Virtual Technology finds a “Sweet Spot” on Retail Shelves

By David
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Adapting to Change with a Digital Platform

When it comes to delivering a consumer shopping experience, retailers have been slacking big time – and they may not even know it.

According to the Retail Indicator Branch of the US Census Bureau, between 2000 and 2012, e-commerce sales across all retail channels grew by 19.1% annually, while overall sales only grew by 3.2%.

The shift towards technology-influenced shopping has bred a new species of consumer with higher expectations of service and perceived quality. This poses a huge challenge to retailers who rely on shopper engagement to drive sales. With consumer loyalty at an all-time low and the effectiveness of traditional marketing tactics on a steady decline, brand manufacturers need stronger solutions to recapture consumer attention, restore buying confidence and drive real business value.

How Virtual Collaboration Fosters Growth

Revamping the consumer shopping experience…starting with collaboration!

Creating the optimum shelf experience is retail priority number one. With more consumers doing their big basket shopping at convenience stores, retailers need solutions to capitalize on those trends and drive increases in average basket size per shopper. To help them, brand manufacturers and retailers team up and collaborate using the Perfect Shelf industry solution experience. By realistically simulating how store shelf designs are deployed, they can create consumer-responsive merchandising and assortment strategies that lift both category sales and margins.

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This collaboration between brand manufacturers and their retail allies accelerates the effort towards finding the best solutions for cost-effective design, merchandising compliance, and brand experience enhancement. A shared virtual environment to define merchandising strategies and enterprise objectives is the ideal platform brand manufacturers and retailers want and need to fortify a strong partnership that creates opportunity.

Why Retailers Need Technology to Improve Shelf Productivity

Carrying nearly twice as many SKUs as they did 25 years ago, today’s retailers face a productivity crisis of making less revenue per item. With profit margins getting squeezed more than ever before, how can retailers fight back?

Strategic shelf planning is critical for managing high volumes of product inventory. Retailers seeking to achieve higher inventory turnover rates and reduce carrying costs must be able to respond quickly and with precision to the ever-changing store assortments. Virtually simulating store layout, shelving, and fixture scenarios in a 3D environment provides retailers with an enriched interpretation of each stage of the consumer buying cycle. This enhanced visibility fosters the creation of in-store merchandising plans that synergize product assortments to optimize shopper engagement. In addition to improving merchandising results, retailers grasp a stronger sense of how shoppers navigate the store to drive better decision-making in inventory management.

By connecting the dots between shopper insights and shelf planning, retailers are positioned to:

  • Maximize product engagement by optimizing merchandising plans and refining store design layout
  • Deliver operational excellence through better and faster category management decisions
  • Improve shelf compliance to reduce inventory costs and increase productivity

How can brand manufacturers position themselves above competition?

It starts with enhancing brand experience. Perfect Shelf allows CPG brand manufacturers to fully utilize the consumer insights and business metrics needed to design the optimal category strategy with its retail partners. Features like virtual reality sessions enable category managers to continuously share and adapt 3DEXPERIENCEs for internal executive reviews or team on-boarding, avoiding ineffective 2D planograms or the expense of physical mock ups.

Whether it’s preparing to optimize a new product launch, design a promotional plan or even deliver a comprehensive range review, these digital solutions serve as a game-changing asset for brand manufacturers seeking a competitive advantage.

The Benefits of Enhanced Shelf Design

The advantages of shelf design technology don’t stop there. As brand manufacturers look to ensure these newly developed shelf strategies align with compliance metrics and merchandising rules, they turn to the Design value component of Perfect Shelf for answers. With an intuitive and systematic design, “Drag & Drop capabilities” provide smart positioning and advanced product assortment filtering and searching – the ingredients needed for accelerating inventory management.

Category managers can efficiently design shelf space recommendations by virtually creating 3D shelves, fixtures and merchandising elements meeting retailer standards and brand equity goals. Brand manufacturers are then able to:

  • Cultivate a stronger sense of operational management
  • Develop a better understanding of their product categories
  • Make precise decisions in merchandising design

Using the Dassault Systèmes Perfect Shelf industry solution experience, brand manufacturers can combine strong brands, visible point-of-sale materials, and a highly professional sales force to win category leadership while boosting sales for its retail partners. Learn how Perfect Shelf can help you create better merchandising plans and improve your retailer relationships.

Don’t believe us? Let the industry’s winning players tell you themselves. Learn how to become a leading brand manufacturer by virtually redefining its infrastructure and discover what simulation has the potential to do for your retail business.

By realistically simulating retail settings inside immersive, lifelike 3-D environments, Retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods companies can better imagine, validate and deploy optimum shopping experiences, increase product appeal, drive brand and category profitability and differentiate themselves from the competition.

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