Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Mondelez International, reveals her top tips to help optimise your biscuit and confectionery fixtures.
What are the key principles to consider when they are merchandising a category?
The retailer is just like any normal customer and there are ideal locations when shopping a fixture in depot. Best-selling lines should always be positioned as the main focal point, ideally around eye level. We provide category planograms to help cash & carries segment a fixture according to different types of products, such as countlines, gifting and bigger eats.
Within that, we focus on the best-sellers and the best-selling locations. We also update our PoS ahead of a new season or to promote a specific campaign. It is a continuous process but we try to retain consistency with the look and feel.
From your experience, what are customers looking for when they shop at a cash & carry?
It is hard for retailers to manage the confectionery and biscuit categories, so having a neat and tidy rack does help them to pick out the best-sellers. It is important to make sure that information on pricing is clearly visible. After all, who wants to go to the till and baulk at the price? It’s embarrassing and the customer may not return in the future. PMPs remain popular because of the clarity and the confidence they give consumers. The golden rule for retailers and wholesalers is that they need to be clear on what they are charging people.
How can wholesalers make the most of a new product launch/promotion?
Any kind of branded PoS display, like pallet wraps, free-standing display units (FSDUs) and hod units, works fantastically well in capturing the imagination of the retailer. A big display can take a couple of hours to erect, which is a fairly big investment in time, but it is very worthwhile. We know it makes a big difference.
What is your biggest source of frustration when you visit a cash & carry depot?
An area that is under-exploited in depots is cross-category merchandising. On-the-go occasions and the ‘big night in’ are two key shopper missions, but wholesalers seem a bit reluctant to really push these opportunities. A simple display or poster can have a big influence and may even inspire retailers to expand their product range.
Where does the industry fall short in terms of meeting customer demands?
Suppliers and wholesalers definitely need to work harder at providing more category advice and information. Retailers like to take advantage of new offers, but they also value education. They need help when it comes to understanding the best ways to merchandise a category.
We all need to work together and provide an extra service element to retain loyalty. For example, highlighting TV advertising is key to increasing rate of sale and it’s important this is communicated in a timely manner.
How can Mondelez help wholesalers to improve their customer service?
We know that retailers hold in high regard the promotional material and insight they receive at their depots and from delivered wholesalers. We have a specific team that deals with cash & carry depots and we often run demonstrations and sampling days to help educate staff and customers about our products, particularly those that are new.
We have over 200 people in our sales force, which is probably one of the biggest in the UK. We call on so many retailers but it’s almost impossible to visit all of them. Cash & carries play a massive part in filling those gaps, as do delivered wholesalers. We organise lots of ‘Ra Ra Days’ and we try to work closely with telesales teams to get them excited about our products.
Tel: Mondelez International (08702) 400861Published Date: November 15, 2015