In the rapidly changing retail industry, one thing remains the same, the brick-and-mortar store is still at the forefront of retail experience.
Stores are powerful, profitable and able to provide a personal, meaningful connection with customers. Retail professionals recognize the importance of merchandising execution and the role it plays in providing the shopper with a superior retail experience – yet at the store level, it is inaccurate, inconsistent and immeasurable.
Why does precise merchandising execution seem impossible for retailers?
1. The Manual Process
Retailers depend on a slow, manual process that requires employees to input vast amounts of information into Excel spreadsheets and add numerous pages of complicated directions into large wasteful binders. This process leads to costly human errors and confusing, outdated information that make retail execution a nightmare.
2. Scattered Data
Retailers store data in multiple places. When the information needed to execute the proper retail experience exists across multiple systems, it causes time-consuming discrepancies that can’t be monitored. Store employees are left to deal with the inconsistencies, causing them to spend little to no face time with customers.
3. Departmental Silos
Different departments exist and operate in silos that prevent real-time, open communication and collaboration between stores and headquarters. This siloed approach puts the burden on the store manager and associates to rectify any discrepancies in the plan at the store. They, in turn, don’t get the chance to provide feedback or disclose issues, and headquarters remains unclear about what is working, and what isn’t.
4. A General Approach
Retailers do not take the unique attributes of each location into account when developing merchandising plans. Instead, they are clustering stores into large, general buckets by size or region. When a planogram fails to account for a store’s distinctive traits like space allocation, local culture or customer demographics, store employees are forced to make judgment calls. As a result, materials are wasted, stores are not executed as planned, and retail experience becomes difficult to measure.
Fortunately, these challenges can be overcome by deploying a single digital application like Merchandising Cloud that plans, communicates, executes, and measures merchandising execution. As a result, retailers improve their ability to execute plans effectively and optimize individual store performance.
To learn more, download RBM Technologies’ white paper: Transforming Retail Experience with Merchandising Cloud.