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What is Retail Activity Optimization (RAO) and why is it important in creating the "Perfect Store"?

A woman is holding a bag of food in a store.

RAO is basically the optimization of standard, daily retail execution processes. From call planning to the activities performed in stores, it leverages existing data to generate better outcomes through improved workflows and advanced analytics.

Retail execution lays the foundation for Retail Activity Optimization. It enables store-level field sales personnel or third-party agents to deliver the perfect shelf through promotional execution, merchandising, asset management, surveys, audits and overall performance management. From a field perspective, it is mobility-enabled, native to any mobile device, and runs across multiple operating systems.

Regardless of which customers offer the highest potential, ensuring that products are placed according to the planogram for all customers is critical to effective retail execution.

By using image recognition and analyzing it with KPIs from the planograms, the goal is to measure compliance for their trade activity and to improve sales performance, driving revenue and margin per square foot while also reducing our cost-to-serve.

You must identify a set of improved outcomes that you would like to achieve beyond the compliance and efficiency expectations you have today.

It’s also important to know that the optimization process is driven by the analysis of data captured in the field by your in-store salesforce. With vast quantities of information made available, field personnel need insights into that information in order to spend more time with the customers who offer the highest potential.

Manufacturers are now stepping up to take responsibility for the optimal presentation of their own products in retail outlets, which is a vital move in this competitive space.

Creating the "Perfect Store"

The term “Perfect Store” describes the combination of measurements and KPIs used to determine the overall success of the retail execution strategy within a store or segment.

Defining your brand’s “Perfect Store” can be challenging. It is an ongoing task due to the nature of the competitive industry and the ever-changing products, promotions and retail outlets. It’s imperative that your Perfect Store KPIs and targets are continuously defined, monitored and adjusted based on sales impact.

Retail Execution solution specialists determine a perfect store through analysis of:

  • Suggested product assortment vs. actual ranged products

  • Out of stocks

  • Compliance with trade promotion terms

  • Compliance of the ‘realogram’ vs. planogram

  • Price vs. recommended/agreed price

  • Share of shelf vs. competition and segment targets 

Effective Retail Activity Optimization reduces costs by optimizing your call coverage, focusing on customers who drive growth. You will also increase sales by enabling sales teams to spend more time on brand-building and business-building activities.

Making sure that promotions are correctly implemented and are compliant with the defined mechanics is critical to bringing value to the promotions. Therefore, the key to succeeding at Retail Activity Optimization and creating the “Perfect Store” is delivering actionable insights. TELUS Retail Execution’s sales intelligence tools allow you to gain insight into the performance of the sales team, key brands and promotional activities. The insights you gain will allow you to plan and manage the field teams with ever-increasing accuracy, ensure compliance with corporate objectives, and then execute the “Perfect Store” strategy.

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