As you assess your retail growth strategy for 2024, it’s crucial that your spend has a direct impact on solving the right problems. We’ll delve into how best to navigate these shopper marketing complexities here:

Am I Concerned with Defending Shelf Space or Obtaining New Retail Accounts?

When it comes to retail growth, one of the fundamental considerations is whether to focus on growing your current shelf space or expanding into new retail accounts. This decision often boils down to a choice between velocity and all commodity volume (ACV). Velocity refers to the rate at which products are sold, while ACV measures the presence of a product in retail outlets. 

We believe emerging CPG brands should place a greater focus on velocity, at least early on, to defend their position on shelf. As stated by Lauren Ivison, a Partner with Ridgeline Ventures:

“When evaluating a brand, velocity holds more weight than ACV for us. We would rather see a company that has built a strong and growing tribe of devoted customers than one with low velocity that has placement in a lot of stores. If a company’s product isn’t moving off the shelf, a higher store count won’t compensate for a brand that isn’t selling.”

2. Are All Your Retail Door Locations Equally Important?

One of Social Nature’s unique differentiators in the digital sampling space, is our ability to focus targeted trial against a brand’s key account store list. Though often the question is asked, which store locations matter most? 

Our advice would be to zero in on retailers where you have the most to gain or lose. Did you just gain distribution at some Walmart and Targets as a test, and depending on your velocity performance, could gain additional doors? Or  does your buyer have velocity expectations to maintain your position on shelf? These are instances when we should co-create a sampling program together. 

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3. What Insights Can I Provide During Buyer Review Meetings?

Buyer review meetings are crucial opportunities to win and defend shelf space, so don’t miss the opportunity to bring insights to the table to derisk a buyer’s investment in you as a brand.  Buyers are interested in information that validates your price, position and product. Through your Social Nature campaign, you can take it one step further and also illustrate demand for your product, purchase intent and growth to your category thereafter. 

4. Do I Understand How Sampling Providers Define ``Community`` & Does this Provider Focus on My Niche?

One-size-fits-all sampling solutions often fall short when it comes to defending a brand’s position on shelf.

Since we know that hyper-targeted trial is the ultimate path to purchase, Brands need a provider that understands their unique audience. Many sampling platforms tout their community of engaged customers, but the definition of “community” can vary significantly. 

Some partners have detailed analytics on their community members and can leverage this data to identify ideal consumers for your products. Other partners require you to leverage your own digital marketing efforts to acquire new customers, and therefore merely serve as a rebate processor. 

With Social Nature, before being selected, community members first have to self-select into campaigns and answer the brand’s custom pre-trial survey. This pull-through strategy as opposed to your typical pushy sampling approach is your best lever for conversation to sale, unaided thereafter. 

We’re here to help, even if it’s just for a 30 minute consult to understand your pain points so that we can make some recommendations on how best to approach.

Book some time here with our team of CPG growth consultants.