Why does my brand need merchandising services?

Why does my brand need merchandising services?

Gaining a national supermarket listing signifies a major milestone for any food and drink brand. So you may be thinking “Why do i need merchandising services?” after all, you’ve hit the big time! …or have you? With huge competition among new companies, it’s great that you have found a way to make your brand stand out. But it’s far from an instant route to success for growing brands – getting an order is only the beginning.

Big supermarkets have a lot of requirements which can be costly and time-consuming for developing brands. Getting the right products and promotions on the correct shelves is critical. But supermarket intranet portals don’t always provide in-store teams with the information to do the job right, specifically for your brand.

The results can mean out-of-stocks, low display compliance and lost sales. Getting this right is critical in the current climate, where there have been shocking scenes of empty shelves at supermarkets across the UK. ALL brands need to have the right strategy to make full use of a supermarket listing. And one of those strategies for an emergent food or drink brand is to employ a field marketing agency, like eXPD8. We provide syndicated merchandising services to brands across all categories.

Here at eXPD8 we have been expertly dealing with rising brands for some time now. Unfortunately, a lot of them come to us for our help when it’s too late, and already they are losing sales. Luckily, others have quickly realised that as soon as they have that listing in a supermarket, that they need us on board straight away too!

One of the first things we are often asked first by many of the smaller brands is: How can they can increase their sales in supermarkets? As Simon Bailey, Client Services Controller for GM & tactical team at eXPD8 says: “there are 3 main elements that you have to concentrate on first which will ultimately help sales… Availability – is your product out on the shelf and available to buy? Visibility – is your product visible… looking good on the shelf? And Price – is the price correct, displayed properly and the product scanning at tills?”.

It may seem simple, but these areas are vitally important and is where eXPD8 can have a huge impact.

Availability – Your product needs to be in stock and on the shelf to sell. You do not want to be off sale – rate of sale is also key. Just because you are on the shelf today, it doesn’t mean you’re going to survive the next category reset. The quantity of goods sold in a certain period is the rotation, and you have credible rotation.

With eXPD8 we can audit your SKU’s on the shelf, check backstock and confirm the book stock reading in the supermarket. Any stock variance is highlighted, and this is a crucial part of the visit as this helps to push deliveries into stores. Our merchandisers also locate backstock and replen to ensure maximum stock levels are available, ensuring promotional compliance to maximise sales during a promotional period.

Visibility – Make your products easy to find. Most shoppers want to be in and out of a retail Supermarket quickly. Lack of organisation will quickly get customers shopping and looking elsewhere. It’s important to keep your display organised and pristine always.

eXPD8 can make your shelving and product put to the correct layout/planogram, be dust free and with products facing and pulled forward. eXPD8 can keep displays fresh by cycling through them often.

Spot the difference merchandising can make on the eye!

Before… and after!

Price – If there is no SEL indicating a price this can frustrate a shopper and lead them to not buying your product. Labelling requirements, for example, can differ for every major supermarket, which can often cause problems.

eXPD8 can check if products are scanning, priced correctly – especially if it is a promotional price, and labelled correctly and will also correct SELs where we are able.

Remember the space in any is store limited and fully optimised. If you want your product on the shelves, the category manager has had to remove another one to make space. If a product does not sell enough in a particular retailer it can be delisted.

The delisting of a developing brand can cause them to fail. In theory, delistings are covered by the Groceries Supply Code of Practice, which was introduced in February 2010. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/groceries-supply-code-of-practice ) However, the code is open to interpretation, as it merely states a “retailer may only delist a supplier for genuine commercial reasons”.

Therefore, you, as a rising brand, must still demonstrate how you can be a real benefit to the retailer in their fight for their share of the market. You can do this by being a product or brand that shoppers continue to buy. Working together with eXPD8 we can make sure you deliver merchandising and promotional compliance and ensure ongoing on-shelf availability, and ultimately those most important…sales. Get in touch here!

Debbie Weids
Client Services Manager