Using Platforms of Intelligence for Outlet Insights to Drive Revenue Growth for CPG
Traditional CPG manufacturers always lacked access to consumer data and insights and relied on retailers and ecommerce companies to engage with consumer. However, they are now realizing the value from consumer intelligence and are investing resources to help bridge the age-old gap with their consumers through targeted and personalized communication and services. Some are even transforming their Route-to-Market models to include more online D2C channels. The need to have a direct connect with the consumer has been reinforced by the current coronavirus pandemic scenario, where manufacturers are overnight initiating D2C channels such as stationing a sales van at a large apartment complex or signing up with a pizza delivery restaurant to deliver groceries.
But the fact that offline sales through brick & mortar channels still amounts to 89% of overall sales offtake, according to IRI E-Market Insights, CPG manufacturers focus on ensuring continued incremental growth through this channel. And empowering the sales rep becomes crucial to it.
Most technology advancements made by CPG manufacturers to serve their retail customers better, has been around SFA applications – largely focused on improving the productivity of the Sales Rep. This in-turn fosters a transactional relationship between the Sales Rep and his outlet. However, progressive businesses are looking beyond productivity objectives, obsessed on how to make their field sales reps more effective at the point of sales – moving from transactional interaction with retailers to a more informed and commercially focused conversation.
Unlocking the Data Gold Mine to Improve Outlet level Sales
In order to win at retail execution, CPG companies need to harness data beyond the usual – Sell-In, Sell-Out, Product Availability, Pricing & Promotions. For example, tobacco companies can benefit knowing which outlets are close to a sold-out concert venue. This hyper-local demand information known a week in advance can be used by the sales rep to recommend the outlets to stock up to meet the demand due to predicted increased footfall in that area. Similarly, it would be beneficial to understand the economic environment around an outlet – is it a residential or commercial area?; is it close to a rail station/ metro / bus stop?; is it close to a movie hall or tourist spot? They all provide footfall predictions and used for assortment decisions.
In the on-going quarantine scenario, it would be important to understand consumer’s current definition of essentials and accordingly plan for demand and outlet assortments. The US retail market has displayed clear purchase trends in this regard – when first the news of the pandemic broke out, shoppers hoarded toilet paper and cleaning essentials, as they slowly settled into their quarantined lives, there rose a strong desire to bake, uplifting sales of flour, baking powder, yeast and other baking essentials. Now as consumers are quite habituated to the lockdown, the focus has shifted to personal care, increasing sales of grooming products.
While social listening data and offtake data would indicate consumer purchase trends, integrating news and government health statistics are especially imperative, as they will provide insights on which areas are worse affected by health concerns, and how that will then determine the impact on demand in that area.
Data Sources – Internal and External
Outlet 360 will empower the CPG companies to ensure the right product in the right store at the right time and at the right price. It will use base attributes, transactional attributes, 3rd party attributes and derived attributes to generate personalized outlet level predictive insights on outlet value, assortment mix, order quantity, reach, churn, new product uptake, payment default, credit line and promotions.
Outlet 360° – Platform of Intelligence
Enabling Outlet 360° View and Point-Of-Action Analytics
To help our CPG client accelerate growth using intelligence, we have been building platforms of intelligence for them. These platforms are focused on delivering personalized experience, monetizing loyalty programs and new channels of engagement and commerce. We have been working on and end-to-end Customer Intelligence Platforms which leverages customer, business, demographic and social data to deliver adaptive experience to customer. One of the focus areas of this platform is an outlet intelligence hub that provides a single 360° view of the outlet. This is the foundation that empowers sales reps with “Point-Of-Action” insights to have a more meaningful commercial discussion during their outlet visits. This can also be leveraged to acquire indirect customers through personalized campaigns.
Customer Intelligence Platform – CPG
The platform assesses the value potential for an outlet basis its historical sales performance, peer group and catchment area analysis. This serves as a foundation for the sales pitch the rep makes to the outlet. Which products need listing? What business benefit will they bring in? How many other similar outlets in the neighborhood are selling these products? The platform’s insights can also personalize trade promotions targeted towards the outlet. What is the price range attractive for the outlet owner? What form of incentives will entice the outlet owner to make a bigger purchase? Would he like a credit limit extension or just a x% discount.
The insights can also help determine which outlet is a suitable candidate for a new product launch. Which outlets are on the verge of churn? What should be the order quantity taking into consideration their past out-of-stock statistics as well as any demand triggers in the outlet’s neighborhood.
Stay tuned as we show you how the Outlet 360° view enables sales rep transformation, making them effective at the point of sales – moving from transactional interaction with retailers to a more informed and commercially focused discussion. We will also explore some specific ‘Point of Action’ use cases, that demonstrate the data-driven conversation crafted for the sales rep by this powerful platform.
Principal Consultant – Data