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Retail Greatness Blog

5 Ways in Which Macy's Taught Us that Inventory Control is King

K3 Retail posted a helpful blog post at the beginning of the year that outlined the ways in which Macy's has proven inventory control to be the meat and potatoes of the retail industry.

Topics: inventory control

5 Out-of-the-Box Ways Field Sales & Service Professionals Can Get Consumers Involved

K3 Retail posted a blog post recently that gave some very good ideas on how to encourage your customers to be more engaged with your store.

Topics: customer engagement

5 Ways for Field Sales & Service Companies to Get - and Keep - the Best Possible Employees

Our friends over at Vend posted a helpful blog post recently about how to find and retain the best possible talent out there. It's one thing to find great help; it's another to be able to meet their needs well enough that they'll end up sticking around.

Topics: employee retention

Retail Field Managers:  4 *More* Ways to Get the Drive Product Knowledge Training

I've said in a previous blog post just how important it is that your team be properly equipped with the most in-depth knowledge possible on your company's products. Customers can easily see through a phony sales associate who doesn't really love the product as much as he says he does, and how can they trust a company whose employees lie for them about the quality of their products?

Topics: product knowledge training

Target Focusing on Smaller Stores to Reach More Customers

Target's CEO, Brian Cornell, has thought of an unprecedented way of bringing more customers into his stores: shrink the stores.

Topics: small stores corporations

Under-Cutting the Competition for the Holidays

RetailWire.com recently posted an article discussing how retailers aren't just trying to price-match this holiday season, but instead they are trying to undercut the competition.

Topics: discounts holiday sales

Holiday Sales and Impulse Buys Lead to More Floral Purchases

So here's something you might never expect would be connected to each other: floral purchases, impulse buys, and holiday sales. Since ESP has a great deal of companies in the plant/nursery business, I felt this would be relevant to many of our readers. For those who don't sell live plants, perhaps you can think of a way to cross merchandise with them and leverage off these trends.

Topics: impulse buy holiday sales

Drive Your Field Sales & Service Success by Focusing On Your Customers' Success

Your customers' success is the lifeblood of your business. They agree to work with you because they believe you can help them achieve their required (and desired) outcome(s). You must take that very seriously, and this post is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how. First, early, often, and ongoing you'll need to be concerned with the value they receive. Planning for, predicting, ensuring, documenting, and building on each element of value -- in terms of what they hope to accomplish (more on that below) are fundamental to the experience.

Topics: field metrics customer success

Tips for How to Sell Retail Products to Store Manager (Post 3 of 3)

The last in this series. See the prior post here.

Topics: retail sales techniques retail sales skills

Tips for How to Sell Retail Products to Store Manager (Post 2 of 3)

I'm continuing our series on selling to retailers in this post.  If you missed part 1, check it out here.

Topics: retail sales techniques retail sales skills

4 Tips for a Successful Cross-Merchandising Effort

Cross-merchandising is essentially the go-to idea when you need to boost your sales figures because it is incredibly easy to increase your sales this way. 

Topics: cross-merchandising

Tips for How to Sell Retail Products to Store Manager (Post 1 of 3)

Having trouble getting store managers to be interested in the line of products you have to offer? You might be surprised to learn just how many tips there are for making that dream a reality...

Topics: retail sales techniques retail sales skills

The Importance of Physical Audits in Driving On-Shelf Availability

There are few things more important to retailers and manufacturers than on-shelf availability. I still remember that 1966 morning in Fayetteville, NY -- in a Victory Supermarket -- when my Dad (fronting and facing the shelf) told me that all the work he did to get Kleenex® in the store does no good if it's not on the shelf as the shoppers walk by.

It's an accepted fact that OOS rates stubbornly remain between 8% and 10% with the higher percentage on promoted items; and from  Progressive Grocer, "Perhaps more troubling than lost revenue is that shoppers consider product availability a top-three reason for where they shop. In fact, data from the Trading Partner Alliance show that shoppers will eventually go to another store if they keep encountering out-of-stocks."

Think about how sobering the thought above is for a company like Kimberly-Clark and other non-perishable manufacturers in 2017 given the rise of eCommerce and consumer-based auto-replenishment. 

Despite my quoting (and mostly agreeing with) the article above, there are two points where I disagree with it, and where in my opinion they've completely missed the boat.

Topics: on shelf availability pos oos distribution voids physical audits

Tips for Training Field Workers to Be More Successful in the Field

The hardest thing for any company is to hire someone who has exactly what you're looking for in order to meet the demands of the open position. The second hardest thing is to train that person on what it is exactly that s/he will need to do going forward in order to excel in that position.

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness

How to Help Smaller Retailers Compete with Larger Competitors

It's never really been easy to be a small business, and nowadays with the competition that large businesses bring to the table, it is even harder than ever to be successful as a small business. It can still be done - you just have to know which pittfalls to look out for.

Topics: small business retailer margin

10 Merchandising Strategies You May Encounter in the Field

Merchandising is an art form in and of itself. There's a chemistry to it, and when you get it right, you can watch your sales practically soar - all from the ways in which you present your products. Smart people are always trying to improve sales based on merchandising principles. This post is a primer to help you stay a step ahead, and be considered an expert in your field.

Topics: merchandising

Are You Driving for Field Execution Outputs or Outcomes?

The difference is fundamental and profound. In the world of retail execution, outputs are visits, tasks, and surveys completed; outcomes are manufacturer sell-through & retailer increases in traffic, basket sizes, and margin. In other words outcomes are the only reason anybody sends you into a store: to make a profitable difference for themselves. 

In a very real sense, the outcomes fund the outputs. Yet, all too often we see field teams so focused on the outputs that they've forgotten the outcomes. This post will explore where the two meet.

Topics: brand metrics pos field metrics sales metrics

7 Challenges Facing Grocery Stores Today and How Savvy Field Reps Can Help

Running a business is hard work. Unfortunately, running a grocery business can be even harder work than running your average retail store.

Topics: retail challenges

4 Problems with Using Outdated Retail Execution Technology

Technology can be a godsend, so long as you keep up with the latest and greatest. However, it can become a burden if you don't update it.

Topics: retail technology

The Retail Execution Management Software Value Proposition

Recently I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation (live) of a webinar that can be found on the Harvard Business Review: The Elements of Value: Measuring What Consumers Really Want - by Eric Almquist.

It's a fascinating look at how to reverse engineer the value your company provides to its customers -- and provides food for thought as to how to increase that value over time. It uses Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to examine how, why, when, and where we as humans perceive value.

It also answered a question I've been pondering: people familiar with NPS (Net Promoter Score) agree that a score in the high 50's is industry leading -- yet, the Every Store Perfect NPS is in the high 90's consistently and I've always wondered how that can be.

Now I understand that most companies struggle to deliver on 4 or more elements of value -- and only those who do achieve NPS scores in the high 50's. I've always known ESP provides a lot of value; and when I reverse engineered it I finally understood not only the extent of the value, but why our NPS scores are always so high.

What follows is an examination of the value provided by the ESP Retail Execution Management Platform. It's an eye-opening list of the tremendous value provided by the implementation and use of the solution.

5 Ways to Better Engage Your On-the-Go Field Reps

Truth be told, it's awfully difficult to motivate a team when its members are scattered about the country -- or the globe. It's hard enough getting field reps to engage by communicating with you, let alone keeping them engaged in – and passionate about – their day-to-day activities.

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness engagement

6 Tips to Help Managers Enjoy Better Relationships with Their Field Reps

There's nothing that can sour a business relationship faster than having a manager who appears not to care about an employee's performance. The more communicative a field manager can be, the happier his or her field reps will be. 

Topics: Field Manager Greatness

You're Doing Field Management Wrong. Here's Why, How to Fix It; and the Value of Doing So.

Are you doing everything you can to ensure the best, most profitable outcomes with your retail field sales and/or service team? The odds are overwhelmingly negative that you're not. Few companies have the means to measure what needs to be measured -- and the levers to pull to get those metrics perfect. Even some that do have to tools lack the people and process to extract maximum value from their use.

As a technology provider, we get to see a lot of "other people's" mistakes -- both before and after they become customers, and working with them to improve gives us a unique perspective into the good, bad, and ugly of retail execution management. 

Topics: ROI retail execution mistakes perfect retail execution ideas retail execution software value perfect retail execution retail activities optimization improve retail execution

5 Tips to Help Field Service Reps Enjoy Better Relationships with Management

One of the hardest things for a field service rep is to enjoy a satisfying relationship with members of management. This is because field service reps are always in the field, so it's difficult for them to communicate as well or as often with management than those who happen to be in the office all of the time.

Topics: field rep business relationship