The Lost Art of Merchandising: How PRM can help you steal a margin over your rivals – eebz

A good Product Relationship Management solution will help you significantly increase sales of your games. Vangelis Matthaiopoulos, business development director at Eebz, explains how. This article was created in collaboration with eebz.

Vangelis Matthaiopoulos, Eebz

As in many other areas of life and business, the Covid pandemic has had a significant effect on shopper behaviour and, consequently, on retail sales. The shift from offline to online sales has hugely accelerated due to lockdown, creating some fantastic opportunities, but also new problems to tackle.

Pure online retailers have flourished (Amazon’s ‘sales per minute’ stats are eye-watering), but traditional bricks and mortar stores with an ecommerce arm have struggled to keep up with the increased consumer demand – some have even consolidated their buying teams during lockdown due to ongoing (and exacerbated) market pressures on their high street stores.

Meanwhile, consumers are being faced with an explosion of choice across all retail product categories, including games. Somewhat counter-intuitively, discoverability, although much discussed, is being tackled with filters and algorithms that are actually giving the impression of very limited choice in many instances. This leads to a feeling of non-innovation and staleness.

Put simply, it feels like much of the merchandising and category management knowledge that we had accrued in the offline world has been lost online – or at least is not being translated in the correct way.

We see major offline retailers shrinking their buying teams and consolidating categories because traditional sales are down. But, at the same time, very little effort is being made to bolster or even create online category management teams.

And, on top of all this, the cooperation between games publishers, manufacturers and retailers that was built up in the offline world to manage categories is not being adopted in an ecommerce environment. Retail sales data is not easily available due to some key retailers being unwilling to share their figures and intelligence, and online performance data has limited focus around the ‘digital shelf’.

Ultimately, ‘category management’ has slipped off the radar as a discussion point. And no one wants to translate the fundamental principles of it to the online world – the default position seems to be that online retail is so different that category management simply cannot be implemented.

We disagree! Online category management can provide significant sales increases. It just needs new tools and new approaches relevant to how online sales work.

Over the next few issues of MCV/DEVELOP we will be looking in more depth at certain areas of digital merchandising. Watch this space…

Eebz is the world’s premier product relationship management system that integrates bricks and mortar, e-commerce and digital channels on an equal footing.

To find out more, visit www.eebz.com, email info@eebz.com or call 020 3886 0265

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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