The Human Side of Category Management
Category management is data driven. Your category management teams looks at a variety of data sets to create a strategy for each product category. Consumer trends, purchasing history, inventory figures, profitability targets, and product turnover just scratch the surface of what goes in to every planogram your store receives. Numbers drive decisions in this facet of convenience store operation, but they don’t tell the whole story. Category management also has a human side.
Category management is at the heart of vendor relationships. Your team negotiates pricing and promotions based on their category research. At the store level, managers and employees are entrusted to follow through with the agreements made with vendors at a higher level. If implementation falls short of expectations, relationships with vendors can suffer. This can lead to less profitable pricing structures and fewer promotional opportunities.
Traffic flow is a consideration in category management plans. When planograms are implemented correctly, employees will be able to better manage customer experiences. They’ll spend less time directing customers and more time engaging them. Opportunities to upsell and make suggestions will be front and center, giving employees more ways to have a positive impact on store profitability. This leads to enhanced job security, career growth, and team morale.
The customer sits at the center of every operational decision you make as a convenience store manager. Category management is no exception. An effective category plan helps to ensure that your store stocks what your customer wants, places it where your customer can easily find it, merchandises it along with complementary items that can enhance the overall customer experience, and charges a price that is both profitable for the store and value-driven for the customer.
With all the numbers that go into your convenience store’s category plan, it’s the people who implement it that define its success. That starts with you!
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