Thu, 27 Sep 2018
In the past, when I would go country to country, clients would complain when I would show examples from outside of their region or country. The might say, ‘our country is different’, says Ray Gaul, VP of research and analytics: market insights at Kantar Consulting. He says that recently, that story has changed.
When I show examples of in-store best practices, I get the question ‘is that brand doing all the right things in highly developed e-commerce markets?’
The implication is that to be a ‘best practice’ category leader in 2018, you need to be doing three things right:
1. In-store category leadership
2. Digital category leadership
3. Leadership in countries where e-commerce is highly developed
Let’s consider points two and three, specifically.
Digital category leadership
Believe it or not, digital retailing is now well over 20 years old. Because of this ‘long history’, we can say two things about digital category leadership:
1. The foundational principles of what to do and how it works differently from in-store category leadership are well established and well-practiced
2. New principles and modifications occur when platforms get upgraded and new devices are created, such as smart entertainment devices (Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.)
The result is a digital category leadership playbook that has foundational principles at its core, a set of more advanced skills on the edges and true innovation in pockets of invention.
There are several ways to describe this phenomenon, but the one we use at Kantar Consulting is ‘Fix, Build, Impact’.
How do these principles differ from their real-world equivalents?
Fix. In-store category leadership starts with the principle that not all positions on a shelf are equal. Eye-level positions, positions on the ends of aisles, and special ‘call outs’, all help a brand and a category come to life in new ways.
The foundation of in-store category leadership is physical space. Digital is different. The challenge in digital is replication, multiplication and versioning. If you put one product image up on a website, other websites and individuals can copy and reference the image.
Even when a brand is good at re-versioning images and product names, copies can get made, mistakes can go ‘viral’ and links can multiply. For this reason, in-store retail is about winning more space or getting the best position in a space while digital retailing is about fixing or minimising the copies and versions that go beyond a brand’s control.
Good brands constantly ‘fix’ their digital personas by implementing rules and processes around image compliance, product title compliance, description compliance and price/promotion.
Build. In-store category leadership often means managing more positions in-store than the primary shelf placement. Good in-store category leaders work hard to get secondary placements, category extensions and adjacent category placements that help build the basket.
For digital retailing, this is different. Digital category leadership is less about building more placements and it is more about locking in one placement, and making the purchase routine.
Good in-store category leaders get their products put in more corners of the store. Good digital category leaders get consumers to lock in on favourites or auto-refill, thereby eliminating the [...]