The retail is reopening all over North America, and there are new sets of rules in place for opening, it’s not working as usual or back to normal at any time soon. Consumer Goods Manufacturers will have to adapt and buckle up to equip themselves according to these new norms. What are the key steps Retailers and CGMs need to consider and take action? If you need advertising you can go with retail shelf talker.
Thinning of Retail Margins
Driven by more intense competition, investment in e-commerce, and pressure to increase wages, retail-margin pressure is increasing. Do more with existing Field Reps and Promoters, make it more productive. Whatever marketing strategy is made, it needs to be more efficiently executed and will have a clear impact on sales so an ROI can be calculated.
The bottleneck to automation is internal, not external:
Automation technologies show that grocery retailers can be 45% more productive than their typical rivals when they adopt retail automation. With elements like self checkouts, smart supply chain integration, stock out indicators and clear actionable redeemable steps help raise the bar at retail levels. Very intelligent retail data solutions are available that have quick and measurable ROI. The bottleneck is internal adoption and decision making.
If you aren’t already implementing automation, you are falling behind.
Amazon, which has made headlines with its Amazon Go retail concept, has been the most prominent disruptor. Through the implementation of automation technology, we believe that Amazon Go has the potential to deliver top-line benefits thanks to additional transacting traffic from reduced wait times and the use of customer insights to optimize assortments and personalize promotions. Further potential could come from the opportunity of commercializing customer data and insights. The company now operates 22 Amazon Go stores, in various US cities, and the tech giant has ambitious expansion plans: 3,000 stores by 2021.
The automation opportunity is bigger than operations:
Much of the discussion about the future of work in retail has focused on use cases for automation and AI in stores. However, supply-chain and headquarter functions (such as merchandising) will also be affected massively. Consider merchandising; Today, automatable activities account for approximately 30 to 40% of the time of merchants, who, for example, spend about 20% of their time on merchandise-planning activities. Advanced planning systems can automate historical analytics and generate predictive scenarios, significantly reducing the time needed to plan merchandise and empowering merchants to make faster decisions. This can reduce the time it takes for planning by nearly 50%, making response time very proactive. Similarly, dynamic systems with web-scraping and predictive impact analytics could automate pricing and promotions. Automating these and other time-intensive processes will enable merchants to increase the time they spend on more strategic activities, creating value for the enterprise.
Retail automation and data analytics need to work seamlessly to make sales forecasting ‘current’ and this entails linking what is happening at the retail counter or on online check out with backend Supply Chain. This will be critical in survival of the smartest companies out there as a new set of conditions govern the norm of doing business.