Deciding which products to have on shelf continues to be a universal challenge for both manufacturers and retailers. Manufacturers know that product availability is the key to product selection, while retailers are trying to hone their offerings to maximise baskets and sales. Both are motivated to understand what shoppers want and to make it available in the right locations.
There has been a significant shift in how companies view product assortment. The push strategy that moved a set of products into all stores is no longer viable – “one size fits all” is dead. Effective assortment optimisation is now driven by a pull strategy, which identifies the items that shopper’s value so that assortment can be designed to drive category sales. While it’s not easy to get product assortment right, there’s no doubt it’s vital for manufacturer and retailer success.
So how do you get the right mix?
Companies need assortment optimisation analysis that take the guesswork out of what to put on shelf by leveraging information that evaluates how people are purchasing in-store for specific retailers. The location of the store can give you some idea of the demographics of the shoppers, but it doesn’t tell you anything about who’s in the store and what they’re buying.
Instead, leveraging robust data sets and expertise to identify key product attributes (flavour, pack size, brand name, etc.) and quantify relative importance to shopper decisions is a critical path to creating the right product mix for your shoppers. By assessing the true contribution of each product in a category, manufacturers and retailers can take a fresh look at the impact of the items on shelf, physical or virtual. This includes understanding which brands or products drive the highest incremental sales for the category and how products interact to understand the portfolio and pull in the right products to create future growth. Companies can also use these insights to anticipate where new products may have their best impact.
Learn about the steps needed to get the right product mix, download our free e-guide ‘The Right Mix – A guide to Creating Shopper Centric Ranges’ to learn how you can grow your brand and the category.
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