Retail execution is an amalgamation of all the tasks that lead to the application of the best strategy at the point of purchase (POP). It involves ensuring that the product is visible on the shelf, uses retail data to predict customer demand and drive sales, and designing and executing effective product introductions and promotions.
Retail execution is the thin line between success and failure of a brand. Poor retail execution can lead to a loss of sales at the POP. The purchases made at this point are more often than not impulse items like candy, magazines, and carbonated drinks. Thus, it is these products that can encourage or even tempt a shopper into making additional purchases they were not initially planning on making.
Selling a beverage
To sell a beverage, the brand must know how to get the product to market, how to choose the right distributors, retail channels, and also how to persuade retailers to carry the product. The best channel to sell beverages through is the convenience store channel, as it is easier to sell impulse items through this channel. In fact, as per Information Resources Inc. (IRI), when it comes to the convenience store channel, beverage (including liquor) sales account for 1/3rd of total sales. In fact, beverage sales are booming in convenience stores, with a strong growth rate of 6.7% in dollars and 5.1% in units, as compared to 2015. Based on data from NACS , 49% of convenience store customers primarily stop by the store just to purchase a beverage.
One way to promote your beverage is by building a sort of lifestyle around it. For example, Gatorade and Lucozade are aimed towards sportspeople, and fruit juices are aimed towards children and people seeking healthier alternatives to sodas. Thus, if the lifestyle appeals to the customers, the drink will too. By creating the need for their product in the lifestyle, brands are bound to attract customers.
For example, sportspeople require extra energy, which Lucozade and Gatorade both provide in form of sugar and electrolytes. This, then, becomes their USP, and as it resonates with customers, it is bound to be popular. This way, brands can promote their beverages as having health benefits, or using different ingredients than their competitors, and even how customers will be perceived if seen with the beverage.
This sort of marketing creates enough buzz and makes the shopper curious about its taste. Attractive packaging, offers, and signs near the shelf are bound to attract shoppers, who may pick it up as an impulse buy item. This is where execution comes in. By using in-store promotions like discounts, special prices, or customer loyalty programs, you can increase the number of people exposed to your brand. Displays, banners, and tags near the product get the shoppers’ attention easily, thus piquing their curiosity and tempting them to make a purchase.
But retail execution is not just about marketing. It is also about visibility of stock. For example, when it comes to carbonated beverages, there are three major places for them to be placed in order to get customer attention:
1. In the cooler
2. Near the entrance of the store
3. At the checkout line
Those stopping by for a quick beverage usually head to the coolers. The entrance of the store is usually where retailers put up the best products and offers, which entices customers. Moreover, due to constant transit, it generates and attracts more traffic. As discussed earlier, the checkout line has impulse buy items, thus encouraging shoppers to add it to their basket as a last-minute purchase.
The brand’s executors must ensure that:
1. The product is placed in such a way that it is highly visible to those shopping in the store.
2. Communication related to key points is displayed clearly.
3. At least three-fourths of the cooler is filled with their products.
4. Products are rotated based on expiration date.
By following the above steps, the brand’s message is displayed across the store. This encourages shoppers to interact with the brand, and purchase its products.
Successful retail execution in the beverage industry helps drive the brand’s sales and get new customers. It includes building a relationship not just with customers, but also retailers in order to gain shelf and floor space. This encourages customers to choose the brand’s products at the POP, as it increases the brand’s visibility in the store.