Collaboration between retailers and suppliers may have improved, but now is the time to really step up the game, says Precima.

Both retailers and trading partners agree shopper-focused collaboration has been on a positive track. Asked about the way things have progressed over the past two years, 85% of retailers and 92% of suppliers say collaboration has improved, while only 1% of either group say it has worsened.

The momentum is good, but new research commissioned by Precima, a Nielsen company, and conducted by Coresight Research, reveals ample room for improvement by both sides. Among the highlights are these notable opportunities for suppliers:

  1. “Deliver what they promise” – 75% of retailers identify this as important, but just 62% indicate satisfaction with supplier performance.

  2. “Has a vision for the future” – 73% of retailers identify this as important, while 59% indicate satisfaction. 

  3. “Understands our customers” – 70% of retailers identify this as important and 62% indicate satisfaction.

  4. “Ability to quickly respond to market/consumer trends” – 70% of retailers identify this as important, while 64% indicate satisfaction. 

When it comes to collaboration practices overall, retailers are slightly more satisfied with their supplier partners than the other way around. Both parties give partners “C-plus” grades, so new opportunities abound to stand out from the pack.

When every opportunity is significant and every measure indicates ample room for improvement, business leaders need an organising principle to guide their actions. 

It is time to strengthen the culture of collaboration.

There are several ways for trading partners to give a little to get a lot when it comes to shopper-centric collaboration:

  • Shared data – Retailers that want suppliers to bring a better understanding of their shoppers should provide more efficient, role-based access to store-level data and insights they control. 

  • Shared vision – Suppliers that want retailers to better understand their business priorities should begin by communicating their vision for the future of their brands, categories and consumers with greater clarity and consistency. 

  • Fact-based promises – Both parties are very concerned that their trading partners deliver on their promises. Credible promises depend upon reliable information and mutual agreement on the facts about shopper responses. Otherwise they are just platitudes. 

The foundation of all these efforts is accurate, reliable and accessible data. Retailer-collaboration portals are an essential enabler for this, but the partners need to really want to work together for the benefit of the shopper if they want profitable sales to grow. 

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Martin Black, director EMEA partnership development at Precima

Black is responsible for Precima’s European partnership development as well as leading Precima’s UK team out of its London office.

This provides perspective on customer analytics needs across multiple markets as well as hands-on experience of implementing large-scale, long-term analytics and supplier collaboration engagements with retailers.

With 22 years’ experience across retail analytics, CPG, category development and marketing, Black has led teams in retail, corporate and private investment environments, and understands that results matter.

 

Want to learn more?

Download Winning with Retailer–Supplier Collaboration in Grocery and Drug Retail, a research report by Coresight Research sponsored by Precima, a Nielsen company.