Let’s set the scene: your company has spent years carefully creating your product and crafting its brand image. You have spent precious advertising dollars in order to promote your product, and carefully selected your distributors in order to get your products into the hands of the right retailers.
Competition is fierce. Number of facings, placement within the store and shelf position is key. Without actually being there, you just don’t know what’s going on until the numbers come rolling in. Your sales force travels to the locations, speaks to key individuals and lobbies for the best of all possible situations, but depending on your accountability processes, it may take days or weeks before you receive a report. By the time you find out there is a problem, it may be too late to do anything about it.
Your merchandiser, just smarter
It’s nothing new. Since sales became a ‘thing’ in this world, the issue of merchandising control has always been front and center for any company that chooses to compete for retail shelf space. There is always a need to send merchandisers out in the field to physically inspect products and liaise with retail managers. In the past, your sales force has used pen and paper or spreadsheets to organize data. Data is collected, but sometimes not delivered until a later time, with lag times often numbering into days or weeks. Reports are delivered verbally, in an email, or as a data set to be analyzed by yet another link in the chain. The margin for error goes up, and the incidence of situations falling through the cracks means lost opportunities and often, lost income.
The speed at which business is done these days demands a fast, accurate solution to this age-old problem. Brand managers everywhere need a reliable way to capture data in the field: something that automates the data collection process, promotes accountability and provides an accurate snapshot of your products in real-time, effectively protecting your assets and refining your systems to be the best they can possibly be.
I just want to see how my products are being presented
The problem: How can I protect my brand and market share on the fly?
Face it: you can’t possibly visit all of your retail locations yourself. You have a company to run. You can’t be everywhere – it is physically impossible. And as awesome as your team is, data occasionally falls through the cracks, leading to lost opportunities and revenue disparity. The issue becomes one of accountability, and you already depend on your team for a lot. They identify potential accounts, sell the retail locations on your product, develop relationships, track sales and report it all back to you in a spreadsheet, email or at meetings, where problems are identified and strategies discussed. By the time an issue comes to light and a plan is initiated, it might be too late. You put it off to the ‘cost of doing business’, but in reality, you know you’re not doing everything you can.
Some important issues may even be discarded completely, due to time constraints or prioritization. The questions that remain could include:
- How do my products actually look like on the retail shelf?
- What other competing products is the store carrying, and what does their branding look like?
- How many facings do I have compared to my competitors?
- How are customers responding to our product? Are they even aware of it?
With the ability to answer these questions and disseminate the results in real-time, you can make informed decisions on the fly, and empower your team with what they need to take your products to the top.
A merchandising solution that works
jLAN’s Mobile Briefcase delivers actionable data in real-time, promotes accountability amongst your sales force and will save you time, money and anxiety as it pays dividends with an impressive ROI. While there are a handful of mobile merchandising solutions that have come to market in recent years, many are industry-specific, tailored to event marketers, grocery store departments, the fashion industry or strictly to connect teams in the field. jLAN Mobile Briefcase is the one solution that brings all the elements together into a simple, user-friendly interface that works for any industry. After all, the basics of sales are the same, no matter what you are selling.