Category management is much more than simply another buzzword that gets thrown around during meetings. With the right planning and preparation, as well as an effective reliable category management platform, you can increase the efficiency of your category management process. Category managers play a demanding role. They oversee everything from start to finish. This includes crafting a strategy, choosing the assortment of merchandise, pricing the products, laying out a planogram, and even promotion.
Basically, category managers are responsible for taking the corporate strategy and bringing it to fruition. Transforming a concept into a concrete reality isn’t easy. It’s a challenging job to have, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Having the right platform and approach can make all the difference.
Modern retail focuses heavily on the customer experience. This is one of the reasons that so many retail establishments employ secret shoppers. Feedback is integral to formulating real-world goals and metrics. You can’t build something that appeals to customers without learning to appreciate their mindset. A retail environment needs more than just glitz and glamour. You have to create something that really works. If products aren’t accessible or are laid out in a way that isn’t intuitive and easy to understand, you set the stage for failure.
Much like messaging and communication, this comes down to understanding your target audience. Your customers are your audience, but you have to know more than simply what they want and need. Modern technology has impacted the way we communicate more than possibly any other aspect of our daily lives. It’s essential that you implement you software and technology in a way to capitalizes on this.
While you can learn a lot from these tools, don’t underestimate the value of the hands-on experience. Face-to-face interactions are massively important. A customer only needs to be aggravated or disappointed once to be lost forever. Leverage the feedback and information you can acquire to improve and enhance the customer experience every day.
Data is where your software platform truly shines, but knowledge is only truly significant if you use it wisely. Integrate your software into your planning process, and see if you can bridge the gap between planning and execution. This perhaps the area where category managers are at their best. The daily process of category management gives the managers a unique perspective and highly-valuable skill set.
At its best, data helps to drive your insights, but it’s easy to get lost in graphs, charts, and spreadsheets. Don’t forget to tie this back to the customer. Rely on clean, accurate data that informs your decisions and category management strategy. If the information you accrue can’t be turned into something actionable, it isn’t doing much good for you or your customers. Not all research or resources are created equal. Learn to be discerning, and you’ll be both more efficient and effective in coordinating and executing your category management.
Create a road map. Metrics and milestones really do matter. Celebrate your accomplishment, but analyze them as well. You can learn from both successes and failures. Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to retail execution. There are regional and cultural differences that make every location a bit unique. Luckily, you can make these personal quirks and unique variations work for you and your customers. This is the era of personalization, and you can use it to your advantage.
Every company is different, but observation, analysis, and the customer experience always matter. Speak with TradeBeyond at 852-2378-6300 to learn how you can incorporate a category management platform to improve your business.