There are 12 million kirana stores in India translating into 10 stores per 1000 Indians. These stores often act as key influencers in consumer’s purchase decision and are rich source of market intelligence. Engaging with this large and diverse kirana store network arguably forms most important element of brand’s strategy.
Brands have traditionally leveraged (and built) distribution network of distributors, wholesalers, semi-wholesalers, super stockist, stockist, and suppliers to get their products placed at kirana stores. Seamless communication channel with kirana stores cutting across a large channel of distribution partners remains a challenge. We believe that technology can play a big role bridging this gap.
Let us look at 3 key areas in which Brands try to influence retail store network and how a digital platform connecting brands and retail stores can make it more efficient –
Margins & Schemes:
Margins and Schemes for retail stores is a key lever brands use to influence kirana stores to push their brands to consumers. Schemes typically change on monthly basis by the brands. These schemes are then further pushed and communicated by channel partners (distributor) to the retail stores on behalf of the brands. Expectedly, Schemes do not reach intended retail stores due to miscommunication / loss of information within the distribution chain.
Platform connecting brands and retail stores directly can help in real time discovery of schemes and promotions by various brands. Moreover, brands can run highly targeted live promotion campaign within their retail store network to influence sales.
Loyalty Reward Programs:
Performance based loyalty program is a great way for brands to influence retail store behavior. Loyalty is typically established through sales performance (total purchase by retail store) as well as visual merchandising display & in-store branding. Closing the loop by rewarding favorable action is to success of a loyalty program. Given that very few retail stores are digitally connected with the brand, execution of reward disbursement to the retail store network is difficult. There are delays in retail stores receiving rewards points. Also, there is very little transparency in how these reward points were calculated specially with qualitative feedback for visual merchandising.
A digital platform can help brand effectively communicate the mechanics of the loyalty program as well as bring transparency in execution of this program. Moreover, brands can make smart multiple reward disbursal options that can help them with overall sales strategy.
High penetration of kirana stores can act as highly accurate source of market intelligence feedback for brands to base their strategies upon. Brands typically leverage offline agencies as well as distribution partners to get market feedback from the retail channel. It requires enormous offline feet on street effort for offline agencies to provide this information. Any other source of feedback is largely unstructured.
Digital platform connecting brands and kirana stores can make this process highly scalable, frictionless, structured and cost effective. Brands can design smart surveys on their retail store network and get critical feedback on areas like Out of Stocks, New Product Launches, Competitor Intelligence, Brand Recall etc. Moreover, rewarding participating retail stores in these surveys can be closed with the same platform instantaneously!
Write to us to know how our technology BeatRoute is helping brands to make a digital connection with their retail store landscape.