4 Features Every Retail Execution Solution Must Have

The ascent of SaaS has inspired numerous companies to establish retail execution solutions that provide instant, useful insights and pave way for assessing and implementing new execution strategies. These strategies, in turn, improve brand presence and uplift sales. The rapid changes occurring in the retail world demand the adoption of technology into the everyday process; thus establishing the importance of using retail executions solutions to the maximum potential.

But merely using any solution is not enough. Brands adopting the technological approach for optimizing their perfect store processes are winning at the store by

  • Providing the technology and tools to streamline and simplify retail execution
  • Guiding reps with the steps and best practices to achieve their store targets
  • Empowering field reps with the data and tools to engage store managers with valuable information

In this blog, we discuss the 4 most important features every retail execution solution must have to help CPGs achieve their perfect store.

1. Image Recognition/Object Detection

Before the technological boom, the merchandising managers had to rely upon the field reps for gathering in-store information. This information was often inaccurate because of the personal biases and lack of proper instructions. But this gap can be filled if the managers have images of the shelves that provide them with direct insight into what’s happening on the shelves. This is possible with image recognition.

Image recognition is an advanced feature that can automatically detect out-of-stock, empty spaces, the share of shelf, the share of visible inventory, planogram compliance, and competitor strategy at the store level. Image recognition uses machine learning technology and is capable of scanning even to the minutest of the details on the shelf and analyze it with pre-defined KPIs and compliance metrics.

2. Sales Reps Management

Data collection is one of the most significant steps of the execution process. And field reps play an extremely crucial role in data collection. That is why this feature is critical and should be part of every effective retail execution solution at all costs. The feature will help CPGs track their field rep activity as well as assign stores and optimize routes. They can use POS data to determine the next store that deserves attention and what to do there to improve sales. The reps can also review POS data before arriving at the stores, to set a plan of what are the most important tasks to perform in the store.

3. Data Visualization and Analytical Dashboard

Data visualization is important for everyone from the top-level to sales reps to in-store staff. Every retail execution tool must possess business and retail intelligence as part of their solution. It should be able to create and measure KPIs, analyze trends in order to make necessary changes in the business strategies.

Analytics dashboards are the most efficient way to measure individual or collective performance in the retail industry. Insights on sales, merchandising, promotions, and shopper experience can be gained through an analytics dashboard. Implementing an intelligent analytics dashboard in your retail execution solution is guaranteed to provide growth to the business.

4. Geotagging and Mapping Integration

Geotagging and mapping features facilitate the approach where the decision-maker can identify and pin particular stores that require improvement. They can then go over the strategies and take necessary actions. Automated geotagging can also help sales reps easily find and locate the store near them which would make the process of data collection faster.

This feature also comes handy when it comes to sales rep management. It can help track their route activity to ensure that they are adhering to the plan and strategy.

ShelfWatch- The Perfect Retail Execution Solution

ParallelDots shelf monitoring tool ShelfWatch helps retailers achieve the desired in-store execution and compliance with the help of image recognition technology. ShelfWatch’s data collection app gives near real-time retail KPI feedbacks using image analysis and deep learning. It makes it easy to collect images that are directly transferred to the ShelfWatch cloud/algorithm that detects POSM and SKUs.

ShelfWatch’s UI is extremely user-friendly. Multiple users can do data collection for the same project, making the process of data collection quick and uncomplicated. It also solves the major problem of data quality because it works on real-time image quality check. In the case of blurry images, it notifies the sales rep for the same. ShelfWatch also has automated geo-tracking to find the nearby store previously entered by the field staff to curtail the manual addition of the store each time sales reps go to gather data.

ShelfWatch also provides a detailed Insights dashboard for the brands to monitor the latest trends. The dashboard provides competitive analysis by Counts, Presence, and Shelf area covered by SKUs and POSMs. It helps understand brand presence across all the stores along with geographical breakdown over a map overlay.

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Co-founder at ParallelDots