Maybe you are wondering why we are at the Category Management Conference or the GS1 ECR Conferences. Some of you even may ask "How can pushfeeds help help me as a Category Manager?"
As I was in the CatMan business for many years, I can tell you how. Let me tell you a little bit from my own experience:
The answer is: daily business! Products with high rotation are out of stock or in the back of the 50cm shelf and practically not visible, customers put products back into another facing, so products are not at the place they should be and so on. This can lead to bad results, even if the planogram itself would be great, but in this situation shoppers cannot see it and so there is no orientation and therefore no sales increase possible. This is the most frustating result for industry and retail, because they put so much work into it.
This is where we come back to the initial question.
If every product has it´s defined place in the shelf - with pushfeeds and dividers, the planogram will automatically stay as it was on the day you left the store. Every product is at the front of the shelf, so the planogram in total is visible and tidy, and the shopper orientation will increase immensely and so will sales accordingly. If you then have products with high rotation, even the last product will be at the front, if you really have an out of stock, a lable or sticker with the picture of the product on the pushfeed can help the shopper to see that usually the product is here. So he or she can ask someone in the store for help. Additionally it is helpful for store employees to put the right product where it belongs, this also helps a lot for planogram sustainability.
And research also shows that shoppers put products back more carefully, if there is a really tidy shelf.
With additional orientation elements like flags, rails with colour coding or lighting you can also improve the orientation in big categories.
So, and how can we measure if it is really better than before? It is still very difficult to analyse the shelf or base turnover without promotions or displays. But as in every part of our life also here the digitalisation will help us in future. There are systems which count every movement in the shelf - if someone takes a product out or if someone refills, even for every single store and every facing (buzzword "local or store individual category management"). The systems tells you also if there were out of stocks and how long and how often. Regarding this topic please read more at this same point in a few weeks.
At the end there is nothing left to say besides: I wish you great success and fun with all your CatMan projects in the future. :-)
Kristin Kolbe-Schade, Head of Marketing, POS Tuning GmbH