New products hit the market faster than you can spell C-P-G. They’re innovative, fresh, exciting–but are they on point for what the category needs?
With so many new products launching to market at any one time, it can be tricky to keep track of the trends and turnover that so many categories experience in a given month or even year. To ensure the right products are making their way to store shelves, many retailers will conduct category reviews to figure out just what they do–or do not–need.
Getting to know the reviews
The first thing to know is that each retailer will most likely have their own way of conducting category reviews. No two categories are the same, and no two retailers are, either. But there are some commonalities among category reviews, such as pricing information, growth information, or how products might best be displayed in stores.
So what does this info mean for retailers, and suppliers who want to break into that retailer’s space?
As a supplier, you may not always know when a retailer is conducting a category review.It can mean a couple things, really. For one, it might mean retailers are culling all of these pieces of information and looking for products that meet very specific parameters to join their on-shelf variety. It can also mean that retailers might be looking for products that, frankly, don’t meet any of the parameters they’ve encountered in their category reviews. Category reviews provide a comprehensive overview of the state of the category as it currently stands across a retailer’s stores, and therefore provides insight into what’s needed or missing from a retailer’s selection.
Right now you might be thinking, “Okay, that’s lovely. Thank you for sharing. But how is that supposed to help me? Why should I pay attention to category reviews when I could be reading the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?”
Understood. I hear it’s fabulous. But getting new products on the shelf is pretty great too, right?
And the ultimate CPG goal (and RangeMe’s goal) is to match up awesome new products with a retailer (or multiple retailers) who will love and appreciate it, yes?
For retailers, conducting category reviews is an essential part of doing successful business. How can you know what you need or what you want, if you don’t know what you have? These quarterly, or even semi-yearly checks and balances of your store shelves go a long way in ensuring you’re stocking your store right.
For suppliers, it’s a little trickier. A retailer’s category reviews aren’t always accessible to suppliers, and what’s more, as a supplier you may not always know when a retailer is conducting a category review. They’re only done at certain times of the year, and in narrow time frames, which can make things even more challenging for suppliers. But! As a supplier on RangeMe, you’ll receive some insider knowledge about when those review periods occur and what retailers are looking for, relieving some of the anxiety about presenting the perfect product.
Being a supplier with a product that could fit into a niche or slot a retailer needs when they need it is a good position to be in. Category reviews for some retailers might only happen once or twice a year, so to not take the chance to connect and collaborate with that retailer would be a great opportunity missed. For retailers, conducting these reviews is necessary to ensure strong product selection. For suppliers, having access to this critical time with retailers is a key piece to getting your product noticed, and getting your product into the hands of consumers.
When you say “They’re only done at certain times of the year, and in narrow time frames, which can make things even more challenging for suppliers.”, you don’t mean that they only look at sales during that short time period, right? Certainly they must, at least, look at the last year’s performance of a product, right?. Many products are seasonal and I would think they would want to take that into consideration.
And what about new products that have only been on their shelves for a few months…How are they reviewed?
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