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Strategy, Transformation, Display, Production, Fulfillment

Fulfillment Nightmares. Is Anyone Even Seeing Your In-Store Displays?

POSTED BY: Bradley Daves on 09/26/17 fulfillment

Fulfillment?  You’ve created the promotion, honed the messaging, pushed the boundaries of design and streamlined the production process. This could very well be one of the finest display programs in the history of in-store retail marketing.

That is, if shoppers see it.

Marketing teams spend countless hours dreaming up profound and alluring campaigns and product-moving, shopper-engaging displays. Then they must relinquish control at the most crucial point of execution – fulfillment and installation at the store level.

Compliance at individual stores is critical to the success of a promotion (or a new product launch or a brand update or whatever the marketing agenda). But this final step is often poorly executed (or not executed at all). Quri, a retail intelligence company, found that compliance rates around promotional plans average around 43%.

Sometimes the problem originates at the brand level:

  • Compliance isn’t stressed as a priority to those in the field.
  • Specific store layouts are unknown (and unexplored); display space is assumed incorrectly.
  • Management is unaware of which programs are not working.
  • Compliance has historically been ignored.
  • Minimal field follow-up, leading to a harmful lack of feedback.
  • Missing signage or campaign components.

Other times, the challenge lies at the store level:

  • Confusing POP assembly instructions.
  • Not enough staff or/and high turnover.
  • Each new display requires re-learning.
  • Stores are simply too busy to set up the display.
  • Display is low on the priority list, behind customer service and merchandising.

Compliance has a bigger impact on ROI than any other factor. It is critical to get it right. Here are some ways to do that:

Label generously.

When employees slice open the first box of a new in-store campaign or display, they should recognize immediately what the box contains and what they need to do with the contents. Vivid, easy-to-read labels provide clear instructions and calls-to-action for those on the front lines. Examples might communicate promo dates or communicate important fulfillment messages, such as “Do Not Toss,” “Retail Event” or “Act Now.”

Facilitate organized sign storage.

Many stores have disorganized backrooms, but this reality becomes a larger issue when store associates cannot easily find promotional signage. Associates may waste valuable time searching, mistakenly reorder “misplaced” items or give up looking all together. Be proactive by providing the tools, materials and hardware they need to keep the store organized and in full-display.

Communicate. A lot.

Keep stores well informed and up-to-date with the details of upcoming promotions. Clear communication about fulfillment timelines, changes, concerns and expectations for execution allows for enterprise awareness and encourages a team dynamic.

Follow up, listen and learn.

Folks in the field know exactly what’s happening in the store, and are the best resource for information, ideas and feedback. Engage with them after a promotion ends to discuss their take on what elements went well, what fell flat and what could be improved next time. An easy option for eliciting these responses is to develop a feedback survey for team members to complete (as a regular element of the promotion roll-out). Utilize the data in the planning of the next promotion (and buy some goodwill by demonstrating to the teams on the ground that their input is valued).

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