Michael Major, Omnicommerce Director, Advisory
John Maingi, Director, Omnichannel CatMan Software
2022 has seen the culmination of numerous headwinds for the CPG industry, namely post-COVID contraction (for majority of categories), the cost of living crisis, and continuing supply chain constraints. Shoppers, in turn, are reviewing their long-held brand and retailer preferences as they re-balance the value-loyalty equation. Furthermore, the online channel saw record growth in the 2020-2021 period but is starting to experience pullbacks to pre-pandemic levels in some categories.
For category & brand managers, this makes the already challenging task of maintaining stocked, and profitable shelves more difficult. It is imperative to balance breadth of assortment with both the need for a differentiated line-up for each retailer & need state but also to ensure sufficient availability to minimize out-of-stocks.
We have subsequently outlined the key questions that a winning online assortment will need to address to deliver the win-win-win for shoppers, retailers & brands in 2023:
Building a winning assortment:
- Do you understand the role of each SKU in your assortment for the specific retailer?
- How do you rapidly & effectively test/measure how “Niche & Specialty” products appeal to specific shopper behaviors?
- Can you manage retailer priorities & strategy by developing differentiated assortment exclusives?
- How well does your assortment cover all key shopper usage occasions, experiences, and/or benefits in your category?
- Do you proactively manage new and soon-to-be-discontinued items to ensure a fast start for innovation including overlap with products to be replaced?
- How are you trading off assortment & facings/inventory in Bricks & Mortar shelves for omni-channel retailers with pick from store fulfillment?
- We have an existing issue and know certain products will not be available; how do we minimize the retailer impact?
- When products are unavailable, can we quantifiably demonstrate where the volume goes and manage the mix accordingly?
In our recent webinar we explore the above questions, share some best-in-class examples of how manufacturers are addressing these challenges and, finally, share practical tips on how you can plan for the short & long term.
Fill out the form below to watch the replay or contact us to speak to someone directly about our category leadership study.