I recently had an article published in OnWindows magazine and shared some thoughts on why planning promotions has become extraordinarily complex over the last few years, thanks to the ever-evolving retail landscape. And how successful retailers are using centralized systems to eliminate any guesswork and ensure their futures.
Here is the article. I hope you enjoy.
Managing promotions has become one of the biggest headaches facing retailers today. Unfortunately, many organisations take a ‘spray and pray’ approach in which they increase advertising or price change activity, and simply hope for the best. While some promotions may turn out to be successful, others may completely miss the mark – and retailers are prone to making the same mistakes again and again.
One of the biggest mistakes retailers make is not taking the time to understand who the customer is or what it is the customer wants. Even though the amount of customer data has increased exponentially in the past few years, many retailers are still challenged in finding relevance in the data. Because of this issue, promotions often do not produce the expected results.
Effectively interacting with customers is also a big challenge. This area is more complex in today’s environment than that of ten years ago. The number of channels that a consumer can use is growing every day. It is no longer enough to simply have a web presence. A retailer needs to be able to connect with its customers via mobile, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google and many other places. This is why understanding who their customers are is extremely important, so the retailer can focus on the channels that attract their customers, without being spread too thin.
Once the customer is identified and the message is created, having an efficient way of executing those messages is crucial – but is often another area where the retailer falls down. Efficiency, speed and accuracy are the key aspects when executing promotions.
While technology can help with the main challenges outlined above, it is a sad truth that most retailers are still using old systems to solve these problems. This is due to varying factors, including lack of focus on these kind of tools (often tools to resolve supply chain problems take precedence) and a belief that this is an easy problem to solve just by adding resources or enhancing existing systems. In addition, their go-to large technology vendors have not been able to provide adequate tools to solve some of the newer problems.
In light of this, JustEnough has created a centralized solution which allows all departments to plan and publish promotions across all channels down to the consumer level. It is the only enterprise solution available today which combines planning and execution, and is offered either on site or in the cloud.
By linking all departments, activities and channels across the enterprise, and replacing the silo approach, the JustEnough solution enables retailers to increase productivity, make better decisions and improve collaboration. By having the data centralised and the necessary tools to accurately analyse the promotions implemented across different channels and campaigns, retailers can gain insight into their entire promotions process and outcomes, resulting in better promotional planning and results.
JustEnough also offers a Deal Management module, which increases the collaboration between retailers and distributors and helps retailers to make sense of all the offers and take maximum advantage of them to improve results. In addition, the Promotion Management suite operates seamlessly with our Retail Planning suite to include all aspects of merchandise financial planning, assortment planning, allocation and replenishment. By streamlining the entire process with a robust, easy-to-use solution, JustEnough offers retailers an effective way to attract new and existing customers, increase revenues and reduce inventory levels and marketing costs.
Looking ahead, the promotions landscape will only get more complex. Increased competition, more channels, better informed consumers and tighter budgets will put increasing pressure on organisations. With all this in mind, it’s clear that only those retailers with the right tools will be able to protect and ensure their future.