Improve Shopper Satisfaction With Category Management Foundations

Collaboration + Shopper Marketing

How can you be successful in both? This is what the Category Management Association (CMA) has to say, 

“Building a marketing plan ‘through the eyes of the Shopper’ to create value for both the Retailer and Vendor requires collaboration using the best practice methodologies, insights, data and tools available. Category Management can serve as the umbrella under which the collaborative process is facilitated” (Strategic Collaboration for Shopper Satisfaction, 2015). 

Here are some great resources from CMKG for you to get started:

Collaboration + Shopper Marketing Opportunity

Ensure that consideration for the Shopper is embedded into the Category Management foundations specific to each unique Retailer.

Improve Shopper Satisfaction

By understanding who the Retailer’s shopper is, what motivates them on their path to purchase, what their mindsets and attitudes are towards shopping and their shopping missions and tying in this information with their heaviest and most loyal shoppers, Retailers can create shopper segments to better meet the needs of different types of Shoppers in their stores.

Incorporate Shopper Insights

From here, Retailers need to adjust their internal category management framework and processes to incorporate these Shopper insights (where necessary) into their overall strategies. Retailers need these overarching strategies to have their retail brand stand for something in the eyes of their target Shoppers, and should include consideration for:

  1. The types of services offered,
  2. Targeted competition,
  3. Collaborative partnerships with Vendors,
  4. Marketing (including omni-channel and mobile strategies),
  5. Private Label / Store Brand strategies and
  6. Category definitions and roles. 

Segment & Strategize

Retailers also need to be able to view and analyze their business across each Shopper segment and define strategies and goals for each segment, including product assortment, product placement, pricing and promotional strategies.  For the segments with the heaviest buying and most loyal Shoppers, there may be a deeper level of strategies developed.  Internal processes and guidelines will most likely need to be adjusted to accommodate this new Shopper-focused approach.  And these overall strategies, guidelines and processes need to be communicated both internally and externally.

Create Alignment

Once these overall strategies are defined for the Retailer, category-specific work can be completed that aligns to these overarching strategies if they have been effectively communicated.  This is usually when Vendors get involved in the Category Management process and they are able to work jointly with the Category Manager to provide data, market research, consumer/Shopper decision trees and/or resources specific to their categories (usually done through some type of Category Captain or Vendor Advisor type of role unique to each Retailer). 

Build Collaboration

By collaborating with their Vendor partners through joint business planning, Retailers can meet target Shopper needs for each category that they sell in their stores, mutually growing their businesses together. Shopper marketing is about executing programs, seeing Shoppers react, adjusting strategies based on learnings, improving capabilities and coming up with new and better and innovative ideas.  Following is a diagram that captures the key requirements for successful Shopper marketing programs.

Shopper Marketing Requirements

Now you can bring Category Management and Shopper Marketing together —

The new Category Management framework incorporates Shopper into each step of the process and can then become the foundation for Shopper Marketing and collaboration and joint business planning. As the Shopper, data, technology and digital space continue to evolve, our Category Management processes and techniques will need to continue to evolve as well.

Topics: Category Management, Presentations, Strategic Collaboration / Joint Business Planning, Fact-Based Sales Process, Shopper Satisfaction Strategies

Written by Sue Nicholls, CPSA Founder & President CMKG

Category Management is my passion. Since beginning with P&G in the late 1980s, I have dedicated my work life to building and sharing this passion with others through active involvement in the industry, including long-term business relationships with large Retailer and CPG executives, development and influence on Category Management Association certification standards, curriculum, and conference education, thought leadership publishing and presentations at CSP News’ Convenience University, CMA’s Annual Conference and LinkedIn, and as a member of DePaul University’s Center for Sales Leadership Advisory Board, and Western Michigan University’s Food Marketing Advisory Board. Beginning in 2019, our catalogue of accredited training that my team and I have developed is part of the Category Management Association’s strategic education initiative for all member organizations. Always anticipating where the industry is moving and the skills needed to compete and stay relevant, I’ve helped to bridge the gap between data and insights pioneering the way we use storytelling and data visualization to better understand analytics and make effective decisions for the future. Using my years of experience, I coach clients of all experience levels in the Retail, Manufacturer, and Solution Provider industries to help them propel forward achieving both their learning and career goals whether in eCommerce, sales, or marketing and beyond. My specialty lies in leadership and engagement, networking and consulting with individuals and large companies from around the world to better improve and develop our curriculum and accredited training programs, like our leading-edge Master’s Training, utilized by category management organizations for strategic education. Through this blog and other channels, I share my years of expertise with our industry and believe that an open and ongoing conversation can improve any team’s capacity to implement business strategies that achieve their strategic priorities.