Top 6 Ways to Improve Retail Execution Management with Mobile Apps

Mar 31, 2016

 

Mobile Apps for Retail Execution Management

What happens to consumer goods products after they are delivered to stores, but before they reach the cash register?

Many consumer goods manufacturers have little to no visibility into whether their products are displayed correctly and present on shelves, or how well their carefully planned promotions are executed in retail stores. Out-of-stocks alone continue to cost the consumer goods industry billions of dollars every year.

Why is this the case? Without physically being in stores at all times, it can be difficult or costly to measure what's happening at the shelf. It's even more challenging to monitor in-store conditions in a systematic and actionable way, to be able to feed the information back to brokers and retailers and increase sales.

Some of the challenges of collecting in-store observations include:

  • Ad-hoc or inefficient methods of conducting in-store surveys
  • Delays in getting information from the field
  • Expensive third-party services to provide this information
  • Inconsistent retail audit processes between stores or territories
  • High fuel and staffing costs
  • Using paper, email or spreadsheets to document shelf conditions

The result is a visibility gap between the loading dock and checkout counter. Some consumer goods manufacturers have missed opportunities to make sure their products are available, visible, and presentable to shoppers where they make their buying decisions, resulting in lost revenue.

Fortunately mobile technology is changing the game, making data collection in retail stores, as well as reporting and following up on the data, more accessible and cost-efficient than ever before.

Here are 6 ways to close the retail execution gap with a mobile solution.

1. Reduce the cost of in-store surveys

Use customizable mobile forms and workflow applications that integrate with existing data warehouses or reporting systems to reduce the administrative costs of data entry and analysis. Reduce the costs of printing and distributing paper survey forms, or analyzing data in spreadsheets.

2. Expand retail survey coverage

Set up a streamlined mobile data collection system to survey more stores more often, across more channels. By improving the productivity of every rep in the field, more in-store data can be be collected. Automate reporting to identify trends by region, retailer, special promotion, product, or other criteria.

3. Fix in-store issues quickly

Set up workflows and automatic notifications for issues needing immediate attention such as out-of-stocks or low scores for a store. Send audit reports automatically from the mobile app to managers and brokers. Close the loop by defining and tracking action plans for urgent issues, all within the same mobile-first system.

4. Improve the accountability of field teams

Collect rich information in mobile forms such as time-stamped photos, GPS locations, manager signatures and more to improve employee accountability. Capture start and end times of each retail store visit to ensure productivity is maximized.

5. Close the loop with brokers

An indisputable audit trail of in-store conditions goes a long way when managing the performance of brokers. By checking and reporting on retail conditions regularly, you can identify any systematic issues and correct them. Send out automated reports from mobile devices in the field to streamline communication.

6. Use rapid mobile app development for quick, cost-effective deployments

Leverage an agile solution for building and publishing apps without programming to get results faster. With a code-free solution like Flowfinity, you can constantly tweak and make changes to your retail execution apps and instantly publish the changes to all users. Select a cross-platform solution for the most flexibility in choosing mobile devices.

 

Our customers, such as Kellogg's and Constellation Brands, make the most out of in-store visits with fully customized apps that improve their retail execution processes. Find out how to take your retail execution management to the next level with mobile technology in our free white paper, "The Retail Execution Gap."


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