For CPG startups with limited resources, uncovering sales opportunities can feel like looking for a needle in an ever-changing haystack. And yet, that’s what many brands accomplish every day by leveraging data-driven sales insights. In this Bedrock Step-By-Step guide, we’ll outline a simple but effective process for transforming your CPG scan data into sales opportunities.
The first step is to frame your sales data to highlight the most valuable product insights. Not every metric will necessarily be relevant at this stage — emerging brands are more likely to have regional success stories than national ones — so framing will help you focus on the most useful highlights. At a minimum, CPG brands should consider the following:
- Product category
- Retail channel
Next, make a note of each KPI within the context of the framed dataset. Your particular KPIs may vary by category, but the following examples are especially important in retail settings:
- Units sold
- Sales change over 52 weeks
- Absolute dollar growth
- Turns — units per store per week
- Dollars to category — dollars per store per week
Finally, highlight any incremental sales periods that relate to limited-time promotions and discounts.
Once your sales data is appropriately framed, it’s time to review market data that reflects potential sales opportunities. There will be any number of opportunities available in the market, but ideally you want to consider elements that will match your brand strengths. For example, if you sell premium chocolate products and dollar sales are on the rise across the category, this might be an opportunity to:
- Start a new account at a retailer with limited premium chocolate holdings
- Expand your shelf presence with an existing retail account
- Introduce new products to diversify your market presence
- All of the above!
In practice, however, emerging brands have limited resources to experiment with every possible opportunity. Instead, startup manufacturers should consider their market from the following perspectives to uncover the most valuable opportunities...
Shelf Placement and Presence
The safest bet for CPG expansion is always at the shelf level. If your products are already available with a particular retailer, it’s that much easier to convince them of your value to the category.
Shelf opportunities can take a variety of forms. Perhaps a retailer would be willing to shift your brand to a valuable eye-level shelving unit if your sales velocity can justify that change. Alternatively, your shelf presence might increase with additional facings of your product. Finally, a brand might try to expand their account portfolio with new products in the same category.
If there’s no room to expand on the shelf, it might be time to expand to additional storefronts. Brands pursuing this opportunity should look for distribution voids that represent gaps in a retailer’s product category. If a retail brand stocks limited volumes, that might be an opportunity to fill the gap with a new retail account.
Your brand isn’t operating in a vacuum. Your competitors typically have access to the same market data and will act on potential trends. The question then, for an emerging brand, is how it will stand out from everything else?
Will you offer premium products with a higher price tag and a lower sales velocity? Can you provide unique item features like organic or locally-sourced ingredients? What are the health benefits of your product? When analyzing the competitive landscape, keep watch for product elements that stand out from everyone else. Products that are unique but well-promoted have the best chance of finding consumers while increasing traffic to the overall category.
Finally, you want to bring your sales data and market opportunity together as a compelling sales story. Ideally, these should compliment each other to highlight why your product expansion is the best fit for a particular category. If you’re trying to fill a distribution void with a retailer, for example, you need evidence that suggests your item offers something that competitors cannot.
This is where Bedrock Analytics’ visualization features are particularly useful. Our data platform can extrapolate trends from sales and market data into human-readable visualizations. These visualizations automatically update with each syndicated data refresh and can be exported into sales reports or presentations with a single click. With these tools at your disposal, CPG sales teams can start surfacing and realizing opportunities faster than ever before. For more information, contact a Bedrock Analytics sales expert.