November 22, 2017
November 22, 2017
This post was originally published in November 2017, and was updated in December 2019 for clarity.
The Christmas period is, as we already know, a crucial time for retail. And with seemingly constant headlines about bankruptcy filings, store closures and declining footfall, retailers are expecting even more from the golden quarter.
As consumers aren't known for their patience at this time of year, it’s essential that your Christmas strategy is executed exactly as planned. Any execution or compliance issues in-store will undoubtedly affect the performance of your marketing and promotional campaigns, and consequently your sales.
So what exactly are those issues, and how can you fix them?
A common problem that retailers are often challenged with is that store teams aren't provided with everything they need. Stores cannot do what they are asked to because the displays they are supposed to implement are either faulty, aren't delivered on time, or have parts missing.
HQ and regional teams are often not made aware of the problem soon enough to fix it and ensure the guidelines or promotions are implemented on time. This is usually linked to inefficient internal processes.
For a store to report an issue with the collateral they have received, they have to email their regional manager, who emails the retail team, who email the supplier, etc. This is a time-consuming process that does not allow retailers to react with the necessary speed and agility.
How do you fix this?
Put a checklist in place for stores to complete a week or two before the beginning of the Christmas campaign. This allows them to confirm whether or not they have received the items/materials they need.
If they haven’t been delivered or were damaged upon arrival, stores then simply report the issue within the checklist and take pictures of faulty marketing materials for the supplier when necessary. This is received in real time by the relevant department so it can be fixed as quickly as possible.
This enables HQ to ensure all stores have received the marketing materials for the Christmas season, which will significantly improve execution.
The second issue that often arises is that sometimes store teams haven’t implemented the POS materials because they are not appropriate for their store layout.
Most retailers have a diverse store network, with different types and sizes of stores. Some have been opened more recently than others and they are often not all equipped in the same way. However, the major issue is that most retailers do not have a clear idea of what each store has. Therefore, when stores receive the guidelines and collateral they realize they can’t implement them where they are supposed to because of a lack of space, or because it doesn’t work with the layout of their store.
To solve this issue, retailers should have a clear and up-to-date database of their stores (size, characteristics, equipment, etc.) This way, retail and VM teams can make sure they send the right collateral to each store so they can actually be implemented. It also allows them to reduce costs, as paying for unusable POS materials is a huge expense.
One way to do this is by creating a “store qualification checklist” for stores to complete on a regular basis. This way, the store database is kept up-to-date and each site can receive the right collateral, resulting in improved execution.
Store managers receive a lot of communications from head office. And during the critical festive period, it gets even worse.
From general updates to tasks to complete, store teams are overwhelmed with information, which is often shared via emails or an intranet. This means store teams can access them only from the computer in the back office of the store.
As they spend most of their time on the shop floor, this makes it easy for them to miss important information and as a result are unable to complete tasks on time.
This unstructured stream of communication between stores and HQ is often the reason why guidelines or promotions are not implemented on time in-store.
With a mobile solution, on the other hand, HQ can share information and updates through an app, ensuring that store teams will receive them immediately in their pocket.
Store teams can also easily see the list of tasks they have to complete, with clear deadlines and instructions. Once the tasks are finished, they can take pictures to confirm it has been done, notifying HQ teams in real time.
Our clients have improved in-store execution of their Christmas campaigns with YOOBIC's all-in-one mobile solution. To find out how you can do the same, why not request a free personalized demo?