Trax reporting and analysis sets them apart. This coupled with their speed and the way they manage each project from start to finish with total focus on outcomes is why we used Trax DMX during the pandemic and why we plan to expand with Trax over coming years.
In the past several months COVID-19 has caused major supply chain disruptions that will have long-lasting effects for many months to come. Today, the conventional methods of merchandise management are outdated. In addition, the current labor crunch in the US has sped up the need for alternative solutions to help maintain on-shelf availability (OSA) . Trax Dynamic Merchandising enables a flexible and on-demand workforce to improve shelf execution even amidst pandemic-boom shopping and supply chain challenges.
Starting in 2020, one of the world’s biggest CPGs expanded their use of Trax Dynamic Merchandising as a fast, flexible solution to measure and improve shelf space, enable impulse purchases, and gain control in the convenience channel during the worst months of the pandemic. Here’s how.
Keep shelves stocked during the pandemic with an on-demand, audited workforce
We chose Trax because of their speed, coupled with their merchandising expertise. Trax helped us out of a tough spot – CPG retail merchandising executive
If the product cannot be seen, it cannot be sold. When the pandemic struck, a major CPG brand needed to provide additional boots on the ground as store staff couldn’t handle the elevated turns in stock needed due to increased covid demand.
The brand turned to Trax Dynamic Merchandising, which was able to cover a wide geographic area — and fast. In just one week during the peak of the pandemic, Trax reached 9,384 stores across 4,295 zip codes to restock 21,000 cases of different SKUs.
In total, the Flexforce delivered 27,000 hours of labor over nine weeks, with 10 cases merchandised every hour for a total of 286,000 cases stocked. The cost of the CPG brand’s investment into Dynamic Merchandising was just 10% of the revenue generated.
This was made possible thanks to the on-demand, flexible workforce (or Flexforce) used by Dynamic Merchandising. Unlike the fixed rep merchandising model, Trax’s on-demand workforce follows a three-step process to provide 100% quality assurance for every visit, giving the brand owner complete visibility and traceability over the project’s progress and results. Tasks are assigned to the rep most skilled and suitable for the job, further ensuring quality work.
Importantly, for the CPG, which was urgently seeking to avoid out of stock-induced loss of sales, Trax Dynamic Merchandising was deployed and scaled across the US in just days instead of the weeks or months it takes traditional third-party merchandisers. During one of the biggest availability crises in retail memory, Trax was ready and able to keep shelves stocked for the American consumer.
The use of Trax Dynamic Merchandising has now become the playbook for this CPG when faced with a shortage of frontline workers. In January 2022, as the Omicron variant caused more out of stock challenges, the brand once again contracted the Trax Flexforce with thousands of hours of pack-out relief.
Enabling impulse purchases to boost sales
With available shelf space being limited at impulse locations in store, the CPG needed to find an innovative way to grow sales for its products meant for immediate consumption. So, Trax deployed its Flexforce to drive impulse purchases at high traffic locations — the point of purchase — in the outlets of a major US retailer.
With intuitive secondary displays installed in the checkout lanes by the Flexforce, the CPG achieved higher visibility with impulse shoppers. The points of distribution rose from 1,600 to 5,000 and resulted in a double-digit lift in sales across the retailer’s stores. The CPG was also awarded Supplier of the Year by the retailer for the successful implementation made possible by Trax.
Gaining control in the convenience channel via real-time data from a wide-ranging annual audit
Trax’s unique difference is their ability to react quickly, within a week, and touch the entire country- CPG retail merchandising executive
The convenience channel is tough to manage given the pace of change and the vast network of stores and lack of reliable, timely data. In addition, COVID-19 led to a switch in shopper behavior — they started using the channel for making regular home goods purchases instead of just on-the-go convenience.
Amid this landscape, the CPG needed to conduct an audit of the convenience channel to measure contract compliance by the retailer regarding space and range, and to identify equipment and point of sale (POS) opportunities.
With Trax Dynamic Merchandising, the CPG was able to audit 25,000 stores across the convenience channel. The data was also received in real-time, compared to other data sources in the channel which can experience a lag of up to six months.
This data audit was of strategic importance to the CPG, enabling smarter category management decisions, reduction in wasted POS materials, and more productive resets.
Adapting to changing market conditions and shopper behaviors
Brands and retailers must be able to respond quickly to changes in the market. With changes in shopper behavior and increasing supply chain issues due to a growing labor shortage, both manufacturers and distributors need to rethink their merchandising models.
The major CPG featured here is not alone. Nearly 500 other consumer goods brands (from the world’s biggest CPGs to founder-led and challenger brands) have deployed Trax Dynamic Merchandising since 2020. Every month, the Flexforce calls upon 100,000 stores.
By garnering the ability to fulfil hyper-local activities with precision and measurement, brands and retailers can equip themselves with the right set of tools to win retail now and in the future.