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Collaboration with Retailers: Answering the Right Questions About Performance and Promotions Leads to Better Buyer-Supplier Relationships

Data Drives the Manufacturer and Retailer Relationship

High-performing brands are always looking at data and reevaluating their next move. Having a pulse on what’s happening in stores lets them plan intelligently and find opportunities to claim more shelf space, market share, and ultimately build a long-term relationship with their retail partners.

SPINS solution architect Kevin Snodgrass has previously outlined how top brands of all sizes build a foundation of consumer data, competitive intelligence, and the right tools. Now, Kevin shares advice on which data CPG brands pay attention to so they can translate that information into a business strategy that retailers will support.

What Questions to Ask When Assessing Retailer Performance

Before you can convince a retailer to expand your shelf space, carry a new product, or continue stocking your products at their current rate, you need base-level knowledge of your current retail picture:  

  • Which retailers are carrying your brand?  
  • How many stores is your brand in?  
  • Which of your products are they carrying?  
  • How are your products performing in those stores individually and collectively? 
  • What is your product velocity (aka how many units you are selling per store)? 

Ensure you have access to this information because it goes beyond broader category and channel data. It helps you understand how customers in these specific locations are responding to your products so you can evaluate how well your current strategy is working. For example, you might know that your product is selling well compared to when looking at category data, but is that success happening uniformly across all retailers and even across a single retailer’s multiple outlets? Possibly, but you can’t be sure if you don’t take a closer look.

What Questions to Ask When Assessing Promotional Efforts

Digging into this data will likely show you the leading factors for your retail success and identify areas where you have room to grow. CPG brands enjoy having access to this information because performance is never static. Look for the data that gives color to your performance: 

  • What promotions have you been running? 
  • How have your promotions performed? 
  • Which promotions are connecting with consumers? 

After looking at these in-store promotional activities, you’re left with a better idea of how your performance and promotions are connected—and hopefully you’re starting to identify ways to see even better results. 

Which Data Shows Retail Wins and Losses

Now that you know what data you should be relying on, you need the tools that will bring it to you easily and in a timely manner. With these solutions, you don’t have to start from scratch every time you’re going to meet with a retailer. You have an ongoing connection to relevant data that matters to them and to you, which saves you time. 

Performance data for retail accounts carrying your products

Key Account data lets you look at performance data for retailers currently carrying your products. You can compare yourself to overall category growth trends, look at the top-performing brands within that retailer, and see which products are driving that growth. When you walk into your next retail pitch or catch-up meeting, you can prove you understand their business and have the data to prove it.  

Measuring the performance of trade promotions

Many brands reinforce that story by using TradeROI, which allows you to plan ahead and get more value out of Key Account data. If you’re like most brands, trade spend and promotions take up a large part of your budget, and you need to know where you are seeing a return. Which promotions are driving velocity, which ones are losing you money, and how do these promotions compare to my competition? TradeROI shows you that detail so you can get a better view of your promotional performance with a retailer and decide where to double down on your trade spend and where to pull back. 

Product performance in each retail location

SPINS clients also rely on Store Level Data to give them a close look at how their products are performing in each retail location. With Store Level Data, you can monitor your sales at each store to identify the product driving velocity at each location and identify voids.  

Now, with data that tells you how you’re performing in your outlets, what sales are in each store (and how they compare to the competition), and what you’re getting for your promotional spend, you have a complete story to tell your retail partners. You can speak to the micro-level metrics that matter to your shared goals.  

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