Webinar: The right assortment in uncertain times

How do you develop product differentiation that delivers on the retailer’s strategies and meets the unique needs of the shopper?
13 December 2022


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.

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