Sales velocity is a measure of how fast your product moves off shelves and into consumers’ shopping carts wherever it’s sold in retail stores. There are tested levers that a CPG manufacturer can adjust to optimize a brand’s sales velocities.
Here are 4 strategies for revving up your sales velocity without breaking the bank:
Be strategic with price promotions. Price promotions such as temporary price cuts, multiples, two-for-one offers, or instant redeemable coupons can effectively increase your sales velocity and grow your base sales. However, price promotions can be viewed as a tactical instead of a strategic maneuver. The goal of any promotion should be to incentivize consumers to try your products at a low promoted price and then return and buy your products at regular prices. A sign of a healthy brand is the steady increase in its base sales. Analyze your weekly syndicated data to measure base vs. incremental sales across your key items.
Rationalize your SKUs. That’s right — A SKU Rat sounds counterintuitive, but limiting your product offerings can actually accelerate your sales velocity in two ways. The first can be attributed to choice paralysis, which shows that consumers buy less if there are too many choices and buy more if there are only a few. So when intentionally limiting your choices, make sure to leave only your top selling products on the shelf. In addition, having less but more productive SKUs in distribution helps your velocities by increasing the average velocity for your brand. Since all manufacturers are using the same syndicated data it will be difficult for them to argue for your discontinuation with your improved brand velocity. Analyze all competitive items by employing a quadrant analysis across velocity and distribution.
Keep track of pricing disparities. Most all account managers sell to a specific retailer or within a region and tend to focus their selling stories within their retailer or region. While it’s important to point out pricing gaps versus your key competitors, there is a strategic reason for looking beyond your retailer or region. Showing your buyer the pricing disparities against her key retail competitors allows you to prove that she can sell your product at a lower price and make up the difference with higher volumes. A successful pricing selling story would guide a retail buyer through a product and market pricing comparison followed by velocity comparison at various price points for your product.
Location, location, location. Shelf location, that is. Where your product sits on the retail shelf can have a significant impact on your sales velocity. As a general rule, eye level is best, followed by waist level and the top shelf, then knee level, and finally, ankle level. However, this is an oversimplification since shelf placement is determined by the retailer and not the manufacturers. Nevertheless, shelf placement matters. Confections, for example, show as much as a 39% increase in sales when put in a lower shelf, making them more visible to children. On the other hand, putting heavy 54-oz juice cans on a higher, more visible shelf actually decreased sales by 15%because the higher placement made them much harder to lift. So be sure to give your product’s shelf placement some serious thought. Convincing retailers of the right shelf placement for your SKUs can be accomplished via specific comparative analyses.