What to look for in a retail execution partner

It may sound obvious, but if you want to maximise sales and optimise your time, it’s important to work with a retail execution partner who can actually help in those areas. A lot of companies will sell you the dream, but very few can actually deliver. Here’s what you need to look for to make sure your perfect partnership doesn’t turn out to be a nightmare.
Retail Execution Partner

1. They aren’t just a pretty face

It can be easy to see big numbers, fancy tech, and high profile clients, and just assume that a company is worth what they’re showing. If they look so good and they’re the only name you’re hearing, they must be the best, right?

At the end of the day, your retail execution partner is someone who’s going to help you behind the scenes, which means reputation can only go so far. With so many in-store KPIs ready to be tackled, the right fit for you isn’t always the first name on your list. You need to choose them because they can do what you’re currently doing, but better. Sometimes, you won’t even know you have room for improvement until they show up, which is an even more positive sign that you’re a good match.

Creativity, initiative and knowledge are all key factors you need to take into consideration when picking a retail execution partner. Did they make an effort to understand your problems? Do they have the market knowledge to back up what they’re selling? Companies can produce great marketing collateral, but when you speak to their people, do you get the sense that they truly know what they’re talking about? 

>> READ: A framework for managing customer knowledge in retail industry [theoretical paper]

2. Time is money

There are several layers to this point, but put simply, it shouldn’t take forever for your retail execution partner to provide the desired results.

Of course, choosing the right tech can take a while, but it’s always important to enquire about onboarding time and, if it applies, the time it’ll take for your reps to learn and get use out of it.

If a product takes a year to onboard, that is a bad product. If you start to use it, request some changes and then they take more than six months to implement them, that’s an even worse product. Regardless of its capabilities and suspected ROI, you will have waited more than 365 to use it as desired, and that’s unacceptable. Your retail execution partner should be able to give you a timeline right at the start of your journey together and stick to it moving forward.

On the other hand, if your partner provides a type of tool that can be used by field reps, consider how long those store trips take and if they’re worth the money. If you’ve invested in a partner to cut down time in the field and boost accuracy, but your reps are spending 30-40 minutes on one trip alone, that ROI isn’t worth it regardless of granularity of the data. 

Following on from this, if the tool tracks KPIs, you want to be able to get those insights as soon as possible. The longer you wait to receive your data, the less relevant it becomes and the more money you lose.

3. They’ll be there for you (clap clap clap clap)

In every area of life, you want to be supported, and your relationship with your retail execution partner should be no different. 

When assessing options, look for the partner that will treat your CPG as an individual account rather than one of many. In most good cases, an Account Manager or a Customer Success Manager (or both!) will be assigned to look after you specifically. This means that not only do you have a true partner that cares about your success as much as you do, but if you have any changes that need to be made, you know who to turn to.

The best case scenario is that you then have regular checkups with this person to make sure everyone’s on the same page. If regular contact is kept, your partnership should be smooth sailing.

4. Room for growth

You aren’t looking for a retail execution partner for the fun of it; you want to be able to make a real change to your business that is continual and scalable. 

The overarching idea is that this partnership should lead to a boost in your revenue. However, within retail execution, there are many different components you may want to touch upon. These can be anything from Promotion Monitoring, Share of Shelf, On-Shelf Availability, Perfect Store, Brand Recommendation and so on.

The key is to find someone or some solution within the space that can cater to your desired needs, and most importantly, grow as you grow. A tool with limited KPIs or lack of actionability is no good for any CPG that wants to achieve serious revenue.

Spoiler alert: if you’re looking for a retail execution partner that ticks all of these boxes, you’re already in the right place. BeMyEye is an all-in-one solution that works with CPG to create specified, accurate and scalable campaigns to track the KPIs that matter most. Want to get in on the action? Simply get in touch and we’ll do the rest.

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