplier to help?
Recently, a large retailer, based upon what they were hearing in the marketplace and on the advice of some interested parties, decided to change up their front-end checkout units. The result was an aesthetic look that didn’t quite turn out like they had hoped in terms of ensuring the space was productive.
Adaptability, flexibility are key to surviving the turbulent retail times. Uncertainty is always scary when tied to the bottom line, and on a personal level - how we make a living. This is a time of reinvention. How to, Where to, and Who will reach the consumer is the billion dollar question of our day. In this case, even the planning is unchartered territory. We know shoppers should be placed at the center of decision-making, but what does a retailer do to realize that in their brick and mortar stores?
Questions you should be asking when shopping for a company to merchandise your product at store-level.
1. Is the company customer-centric?
What Matters To You: Avoiding Headaches and Lost Sales Due to Distribution Challenges
Another Super Bowl complete, just as the players and teams are celebrating and also taking stock, so are companies. Was this Super Bowl better than the last, in terms of sales? Are there some areas for improvement? Did this season sing? Or did this season sting? Did your brand, travelling on that truck with that flagship icon, even get displayed?