The idea behind category management is pretty straightforward: manage each product category in a way that enables maximum consumer appeal while maximising profits.
As a Category Manager, you learn how to develop the best possible customer proposition by implementing data-driven assortment planning, having prices that are competitive, promotions that are attractive, and appealing visual merchandising. But why then are retailers still finding it difficult to put this into practice? And more importantly, is it really worth the effort?
A change in business practice:
It’s always somewhat of a sensitive topic when you start to mention a change in business practice. We have to acknowledge that category management represents a totally different approach to trading, and yes implementing this process may be complex at first, but as soon as you come out of that ‘teething stage’ it will prove to be rewarding. In the 90’s it started a revolution in the way retailers operated their businesses but at the time, without today's technology, the process often proved to be too expensive and complicated.
Technology used to limit the processes ability to reach full potential, but not anymore:
As technology evolves, more and more retailers are building their businesses around CatMan's principles. Today, with technology growing at an increasingly fast pace, it has enabled us to use data to create more desirable shopping experiences for consumers whilst improving efficiency at the same time. It's also eliminated much of the complexity which means the challenge is in the change in business culture and thinking.
At the end of the day the question still remains: Is category management really worth the effort? Well, as a retailer, rather ask yourself the following questions:
1) Everything revolves around innovative technology. Do you want to move forward and stay competitive in the marketplace?
Modern retailers are using software to enable data-driven assortment planning which assists buyers in making the right buying decisions instead of simply procuring large quantities of products based on deals and then relying on promotions and retail pricing to deplete inventories as quickly as possible. This is one example of how modern retailers are taking advantage of software and technology in the CatMan context.
2) Would you like to maximise profits?
Long-term performance objectives can only be reached by understanding the link between product performance and consumer satisfaction. Providing a product assortment that fully satisfies each shopper as they interact with a certain product category will maximise performance in the long term.
3) Lastly, would you like to drive customer loyalty?
The CatMan process pays attention and caters for the details of how the consumer prefers to shop ie logical product flows, the way product categories are displayed, visually appeal, localised assortments, competitive prices, attractive cross merchandising etc. All of these factors play a key role in the consumer’s decision to return.
If you answered yes to any of the above questions then you'll benefit from a chat with us. Why not claim this free consultation offer?
Edited by Kyle Dorfling