When will you communicate with your customers and consumers?
We have been talking about your promotion plan, how you will innovate and what you can afford. All important work as you create the plan to get your great product off the shelf.
If you have heard me speak, you would have heard me say, “Success is not just about making great products to sell, it is about selling the great products to make.”
Once you have your soldi plan in place you need to communicate it to customers and consumers.
In our C.A.R.T. process the Retail plan column includes the question; When will you implement the retail plan with customers and consumers ?
Plan your communication and implementation to ensure it actually happens
When I was at Loblaw, Richard Currie was president for many of those years. He used to say, “retail is 5% strategy and 95% execution.” Remember that as you figure out how to share and execute your plans.
Also remember you have two masters to satisfy; your customers who issue purchase orders and consumers who put your products in their shopping cart.
Your customer needs to buy in to the plan first
Many of the components of your plan will require the cooperation and execution from your customers. Consider their timelines and get ahead of them. Many retailers are planning themes at least 6 months in advance and ads 8 weeks out.
If you are planning to participate in off shelf merchandising or themes, make sure you understand the lead times and shipping dates. Often retailers will consolidate products in a program and ship together to make it easier for stores to execute.
We recommend you set up a part of your plan where you determine when and how you will communicate with customers. Do not wait for them to call, you need to create your own opportunities.
Allow for follow up and we know retailers are not always the best at responding when you need them to. Build this in to your timeline.
Win with consumers to get your product into the shopping cart
Once you have the plan in place with your customers, you will have to make it happen with consumers. Use your social media, mass media and other direct communication to support your investments at retail.
During the pandemic everything seems to take longer and be more challenging. Make sure you allow for this. Your customers and consumers will reward you for your efforts.
You need to be focused on selling every week.
That does not mean discounts every week, but it does mean reinforcing your points of differentiation. Measure your results and determine what is working and what needs to be changed.
If you are selling online you can really measure your sales. Test your sales as you manage your message. As we learn more about e-commerce this is a channel that requires constant focus. A great product listing is just the beginning. You need to drive traffic to the point of purchase and convert them to buyers.
You need to implement your plan with customers and consumers
There will be peaks and valleys to this work. Every customer will not respond and buy in. Consumers will not always react to everything you do. That is why your work on selling needs to be every week and focused on both customers and consumers.
If you have any questions or help figuring out how to get your product on the shelf or in the shopping cart you can always call me at (902) 489-2900 or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are adding more industry updates and interesting ideas to your SKUFood newsletter. If you see things happening let us know so we can share them with our community. We also want to hear if you find this helpful and benefits your food and beverage business!
Did you know you can solicit reviews on Amazon?
We know online shoppers put a lot of faith in reviews. They can be the difference between your product being purchased or abandoned in the virtual shopping cart. If you are selling on Amazon you can generate more reviews with their Vine Voice program.
Sustainability continues to be important
Despite all of the challenges of the pandemic, sustainability continues to generate change and we see the results every week. We know there will be more regulatory changes coming and processors are trying to get ahead of the recycling mandates. Babybel have found a solution for consumers to recycle all of their packaging. It is interesting they are willing to pay for the shipping and recycling in their new process.
New food and flavours continue to be introduced to the market
In Loblaws’ new Insider’s Report they are introducing a number of Yuzu flavoured products. This unique taste is the combination of mandarin orange, lemon and lime. The Yuzu blueberry sorbet sounds good but I am not sure about the Yuzu cold brew?? I might have to buy that one to check it out.
It is good to see Loblaws and President’s Choice introducing some innovation to the market, that has not been front and center as much in recent years.