Let’s have a look at the core problem merchandisers usually face: lack of time. Merchandisers are very busy. When they come to a store and check all the product displays, they have lots of tasks to execute in a limited time. How to optimize merchandisers’ performance and get quality results?
In this article, we will discuss the ways to increase the speed and efficiency of a merchandiser’s work onsite with no loss in quality.
Key tasks of a merchandiser in a store
When a sales rep gets into the store, one of the first tasks is to understand where to start and what needs to be done. At this stage, automation comes in handy.
One of the easiest ways to help merchandisers with this task is to give them a mobile app with a feature to plan the route between product displays. (We have this feature in the Eyrene mobile app.)
Once merchandisers are equipped with this app in a store or other retail location, they must quickly check the display of the goods on the shelves to see if it complies with the brand’s standards, and make an inventory of the rest of the places used to sell the brand's products. Additional selling places may include coolers, hangers, checkout areas, promotional displays, and so on. Moreover, a merchandiser must place the goods on the shelves if it hasn’t been done yet by the store personnel.
As we see here, the merchandiser’s main tasks include creating an optimized route to visit product locations and check all necessary goods displays at these locations. This should be done in the most efficient way, as merchandisers are paid on an hourly basis. Usually, merchandisers are flooded with work and are in a big hurry, so they can miss some displays or send incorrect information in the report.
How do brands invest in goods display — and why?
Of course, manufacturers (brands) invest heavily into brand exposure at retail locations to earn more. The reason is simple: in retail stores, they prefer to use traditional ways to promote their goods, including promo banners, coolers, hangers, and so on. However, this way of goods display is hectic in some ways, as for sales reps it’s a real challenge to work quickly and efficiently onsite.
Coolers are one of the most popular ways to display a brand’s products, and it’s the fastest method to grow sales of certain products as well. If coolers are used, sales reps’ responsibilities include checking if the recommended (high-margin) products are on display in the cooler, if competitors’ products are not placed on the shelves, and in general, if it’s being used for the purpose it’s intended for.
Once coolers generate great revenue, it is a common practice of brands to present coolers to retail stores as gifts, and afterward, they take care of them in terms of maintenance. Thousands of pieces of equipment can be distributed in this way by brands, and they carefully watch how these coolers are used in stores. That’s a great amount of money invested into product displays, so the question is what the real outcome of the investments is.
One more case worth mentioning here is tobacco companies, which have huge marketing budgets. They usually invest a lot of time and effort into understanding if the marketing funds are used properly and if the brand’s products and competitors’ products are displayed as per their recommendations.
In HoReCa, the situation is more or less similar, as brands heavily invest in providing restaurants and cafes with branded tables and chairs, or menus. Of course, manufacturers want to be sure that everything they provide is utilized as intended.
In all these cases, brands/manufacturers want to be sure their investments are used as intended and need to monitor the presence of the goods and equipment used. Image recognition technology comes in handy to help brands with these tasks. Using this technology, which is the core of the Eyrene platform, helps brands to get up-to-date information on whether the products are currently on the shelves in this or that store if the required promo banners are on display, and if the brand coolers’ contents are as they should be. Merchandisers don’t have to do all these tasks manually when technology with high accuracy is already available and can be quickly used on almost all mobile devices.
Brands that use the most cutting-edge technologies get obvious advantages over others: they optimize merchandisers’ work, get results they can trust, and can significantly increase sales.
Eyrene, enhanced with high-accuracy image recognition technology, is a digital merchandising platform specially designed for brands to improve on-shelf presence and make the process much easier and faster.