Every producer asks a question, how to convince consumer to take from a shelf its product, and not the one of a competitor. Many different approaches can be used here, like focusing on price, package, availability, but also merchandising standards. This is quite a big area, with various techniques like proper product exposing, picking the best place, proper stock (in a shop but also on a shelf), proper price, agreements with shops’ owners.
However, the question remains how to control those standards. How can we strive for the perfect store?
One of the solutions here is the audit. Cyclical, comparable and non-subjective assessment. This allows us to track the store’s evaluation on the timeline and make appropriate adjustments.
Here are some basic questions to ask yourself beforehand:
- do we have our own stores with a designed appearance, or are there only avenues or shelves;
- what do we know about our products on the shelves;
- are the shelves and alleys with our goods similar, repeatable, can they be grouped;
- whether we have planograms;
- can we define evaluation criteria and analysis methodology – the results should be comparable and non-subjective;
- who can perform the audit, eg traders, store owners, audit, service technicians;
- are visits to the store cyclical?
The audit process itself consists of 3 main elements:
- Planning (Defining indicators such as planogram compliance, price, adequate shelf stock, presence of competition and prices. And planning site visits.)
- Execution (Guiding a sales representative during a visit to the store, providing a tool for efficient work and step-by-step elements to be performed, e.g. surveys, tasks, questions)
- Analysis (Collecting the results on an ongoing basis in the system. Comparing them on a timeline, e.g. by product category, points of sale or chain of stores, merchant, program, type of contract, etc. Let’s follow the trend and take action)
The solution that will support us here is SAP Sales Cloud and its element “Perfect Store”. Cloud and mobile solution.
We start the configuration by defining an engagement map that will define the merchant points to visit and evaluate – entrance, alley, promotional stand, cash registers.
Let’s also define surveys that will allow you to collect more accurate data.
Let’s also define the next steps of the entire store evaluation – e.g. meeting with the manager or proposing a new offer.
We can also equip traders with a machine learning tool, which using a photo of a shelf from their tablet, will indicate whether there is something missing in relation to the planogram (e.g. drinks, alcohol, cosmetics, pharmacy).
From the visit, the trader can start follow-up activities, for example:
- sending a service team
- sending marketing materials
- application for correction of the contract with the shop
Let us present the results of this assessment for the previously defined KPIs.
And finally, let’s check the trend of, for example, a given store.
To sum up, how Perfect Store can help the business:
- organizing the visit planning process
- building engagement maps for both cyclical assessments and periodic actions, e.g. promotion assessment
- flexibility of questionnaires
- image processing and comparison with planograms
- electronic signature of the store manager
- GPS data from visits
- quick sharing of information in the system
- analytics on a regular basis
- follow-up activities
Preview video with the application: