The Rise of Omni-channel & Why Product Availability is Critical for Brands

15 Jun,2021

Although lockdown is gradually easing, the nation remains cautious about completely reverting back to normality.

That said, the normalisation of ordering your groceries online, as well as utilising click and collect services, still rests as our preferred way to shop as it reduces the risk of infection and keeps ourselves and those around us safe.

shopping bags groceries

But this huge shift in our shopping habits is not without its impact on sales within store and the performance of products, especially with how in-store teams are constantly trying to keep up with the demand for stock and adhere to the rise in online shopping.

In particular, there has been a notable blow to product availability as in-store teams try to ensure that products are available for store shoppers in the afternoon once the home pick has been completed.

Here at Tactical, helping our clients strive for excellent product availability is something we do best as we are constantly advocating its importance for boosted sales and upholding a memorable presence in-store.

As the effects of the pandemic continue, we are working towards battling the effects of these new shopping habits and low product availability by helping out our clients with our bespoke technology and in-store presence. Want to know more? Read on!

shopping shelves food

Why exactly is Product Availability so important?

When discussing Product Availability, we’re referring to the availability of your brand’s products for customers within store. Depending on certain events, product popularity or peak times of business, there is always a chance that your product could sell well and cause dwindling stock levels. And of course, lack of stock means that your brand’s products are not able to achieve maximum sales potential and maintain high levels of performance.

That’s why at Tactical, one of our main services includes utilising our expert teams and live data made available via our bespoke technology to help our clients avoid the cons of low product availability and ensure that their products are constantly performing at maximum capacity.

Tactical have certainly seen the effects of increased omni-channel shopping as well as the direct impact it has had on our own clients, their levels of product availability and ultimately, their visibility in-store.

So, using our expertise, we got to work figuring out solutions that will allow stores to efficiently cater to both home and in-store whilst maintaining high levels of product availability and sales.

Here’s how we helped Kelloggs do exactly that.

cornflakes kelloggs

Kellogg’s in Sainsbury’s: A Case Study

Recently, supermarket favourite Sainsbury’s announced that they have made further changes to their online shopping service in order to adapt to the substantial rise in grocery orders. In particular, Sainsbury’s set out to increase their order capacity : 340k-700k by September 2020 as lockdown continued to be in full swing, and then even more in 2021’s first quarter.

As Sainsbury’s found to be one of the many stores that were experiencing an increase in the usage of their online services, many brands that can be found in-store were experiencing a shift in their sales and a flux in their customer’s shopping habits.

Kellogg’s for example know that in some stores across the country, up to three quarters or more of their overall sales are achieved online.

When delving into these stats, it was found that in a typical Sainsbury’s superstore, pickers are picking twice as many items as pre-Covid, and in some stores the pick rate has increased by up to 4x. With that being the case, it has put more of a strain on brands who are trying to upkeep a sufficient level of inventory and product availability to ensure that they could reap the benefits of this increased spending.

This is where Tactical came in!

We supported Kellogg’s by identifying the high-density dotcom stores and providing additional support through an extra weekly visit led by the data given through our bespoke technology like Reapp and Drive. This has been hugely well received by the store teams and has actually enhanced our ability to make a difference at fixtures.

For instance, Tactical’s additional visits have delivered higher scores for merchandising and other interventions when compared to our regular visits and turned out to be significantly higher than our run-rate within Sainsbury’s overall. This means that we actually enhance our Return on Investment, despite the additional cost of the extra visits.

Tactical have recently started a similar initiative in selected Morrison’s stores and have observed the same trend; proving that retailers really do benefit from additional support in stores with high-density omnichannel operations.

Although changes to lockdown are imminent, it seems that the effects that it has had on our buying habits and the rise of omnichannel shopping is here to stay. That means, like Kellogs and Sainsbury’s, brands and stores are having to continue doing what they can to adapt their approach and ensure maximum product performance. And when working with Tactical, these results as you can see, are guaranteed.

Want to see results for your brand and product performance? Click here to find out more about Tactical, and here to contact us today!