Ever been frustrated when your store discontinues or is out of stock on your favorite brand or item?

There is nothing more frustrating to shoppers than to learn that their favorite item is out of stock or that it was discontinued. From the shopper’s point of view, it’s similar to being ignored while standing at the checkout line with cash in your hand. It can mean lost sales and unhappy customers, resulting in the erosion of shopper loyalty.

These are issues that brands and retailers need to work hard to address and manage together! 

The discipline to “win at shelf” has several critical components.  Having the right product assortment is the key to keeping your customers happy and growing shopper foot traffic.  Your assortment should include top-selling items found at other retailers in your market as well as the niche items that are unique to your store.  Remember that your goal is to satisfy all of your customer’s needs while they are shopping in your store.

Out-of-stocks

Once you master the assortment process, you next need to ensure that you don’t have out-of-stocks.  Out-of-stocks leave voids on your shelf and communicate to your customers that you can’t fill their needs.  Out-of-stocks cost retailers billions in lost sales every year.  More importantly, they encourage your customers to shop your competition.

Pricing

Pricing is the next key component of success.  Your pricing needs to be competitive and it should include a promotion strategy designed to create excitement in the category.  Your customers want to be rewarded for their loyalty. This does not mean that you should compete on price alone like most think. It means that you need to competitively price popular top-selling items in the market. Drive traffic with these items and drive category sales and profits with other items.

Consistent Product Assortment

Perhaps one of the most frequently overlooked strategies is a consistent assortment among all of your stores.  Your customers need to know that they can find their favorite items at any store in your chain.  This does not mean that each store needs to be a carbon copy of each other.  It does, however, mean that top-selling items need to be easily found in every location.

There are several benefits to this strategy.  It allows you to effectively promote products throughout the entire chain.  A manufacturer wanting to promote within your chain needs to know that their items will be represented and featured at every possible location to get the maximum overall sales increase.  The same holds true for a customer who wants to make sure that they can find promoted items at every location.

From the consumer point of view, you’re offering good customer service. From the manufacturer point of view, you’re committed to growing their brand while exposing it to potentially new customers.  From the retailer’s point of view, this allows you to successfully make the most of each promotional opportunity, not to mention that it provides efficiencies in managing your inventory.

The right assortment and pricing strategy will result in increased shopper foot traffic, larger consumer shopping baskets per trip, and happy loyal shoppers.

What strategies do you use to drive sales and meet shoppers needs?

The Essential New Item Checklist – The Recipe For Success

Empowering Brands | Raising The Bar

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