28. February 2020

Category management will determine the range of products to sell

Category management will determine the range of products to sell

A good understanding of the product range and its layout is crucial for any company running stores. Whether a retailer manages a large or small number of stores, they cannot function without this information. There are two ways to proceed. They either trust feelings and impressions or rely on a proven tool that can provide them with accurate information – like Space Planning, a category management solution.

What type of assortment to sell? For which group of customers? Also, are the selected products really the most optimal we can offer? All salespeople ask similar questions when making decisions. However, it is virtually impossible to obtain clear answers and get the whole process under control without the modern tools available on the market. This is where Category Management excels.

The tool primarily processes a retailer’s internal data, such as turnover and margins, and analyses data on customers’ shopping behaviour. Based on this information, it helps to optimise the display of products in the store. The retailer obtains comprehensive planograms, pictorial assortment overviews with clear instructions on how to arrange each category on the shelves: which item should be on which shelf, on which place, how many times it should be displayed next to each other, etc. The retailer can, thus, analyse the performance of each assortment group in relation to the space it occupies, compare different variants and scenarios, or compare stores with each other.

The system can also incorporate the specific requirements of a particular retailer and their set strategy, e. g., for the preferential display of selected items. The way goods are arranged influences the way customers shop. But the tool goes much further in its use.

Category Management

Higher-level planning

The development of the Category Management solution has involved many experts, including key retailers around the world, and is backed by long-term research that reflects new trends and changing customer preferences. They include, for example, the aforementioned assortment optimisation, i. e., limiting the offer in favour of easier decision-making, but also personalisation in the product offer, both for brick-and-mortar stores and now also for the online environment. Customer behaviour evolves, and retailers must, therefore, meet their expectations. Category Management can address all these challenges. Category Management can address all these challenges.

Space Planning also plays an important role in terms of labour productivity, which is a very topical issue, especially today, when the Czech retail market suffers from staff shortages. In this respect, Category Management allows managers to easily move store staff according to the immediate needs. Thus, they can focus on customers as much as possible and not waste time thinking about ordering goods and how to display them. In addition, the application can also be connected to other systems, whether automatic orders, a system for predicting future sales or logistics and the associated optimisation of supplies.

Even suppliers can benefit significantly from the tool if they want to fine-tune their product portfolio and are constantly looking for answers as to what to offer to which retailers on the market. By using it, they can better simulate what product mix is optimal for the individual retailers they work with.

Quality data is fundamental

The Category Management implementation is very simple for the customer, and we always ensure that the whole process and the application’s use affect the company as little as possible. Because it is a so-called stand-alone solution, the application itself is independent of the existing ERP used by the retailer. All it needs to do its job is data. Thus, the entire process is usually completed within a few weeks, including the necessary training of the personnel.

Our advantage over other competing solutions includes Czech-speaking support and active cooperation throughout the implementation process. We have extensive experience based on routine knowledge of working with the application, as well as experience from working for various retailers. We help our customers to develop the operations manual and to connect to other areas from logistics to marketing. We share and make recommendations on the results, teach employees how to utilise the analysis outputs and respond to any new requests and suggestions for further development of the tool.

Solution suitable for everyone

Space Planning is a very powerful solution for conducting in-depth store analysis, suitable for all types of retailers: small, medium and large. By using it, retailers gain an excellent overview of what they sell, as well as a much better ability to manage their stores and the employees themselves effectively.

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