October 20, 2022
Garrett Oden

The 6 data points to keep in your back pocket (and how to get them)

Discover the essential data points every growing brand should have on-hand to be a successful and proactive retail supplier — without spending your whole day in spreadsheets.

Brands in the retail space know that the supplier-retailer relationship is critical to their success. But how exactly do you become your buyer’s favorite supplier? In short, it takes data.

To be the savvy supplier that every retailer wants to partner with, CPG brands need to keep six essential data points in their back pocket at all times. In this guide, we’ll show you what metrics those are, easy ways to find them, and how you can use them to accelerate your brand’s retail growth.

Retail data: A brand’s greatest asset

From marketing to distribution, data drives every decision a consumer product company makes. 

In direct-to-consumer sales channels, data is everywhere and accessible with the click of a button. But accessing crucial data from retail stores is notoriously complicated and time-consuming —and sometimes, it’s a challenge just knowing what to look for. 

Instead of spending hours downloading spreadsheets or relying on monthly syndicated data, suppliers can connect their retail data to Crisp and populate dashboards full of the metrics they need —giving CPG brands a comprehensive understanding of their company’s performance every day.

Now that you know how to access your retail data easily and often, here are the metrics you’ll want to keep on hand:


Why it matters:

Most brands won’t be surprised to see velocity, or units sold per store per week, at the top of our must-have list. It’s one of the main measurements of CPG growth, telling brands if their efforts are working to sell products faster and what stores need additional support.

Tracking velocity regularly at the brand, store, and product level helps you:

  • Identify top-performing (and underperforming) retail locations
  • Understand which product mixes perform best and where
  • Determine what promotions lead to a profitable sales lift

Retailers will also rely on this information to allocate shelf space and create product mixes, strategically placing slower-selling products with major players that consistently sell.

How to use it:

Velocity can be used as a valuable storytelling vehicle for CPG brands looking to secure partnerships with new retailers and strengthen relationships with existing retailers. Every good line review starts and ends with  a strong velocity story.

For brands looking to gain more shelf space at a particular store, presenting strong velocity data presents a compelling case in your favor. Or, those looking to increase distribution—to the right stores, of course—can use the velocity metric to convince retailers that the product won’t be a gamble to stock.

When you get granular with it, velocity tells CPG teams what’s working and what’s not. Velocity data will tell you everything from what promotions succeeded to the geographic areas where your product sells best—all of which can be used to facilitate further growth for your brand. 

For example, Zest Tea used Crisp’s velocity dashboards to discover that one of its slower-selling products nationally was actually a major success in the Northeast. With this data easily accessible, the company acted quickly to create a regional product mix and promotional strategy rather than removing the SKU from stores. 


What do voids refer to?

Voids are situations when a product should be available to customers and selling, but isn’t. Retail voids happen for a variety of reasons, including when the product is:

  • Off-shelf
  • Out-of-stock
  • Accidentally misplaced by a customer
  • Stuck with an incorrect sales tag
  • Expired/damaged

Why it matters:

Voids are frustrating for brands and customers. The key is being able to tell when, where, or why the void is happening, in a reasonable timeframe, so you can resolve the issue. With retail voids data at your fingertips, you can identify and resolve problems as they arise—not days, weeks, or months later.

How to use it:

With timely voids reporting, CPG sales teams can be proactive about replenishing out-of-stock situations or getting in touch with retailers about misplaced or mislabeled products. (And we know how much retailers love a proactive supplier.)

Crisp’s Voids Dashboard uses a machine learning model to analyze sales and location data , then identify possible retail voids. With distribution in more than 3,000 stores, the team at Outstanding Foods relies on the Voids Dashboard to quickly determine and remedy issues that cause voids at their many retailers. Mid-Day Squares uses the Voids Dashboard’s predictive analytics to keep retailers and category managers informed of voids that affect changes in velocity.


Why it matters:
Timely distribution data helps you track where your product is carried from week to week, and can be broken down into geographic regions, retailer locations, and more. Being able to take a granular look at a product’s distribution strategy and channels gives CPG brands the ability to identify opportunities to improve logistics.

Is distribution to a specific region taking longer than usual? Are your retailers located in a heavily populated city or a rural area? Distribution data shines a spotlight on everything you need to know about where your products are being sold.

How to use it:

Retailers want to work with savvy suppliers who are on top of their distribution channels and strategy. By keeping a close eye on distribution activity, you can make informed decisions about upcoming promotions, keep shelves stocked, and discover new opportunities to increase other metrics like velocity.

Brands like RxSugar use distribution data to monitor production and raw materials ordering during a time of rapid growth. By having the latest distribution data readily available, their team can make smarter internal decisions such as managing ordering lead times that ultimately have a positive effect on sales and distribution overall. 

Supply Chain

Why it matters:

Real-time transparency intro supply chain data shows CPG teams what inventory retailers have on hand along with any upcoming orders. Teams can also use supply chain data to look up historic ordering and inventory trends associated with each retail partner to plan for the future.

Brands know how stressful it can be trying to finagle expedited shipping because your retail partner ran out of stock. With supply chain data on hand at all times, CPG teams can plan ahead for peak shopping times like holidays, major events, and seasons.

How to use it:

With supply chain data at their fingertips, CPG teams can build supply chain processes based on specific data triggers or KPIs like a specific inventory number or out-of-stock rate. When these triggers are activated, you’ll have a plan in place to respond—whatever the situation may be.

With timely data and response processes in place, CPG teams can also stay lean on inventory, helping to improve cash flow and reduce waste.

👉 Check out our guide on the four steps to supply chain readiness.


Why it matters:

Chargebacks are the deductions that retailers or distributors take from invoices to pay for trade spend, along with other fees. It’s part of the cost of doing business, but brands typically get reporting on chargebacks in the form of outdated PDF invoices long after the promotion or demand activity has ended, making it a nuisance to track the impact on profitability in real time. If you’re not careful with tracking retailer chargebacks, you may find your demand strategies eating into profits.

How to use it:

Crisp’s Chargebacks Dashboard streamlines the process, making it easy to monitor trade spend from each retailer, warehouse, and product. You’ll have a comprehensive understanding of how much you’re spending to promote product demand, where you’re spending the most, and what promotions are running. 

Use this data in combination with metrics like velocity and inventory to determine where trade spend is having the greatest impact.

Store and retailer retention

Why it matters:

To keep retailers happy, you need customers to continue consistently purchasing your products across locations. So when sales slow down, you need to identify why—and fast. Underperforming stores can cost your brand a distribution partner if not remedied quickly.

Knowing the latest retention metrics gives CPG brands a head start on developing promotions or product mixes to drive demand.

How to use it:

With Crisp’s Retention Dashboard, CPG teams can set up alerts for underperforming stores, identify velocity and distribution changes, and determine which stores are on the brink of being lost. Using this insight, teams can formulate new strategies for increasing sales at these locations.

Outstanding Foods used retention data to focus on SKUs in underperforming and at-risk retail locations. This insight enabled their team to build out strategic promotions specifically targeting these stores and geographic areas.

Using Crisp to access essential retail data

Crisp’s platform gives CPG brands the ability to stay on top of their business health with on-demand retail data. With this data, CPG brands can make wise decisions and take action in real time to become a more proactive retail partner and accelerate growth.  

Ready to see Crisp’s retail dashboards in action? Book a demo with Crisp today. For more industry insights and best practices, subscribe to the 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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