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Christmas is an important time for any brand with a large increase in sales typically seen in the run up to the festive period.  However this year, with the implications brought about by COVID-19, the festive period is going to be unlike any other and brands that rely on a Merry Christmas will need to work that bit harder to realise the great returns seen in previous years. A flexible, data-led workforce could help you make those gains.

Consumer confidence has remained remarkably resilient

2020 so far has been ‘unique’ but the fact remains that shoppers are still shopping.  Consumer confidence has remained remarkably resilient throughout the pandemic with Mintel reporting that consumers financial wellbeing hit an index high across the summer months.  Despite there being uncertainty in certain job sectors, many people have been able to save money and are likely to put some of this money towards treating themselves, especially during the festive period when most events have been cancelled.  There is still uncertainty and there continues to be the threat of local lockdowns, however, from an FMCG perspective this could actually push volumes higher as consumers switch to take home vs. out of home consumption.

In the run up to Christmas it is just as important to ensure your brand is activated in the best way possible in the right stores at the right time with the right resource.  Our flexible tactical workforce can support you for any short notice requirement or an ongoing basis throughout the festive period to make sure your plans succeed.

Harnessing data to make sure you focus on the right store at the right time

Whether you need to execute on a large scale or focus on a smaller cluster of stores, our use of data allows us to select the right stores at the right time.

As a group we collect over 30 million data points captured during our store visits throughout the year.  This includes store attribute data, store discipline, effort and influence levels.  Our AS Analytics division then blends this rich information with alternative data sources such as store level EPOS data to create a clear picture of each store.  This analysis enables us to select stores based not only on their opportunity but also their openness to working with field resource making sure your field investment is maximised in the best stores.

Store execution is important all year round, especially at Christmas

Store resource has been reducing for the past few years which can impact on a brands presence on shelf.  Typically we see product availability sitting at 92 to 95% but during national lockdown in some cases was as low as 60%.

There are two key areas for brands to focus on:

The first is Availability

  • It’s simple – if a product is not available to purchase then consumers can not buy them resulting in lost sales. You will have spent a large amount of time and resource building your plans, but plans can fail if the product doesn’t physically make it to the shop floor.
  • With the massive leap in consumers using online ordering, this takes on added importance as brands need to have optimum availability on shelf to make sure stores can pick the right product.
  • Our proprietary data analysis systems analyse store level EPOS data to create bespoke data alerts on a store by store basis which flag issues such as low or no sales. This makes callage far more efficient as it enables the field resource to get straight to the root cause of the issue and fix it.

The second is Visibility

  • Having your product available is a crucial step, but it also needs to stand out to get into the customer’s basket. This means getting it right not only at the fixture but also by using high footfall / high incremental sites such as gondola ends and ladder racks.  If you have invested in additional feature and display, our team can help you by ensuring they remain fully stocked throughout the festive period so that your products make it into customers’ baskets.

Get in touch so that we can talk about your plans in more detail and create a solution that supports you over this crucial time.