Category: Category Management Series Tips

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Efficient Assortment Strategies: A Retailer Perspective

155507168     Efficient Assortment is the most important tactic in category management – without the product being listed at the retailer, it’s never going to make to the shelf, and will never sell!  When you think of Efficient Assortment, you may think about the tactical side of the process – the one that is typically completed by the category management or category development team.  It includes the analytics, data and even “push of the button” tools to help make item level recommendations (particularly behind new product …

Efficient Assortment Best Practices: Develop Corporate Strategies and Processes

Efficient AssortmentAs a supplier, when you think of Efficient Assortment, you may think about the analysis side of the process – the one that is typically completed by the category management or category development team.  It includes the analytics, data and maybe even “push of the button” tools to help make item level recommendations (particularly behind new product launches).  And you may complete your assortment analysis and recommendations to your specific brands or a segment within the category, or you may complete it for …


Measuring and fixing distribution gaps can lead to increased sales & profit!

A big opportunity for many retailers and suppliers is to “fix” their distribution on currently listed items – we spend so much time doing efficient assortment analysis, when sometimes the biggest and easiest opportunities lie within products already carried at the retailer!  Distribution data relates to the availability of the item across a specific geography.  There are two different options that you may have available in your data to measure the availability of items as a measure:

1.  % of stores carrying: 

Based on # of retail outlets, or store count, in the retail universe
Calculation:  # …

Category Assessment: All Commodity Volume (ACV) and Index vs ACV

All Commodity Volume:

All Commodity Volume is an important term to understand for both retailers and suppliers.  Simply put, All Commodity Volume (or “ACV” or “All Sales Volume”) is a sum of all category sales in a total store.  The categories that are included in the ACV definition depends on the channel composition (for example, is it the “Total Market” or “Grocery Channel” or “Drug Channel” or “Mass Channel”).  If you are unsure as to the categories that are included in the ACV number, you should check with your third party data provider.

ACV Measures:…

Category Management Series Tip #16: The 4 P’s

Product, Placement, Pricing and Promotion.  Each of these P’s influences volume and share within a brand or category. They are the key drivers.

The 4 P’s need to be monitored, in order to understand how they impact volume growth or decline within a brand or category. It’s really about Putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.

For suppliers, the 4 P’s tie in with the Marketing decisions under the supplier’s control that can affect …

Category Management Series Tip #15: Turning Data Into Insights Part 2


This week’s tip is part 2 on turning data into insights.  My last tip (Part 1) focused on drilldown of the data, or the more scientific side.   Part 2 focuses on the second requirement for turning data into insights – by using experience, knowledge and insights.   I’ve been doing category management for over 20 years, and sometimes students or clients will ask “how did you know to look at that or consider that”?  That’s where tapping into all your past experience really pays off (at least it’s one advantage – possibly …

Category Management Series Tip #14 Turning Data Into Insights (Part 1)

Turning Data Into InsightsMost companies struggle to translate their data – whether it’s retail scanned sales data, Nielsen retail measurement data, consumer panel data –  into insights, and then even further into actionable business results.   Many organizations invest millions of dollars into data and data mining tools, with the expectation that the insights and action derived from the data will lead to volume and profit improvements.   But they only enable their category management team to derive these insights, and forget to arm other functions with the ability to translate data into …

Category Management Series Tip #13: How to Increase The Value Of Your Shopper Insights

 I find that many organizations hold their shopper insights under lock and key, sharing the learnings only with a select few within their organization.  It takes me back to the first 10 or 15 years in category management, where the data, the learnings and the analytics were closely guarded secrets within organizations.  The category management team was the only one with access to the data, and they used their software and analytics to magically transform data into insights and action.  Unfortunately, some organizations continue to function this way.  But the …

Category Management Series Tip #12: Space Management: Is It Just For Space Management “Tekkies”?

Do sales, marketing and category management professionals need to more strategically understand the shelf, or should it be left to space management professionals, shelf analysts and  planogrammers?    Unfortunately, many marketing, sales and category management professionals think space management is not really their concern. Leave it for the “shelving experts”, right? Wrong!

In this tip, I walk a few basics about space management that will hopefully entice you to want to learn more (if you don’t already know). Not from a technical perspective, but from a strategic perspective. If you are involved with innovation, category …

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