May 9, 2023
Tony Miller

Bringing data to the table: A CPG’s guide to growing sales

In today’s highly competitive landscape, brands have the unique opportunity to build stronger partnerships, prove their market value, and hit sales goals by bringing compelling data to retail buyers.

Today’s most successful brands are using retail sales data to grow their existing retail accounts and forge relationships with new retailers. That’s because when it comes to making buying decisions, retailers favor suppliers who can reliably grow their categories and increase revenue for the business. But in order to make these strategic buying decisions, retailers require evidence of value from suppliers. By providing compelling sales data, brands can show retailers how well their products are performing in the market, and make an undeniable case to add them to product sets.

In this guide, we’ll explore how brands can leverage their existing retail sales data to convince buyers to stock more of their products with a fact-based sales story that they’ll be delighted to hear.

Retail sales data: What brands are working with

For suppliers, retailer data contains information directly from retailers on their product’s sales and distribution. This data can be used to measure sales performance, streamline operations, reduce waste, and inform marketing decisions. Depending on the retailer, the data provided may include:

  • Point of Sale (POS) data: Includes sales, revenue reports, and customer data
  • Store-level inventory: Tracked by SKU number and number of units in stock
  • Distribution data:  The movement of inventory across distribution centers, and may include information from the distributor on trade spend and chargebacks
  • Distribution center data:  The movement of inventory across distribution centers, and fill rates
  • Geographical data: Includes store-level information that shows where products sell best – so brands know which stores to stick with, and can identify similar areas for expansion

Find velocity trends to optimize product assortments

CPG brands can use velocity data to identify strengths and opportunities for growth. By communicating strong velocity to retailers, you can make a compelling case to retail partners to continue stocking your products, and even add others to the assortment. For example, say your product sold particularly well over the holidays. By sharing this velocity data with a retailer, you can make the case for a larger order in this region when the next holiday rolls around – and maybe even propose a seasonal expansion to new regions.

Brands can also use velocity data to expand into new retailers by demonstrating success in their existing accounts. Here’s a specific example: if your product shows consistently strong sales in college towns, you can:

  • Share that data with other retailers in college towns to prove that the demographic is purchasing the product
  • Use the data to convince current retailers to stock more products, and increase merchandising efforts to move the bestselling items to a more prominent area of the store. 

Beverage brand Zest Tea uses their velocity data to identify long-term trends and optimally curate their product mix. When they noticed that a slower-selling SKU was, in fact, a best-seller in a Northeast region, they opted to focus its sales there instead of cutting the product altogether. By doing this, they were able to grow their sales and prove the value of their data to retail partners.

By communicating strong velocity to retailers, CPG brands can make a compelling case for retail partners to continue stocking their products, and even add others to the assortment.

Track sales trends to identify successes and failures

Brands can also leverage retail data to track sales trends over time, which can help you:

  • Spot consistent sales patterns based on the day or season
  • Use historic sales data to identify when and where to distribute inventory to retail partners, and make the most of their inventory 
  • Develop strategic ad campaigns for seasonal promotions and which target areas of strong product distribution

By having a grasp on product sales trends, you can build a strong case for retailers to carry more of your products during opportune times.

“With Crisp, we can go from reacting to seasonality to planning into seasonality,” explains Aura Bora CEO Paul Voge. 

Paul and the Aura Bora team use Crisp dashboards to monitor the daily movement of individual SKUs, getting a full picture of where sales are growing and which distribution centers (DCs) key accounts are pulling from. This way, they can proactively plan orders and keep shelves stocked.

To date, Paul estimates that Crisp has helped Aura Bora save tens of thousands of dollars in revenue by monitoring product trends and avoiding stock-outs.

Spot retail voids and avoid lost sales

Retail voids are out-of-stocks that can be caused by expired products, shrink (damage and theft), missing or misplaced items, and a number of other supply chain issues that can inevitably cause a decline in sales. Voids are usually difficult to spot because it can be hard to identify the root issues that are causing the loss of sales.

Automated data processes allow brands to more easily identify their retail voids and fix them immediately. When monitoring daily store-level data, companies have better knowledge of when voids happen, and where. By sharing this data and the solutions with retailers, you can protect sales by getting products back on shelf and selling.

This kind of responsive action is attractive to retailers, who don’t have time to monitor every product, and can secure further sales opportunities down the line.

Use harmonized data to unify teams

Crisp’s harmonized sales dashboards aggregate all sales figures into one place, providing suppliers a zoomed-out view of retail performance by location, product, and store banner.

Brands can use harmonized sales dashboards to identify top areas for improvement, and communicate goals internally to each department – in order to leverage the information collectively as a team.

When your departments work cross-collaboratively as a unit, your team can achieve common goals using data, and share the progress with retailers – using that same data to back up points of success.

At NotCo, Senior Manager of Strategy and Planning Dan Capraun unified teams by leveraging Crisp data to project sales growth, manage company-wide supply chain operations, and prepare for new product launches. The operations team especially appreciates the inventory dashboards to manage weeks of supply across distributors. Multiple departments at NotCo rely on Crisp to streamline operations and achieve revenue goals.

Inventory management is a sales strategy all its own

Around 5-15% of products are out of stock at any given time. Using retailer data to manage inventory and distribution helps CPGs make informed decisions based on solid facts, and not guesswork.

For instance, monitoring real-time data from all stores helps you identify inventory issues across your distribution. Then, you can resolve any issues accordingly. If something is awry with just one store, for instance, you can contact the store involved and plan a restock. By showing the data to back up the issue, you can protect sales and increase overall revenue.

SunButter, for example, learned that their team had avoided a total $250k in avoided stock-outs by using Crisp to improve distributor fill rates. SunButter’s sales team uses Crisp on a daily basis to keep distributors and retailers in full supply, and the avoided losses have amounted to a healthy increase in total revenue.

Optimize marketing for better ROI

Using retail data for marketing helps suppliers reach their greatest revenue potential, capitalize on trends, and ensure shopper satisfaction.

For example, brands can leverage retail data to allocate advertising spend, with store-level data showing where products are available and inventory is stocked. They can then use the sales data to track and measure how each campaign fares by product and store. This information can be used to show buyers that they’re making strategic decisions that will continue to grow the category and position them as a strong supplier partner.

Leverage retailer data to stay ahead 

Real-time sales and inventory data can be a game-changer for suppliers looking to boost their sales performance. Unlike syndicated data, which can take weeks to access, retail data provides valuable insights into daily sales and product movement by SKU.

By taking ownership of their retailer data and strategically leveraging it to drive category sales, brands can establish themselves as more than just a product seller – they can become a trusted partner and advisor to their retailers. This symbiotic relationship helps brands solidify their position in a competitive retail landscape and sustain long-term growth.

To learn more about how Crisp data can help your brand grow, contact us for a demo. To keep up with the latest updates from Crisp subscribe to our blog.

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Be Data Ready for Anything

Crisp uses the power of the cloud to connect and analyze all of your data sources in real-time, providing you with the most meaningful insights and trends for your business. When you know exactly what’s in store, you can keep shelves stocked and customers happy while skyrocketing profitability.

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