It is common knowledge that research by McKinsey & Company shows that about 70% of companies fail with their strategies. It’s less common knowledge that new research reveals that the primary root cause is that companies separate Strategy and Execution. Separation in discipline and process, in mindset and action. The culprit of failure is thinking about Strategy and Execution as separate.
Execution of a retail concept is especially inseparable from the retailer’s strategy. And with ever-increasing pressure from e-commerce and increasing expectations from Omni consumers, strong Execution is more important to retailers than ever.
Execution in retail sounds simple – get the right people, to do the right things, in the right way, at the right time…
But in reality, it is a true hydra – a many-headed monster. It covers many ‘hard’ disciplines such as store opening, assortment optimisation, performance analysis, sales & service, marketing, and many more, all essential to flawless execution.
But more importantly, we have found that a range of ‘soft’ and ‘invisible’ factors work as both drivers and barriers to retailers’ execution capability. Communication, competencies, leadership, mobilisation, motivation, habits, etc., impact all organisational layers and can put a spoke in the wheel or work as a true lever of force for execution.
These factors are like cylinders of an engine…When your organisation executes well – it fires simultaneously on all cylinders. Tangible and invisible!
The impact of the “invisible” factors is especially big for retailers with a store network. They can no longer compete on product range or price, BUT… if they manage to give exceptional in-store service to consumers, they can leverage their store network and web rooming to great advantage.
To make that happen, retailers need an integrated approach to managing the in-store consumer experience. Store managers struggle to execute because of uncoordinated systems and priorities. They struggle to juggle several communication channels, visual merchandising guides, KPI’s, campaigns, competitions, and training initiatives. This reduces their retail execution power. To improve execution, we have to make their job easier, so they can focus on driving the sales team and getting the right things done.
A sample checklist for making their job easier could look like this:
For further information on how we work with retailers, you can go to our cases or book a meeting today!
Jan Dahl Andersen,