Shopper Solutions Planning


Shopper Solutions Planning is a Core Component of Shopper-Centric Retailing,
the Industry’s New Business Model Developed by Winston Weber & Associates,
supported by Deloitte Consulting, and Endorsed by The Food Marketing Institute

Shopper-Centric Retailing Definition

We define Shopper-Centric Retailing as the enhancement of the shopping experience through the shopper centered alignment of strategies, tactics, execution, business processes, merchandising competencies and performance measures across retailer internal functions and between trading partners at the “touch point” with the shopper…the store.

Another Leadership Initiative from WWA

Shopper Solutions Planning, a core component of Shopper-Centric Retailing, is the first and only shopper driven planning process specifically designed to translate shopper insights into shopping experience enhancement solutions at the category, aisle and department levels. It builds upon the positive aspects of the 27+ year old category management process and addresses those weaknesses that prohibit category management from generating sustainable incremental gain in today’s shopper centric environment.

Shopper Solutions Planning, a Core Component and More

Shopper-Centric Retailing not only builds upon category management with Shopper Solutions Planning, it also recommends a retailer organizational framework that includes changes in functional descriptions and job titles, restructuring of the Merchandising/Category Management functions, consolidation of support functions, a new senior level position in Store Operations and restructuring of store management. You can learn more by clicking on the retailer consulting section of this website.

Shopper-Solutions Planning

Shopper Solutions Planning is designed to drive toward a more insights-driven and solution-oriented result

Highlights and Key Points of Difference

Shopper Centric Solutions Planning is the only business planning model that focuses primarily on the shopping experience and merchandising solutions. It is quite different and more advanced than the traditional category management process and the various attempts to update the old model. It is truly shopper centric. Outlined below are the key points of difference:

  • Strategic positioning frames the process by starting with strategy.
  • Category roles are incorporated as part of the retailer’s strategic positioning…they are no longer embedded as part of the category planning process
  • Category planning begins with and is driven by an in-depth understanding of the shopper with the planning focus beyond the narrowness of the category to include those aisle, department and total store factors that can influence merchandising solutions and the effectiveness of the shopping experience.
  • Solution Groupings leverage the solution threads between complementary categories
  • Complementary category/product knowledge, with shopper insights, leads to the development of shopper solutions.
  • The advanced observational auditing process focuses on shopping behavior and the total store shopping experience
  • Incorporates the “4 P’s” in to creating the shopper’s emotional connection with the store.
  • The process more readily accommodates consumer products manufacturer shopper insights and shopper marketing initiatives.

It is Not Just a Retailer’s Planning Process

A consumer products manufacturer’s application of the Shopper Solutions Planning process adds considerable value when engaged in collaborative category planning with a retailer. It reinforces the consumer products manufacturers role as a value added resource, it ensures a focus on the shopping experience and merchandising solutions, and it provides the framework for the integration of shopper insights and shopper marketing initiatives into the planning process. Importantly, it enhances the probability of delivering mutually beneficial results.

What We Do

We are the most qualified to guide consumer product manufacturer category management evolution to Shopper Solutions Planning.

  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of current category management capabilities including structure, process, skills, support capabilities and consumer/shopper insights.
  • Develop a directional perspective including conceptual design, vision and evolution strategy to a Shopper Solutions Planning approach that is aligned with the consumer products manufacturer go-to-market strategy, capabilities and resources.
  • Develop the category management evolution to Shopper Solutions Planning implementation plan that supports the evolution strategy.
  • Reengineer the organization structure, processes and support capabilities as required.
  • Define new skill requirements and prepare the skill enhancement strategy and plan.
  • Develop specifically tailored and highly participative training workshops, well beyond the level of basic industry wide training and certified programs.
  • Provide direction on how to align with retailer joint category planning processes, whether it be Shopper Solutions Planning or the outdated category management process.

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