The Ability of the Store to help Shoppers make Good Decisions Determines Loyalty to the Store,
Department and Category...it Influences Category, Brand and Product sales
The store is now the primary demand generator with 60% to 70% of purchase decisions made at the shelf. In this environment, the role of the store is to help the shopper construct the information needed to make the “right choice”… by making the time invested to shop worthwhile. This means using merchandising to spark creative thinking, showing the shopper who is just looking where to find relevant ideas, helping connect product differences to important purchase requirements and helping the shopper invest time wisely by providing an information rich experience that has solution relevance.
In-Store Merchandising Influencers
The effectiveness of the overall shopping experience can be affected by store layout; communication on the shelf and on the product; location in the store, in the aisle and on the shelf; product adjacencies; shelf arrangement; fixtures; category assortment; product promotion; pricing, in-stock conditions and other factors within the store.
The Four Components of an Effective Shopping Experience
It is the goal of in-store merchandising to create an effective shopping experience that builds sales by converting shoppers into buyers which in turn creates satisfied and loyal shoppers for the retailer. The key to making this happen is providing the shopper with the information they need to make an emotionally satisfying decision in the store.
In this environment, the role of the consumer products manufacturer is to assist the retailer in development of merchandising strategies and tactics, to be a key resource to the retailer and to provide those support capabilities required to enhance the effectiveness of the shopping experience in the categories in which it competes. Retailers cannot do it alone.
Our Experience and Expertise
Our senior consultants, with both retail and consumer products manufacturer management and consulting experience; our extensive experience in developing merchandising strategies and tactics; and our leadership in development of the beyond category management Shopper-Centric Retailing model enables WWA to be a valuable resource to consumer products manufacturer’s.
Our experience includes:
- Development of merchandising strategies and tactics that recognize the variability across individual stores, store formats and markets… merchandising models that provide decision support for optimal merchandising implementation across a predefined set of merchandising options.
- Development of fixture implementation plans that align targeted merchandising scenarios to store profiles…we conduct store profiling.
- Development of in-store merchandising guidelines…placement, assortment, signage, inventory, etc.
- Development of strategy and plan on how to best implement a self-service merchandising offering versus a behind the counter offering in a major product category.
- Application of WWA’s proprietary space management technology to assortment and shelf space planning at the category, aisle and store level, across stores.
- Providing guidance in the development of numerous merchandising measurement systems.
We employ a four step approach to the development of merchandising solutions that will enhance brand and category performance...and the shopping experience.
Step #1: Analysis and Assessment of Current Practices
We utilize available research to understand consumer decision hierarchy and potential applications; the shopper decision process during the shopping moment; and consumer purchase drivers and behaviors by brand and channel. Retailer merchandising practices and operating requirements across channels, customers and formats are identified. We analyze current assortment, space and in-store merchandising executions across channels, customers and individual stores versus sales velocity and inventory performance.
Step #2: Merchandising Strategy Development for each Brand
We define merchandising strategies for each brand based on the consumer decision hierarchy, consumer shopping habits, retailer operating parameters, product assortment, space utilization and inventory management requirements.
Step #3: Define Optimal Solutions and Vehicles
Based on our analysis and the merchandising strategy for each brand, we develop the role and tactical guidelines for each key merchandising vehicle.
Step # 4: Segment Solutions
The final step is utilizing available segmentation analysis to develop channel, customer, store cluster and store specific plans for assortment, shelving and merchandising initiatives. We align brand segmentation with the retailers store cluster and store specific segmentation. It is necessary for manufacturers to work collaboratively with retailers to target the most attractive stores and the most important consumer segments. The targeting of assortment and shelving approaches as well as merchandising programs leads to maximizing ROI across all activities.