Retailers and manufacturers have come a long way since the time they categorized things based on how they transacted business and managed their buying processes. Now it’s about how people shop. Still, although there are plenty of opportunities that have yet to be uncovered and capitalized on, the majority of companies are still at the bottom of the learning curve. The reason is this: “Change is hard.”
It can bring up all kinds of serious issues with merchandisers, buyers and suppliers. Simplifying the process to make shoppers happier might mean reducing SKUs or dramatically changing Planograms and adjacencies, which has the potential to make buyers and suppliers unhappy. But despite how difficult these changes might seem, it is important to remember that the quality of your data can help persuade the team to work together. And once you have the support of the team, then the real challenge becomes using the data across all functions. The shopper insights forum promises a real path to innovation, versus relentless incremental improvements.
Most retailers are masters at fine-tuning the status quo, but too often the shopper accepts the status quo as an immovable reality that they have no choice but to adapt to. The advantage of learning shopper science, on the other hand, is that it allows you to form a connection with your shopper by being different and better – not just different for the sake of being different. As the most successful retailers prove “When you do what’s right for the shopper, everybody wins.”