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Help Desk
Published: August 4, 2020

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
  1. Collaboration, trust, communication and transparency
  2. New relationships and business models
  3. Category management
  4. Rout to market and marketing
  5. Supply chain
  6. Business relationships
  7. Contingency and crisis-planning

Looking Ahead_Wave II Retailer Focus Infographic_FIN

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.