In the Consumer Goods (CPG) industry, manufacturers have dedicated merchandisers for executing the brand’s promotional strategies within retail stores. Traditionally, this was performed manually at the store level, but the Image Recognition technology has ushered in automation to support faster execution and improved productivity.
Projections indicate a robust growth trajectory for retail execution, anticipated to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9% from 2023 to 2033. The most recent Market Study Group (MSG) report suggests that the market’s potential will ascend to 875 million USD by 2033. In response, the CPG industry has witnessed an upsurge in the number of solution providers eager to become technology partners.
Selecting the right retail execution software for your Consumer Goods enterprise is pivotal, as it holds the key to elevating sales performance and operational efficiency. This comprehensive guide outlines a systematic approach to evaluating and choosing the most suitable retail execution software tailored to your unique business requirements.
1. Assess Needs and Objectives
The first step is to identify the specific goals and objectives that your organization expects to achieve with retail execution software. These may include:
- Improving visibility into in-store operations
- Increasing sales
- Improving line items per sales call
- Optimizing inventory management
- Enhancing field team performance by reducing their turnaround time at each store
2. ROI Analysis
Once you have identified your needs and objectives, you should conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis to determine the software’s potential return on investment (ROI). As an enterprise solution, it may be difficult to initially project numbers because the cost savings may appear in different ways, like reducing returns, minimizing store visits, and increasing the productivity of field force agents.
3. Integration Capabilities
The software must integrate seamlessly with your existing systems, such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), or POS (Point of Sale) systems. Integration ensures data consistency and reduces manual data entry, opening up a path of a single real-time data source essential to generating analytical reports.
4. Customization and Scalability
Look for software solutions tailored to each organization’s specific business needs. The software should adopt the processes of every organization. It should also be scalable to accommodate your business’s growth.
5. Data Security and Compliance
Verify that the software provider follows industry-standard security practices and complies with data protection regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in different markets where applicable.
6. Evaluate Features and Functionality
Draft a blueprint of your business processes, including a list of required essential features and functionalities. These functionalities may include:
- Route planning
- Order management
- Inventory tracking
- Merchandising tools
- Data Analytics
- Reports and Dashboards
- Run a fitment analysis against these features and ensure above 80% fitment from software to minimize additional costs incurred on change requests.
The software must be user-friendly for both field teams and back-office staff. These employees fall in the category of minimal qualifications, especially those from the Asian markets. Hence, conducting usability tests and requesting demos to assess each solution would ensure that it is appropriate for each category of field force agents, ease of navigation, and usage.
8. User Feedback and Reviews
Research user reviews and case studies to understand how well the software performs in real-world scenarios. Several websites help you read genuine reviews written by existing platform customers. Pay attention to feedback from businesses similar to yours.
9. Implementation Plan
Develop a clear plan for implementing the chosen software, including timelines, roles and responsibilities, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress. Enterprise solutions may take longer to migrate and implement.
10. Support and Training
Assess the level of customer support offered by the software provider. As field force agents and merchandisers are not tech savvy, ensure that your support staff is efficient and can handle issues with minimum turnaround time. Consider companies based on how well and often they provide training and ongoing assistance to ensure a smooth transition and effective use of the software.
When choosing retail execution software, it is crucial to consider factors such as pricing, deployment options, and vendor reputation. Ivy Retail Execution is a cloud-based software solution that offers a wide range of features and functionality at a competitive price. It is easy to use and can be scaled to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. Ivy Retail Execution is a trusted partner for many of the world’s leading CPG companies. It is a comprehensive, customizable, configurable, and scalable solution that can help your business achieve its goals.
Schedule a demo with us today.
Published by September 22, 2023 by Ivy Mobility