Why is execution important and what tools can you use to get it right?
3 May 2021
Author: Mark Fraser
For brands, one of the key things in retail is getting your execution right, and it’s a constant challenge for many. Getting the right products in the right place at the right time may seem simple, but the truth is that many retailers find it difficult to stay on top of execution.
It’s easy to see why, too. In a store, so much demand is placed on staff, and most retailers are reducing staff numbers, but in many sectors, that’s not linked to falling consumer demand. So, when things get busy and promotions or store layouts change, execution is the first thing to fail.
Execution is important to get right every day of the year, however it starts to become even more important as we both head out of lockdown and into the summer seasonal, it’s vital. Here are some things that you can do ensure you get it right every time.
Utilise Agile On Demand Resources
Bang for buck is not just defined by how much ROI field sales teams deliver; it’s also defined by how effectively they cover the right number of stores on any given day. Getting the most out of any field investment is the key to unlocking ROI, yes, but how do you ensure you’re in the right place at the time you’re most needed?
One solution is to utilise a flexible on-demand team. Agile teams are effective for two reasons: they can go into store within a short timeframe (usually within 48 to 72 hours) and execute your brand’s products in a heartbeat. They can also be led by data, meaning that every store visit is guaranteed to unlock value because the data tells you there is an issue with execution before anyone even steps foot in store.
Agile and rapid, this is not the team of the future but the team of today. An agile sales force is a great way to shore up any execution issues. Having a team that is primed to fix availability or promotions in store whenever called upon is a good way to ensure that your brand’s products are always in front of the consumer, supporting them and the retailer. Time is critical and if left unfixed, execution gaps get worse which is known to cause consumers to switch brands or leave the store.
Embrace the Data
Millions of data points are generated in every store on any given day, whether it’s on sales, promotional performance or supply chain availability. This data is powerful, and if used correctly it can help brands nail their execution.
Using EPOS data is an excellent way to get there. By bringing all the data into one source, it can be analysed to accurately measure the sales patterns of products over time, taking into consideration factors such as seasonal shifts, as well as the effects of things like price changes and promotions on the sales of an item. From there, brands can identify patterns, gaps and opportunities.
How does this help with execution? Well, if there’s a gap, an EPOS analytics tool like DART can alert Head Office teams and Field Sales teams to any issues, pointing them to the group of stores or specific store that requires attention and action. We know from studying our own data that execution is one of the biggest inconsistencies in retail. This has an immediate impact on sales.
Data is power. You need never lose sales again if you use it correctly.
There are a number of ways you can use different types of resource and data analytics to enhance your execution strategy. Post lockdown, it's more important than ever for brands to plan not just for the summer seasonal peak, but for the rest of the year too as lockdown restrictions are continuing to be eased.
To find out how we can how we can help you nail your execution this year, book sometime with our Strategy and Marketing Director, Gordon Neil for a free, no strings discover session to understand how you could improve your execution.
Over the course of May we will be highlighting different services, demonstrating how brands can use these to plan appropriately for seasonal activity this summer and beyond. Follow our LinkedIn page to see more about execution and our other services this month.