Working in collaboration with supplier partners…
The Areas Prioritized by Retailers During Wave 1
Keeping up with panic buying: The onset of the pandemic saw panic buying, limited price sensitivity and a reduction in brand loyalty – a whirlwind of change to adapt to.
Shelf management and assortment: During the peak of the crisis, category prioritization and assortment was all about keeping staple items on shelves while marketing and product development plans were put on hold.
Managing risk: The crisis saw a focus on new health and safety requirements and the reinvention of delivery structures to accommodate pandemic-related supply chain challenges.
Crisis Response: The best companies adapted on the fly to prioritize immediate needs ahead of strategy, adjusting teams, terms and plans and under-pinning their outstanding outcomes by dialing up the tenants of collaboration in ways of working with their business partners.
Areas of Focus for Retailers Moving Out of Wave 1
Adjusting to the new normal: Retailers and suppliers experience a shift in consumer behaviour. Escalating digital engagement and online shopping with in-store shopping preferences moving towards small-format/proximity stores amidst the additional challenges of higher price sensitivity, less brand loyalty, greater social and environmental consciousness and heightened health and safety expectations.
Prioritizing profit: Retailers and suppliers must reassess and recalibrate category and business strategies and learn new ways into profitability against a backdrop of rising costs to serve from the new normal challenges. Marketing will emphasize CRM/loyalty programs, focus on sustainability offers adjust to the need to be responsive to affordability.
Establishing new expectations: Retailers and suppliers will continue their adoption of employee and shopper protection protocols and long-term distribution solutions to support the new trends and unstable demand periods.
Rapid re-planning and contingency planning: Retailer and supplier partners must look to future-proof inside their respective businesses together in preparedness for a Wave 2 and/or future crises.
Where to Focus Partnership Efforts in Preparation for Wave 2
- Collaboration, trust, communication and transparency
- New relationships and business models
- Category management
- Rout to market and marketing
- Supply chain
- Business relationships
- Contingency and crisis-planning
Source: Advantage Group Supplier and Retailer COVID-19 Surveys Feb – June 2020, China, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Portugal, UK, and Advantage Voices on the Ground Globally April – June 2020.