<img alt="" src="https://secure.peak2poem.com/196389.png" style="display:none;">

How brands can drive deep distribution using granular store-based data

3 min read

You had me at three little words: Out of stock.

Yes, most brands are familiar with the “tracking out-of-stocks” use case. Having location-based data to know what your stock levels look like by retailer and, more specifically, down to the store level is important. After all, you can’t make the sale if you’re not in stock.

Let’s not lose sight of the bigger and more strategic picture, however.

It’s high time we shift the narrative from using location-based data for fighting fires (i.e., fixing out-of-stocks) to applying insights in such a way that could have long-term benefits for your brand. Viewing data through a more strategic lens could help you tap new opportunities you haven’t had before, and accelerate sales growth.

[Editor's note: For additional insights watch our webinar on demand: "Why daily omnichannel data is a game-changer for FMCG brands." Click here to view.]

Fixing OOS is good. Filling distribution gaps is great.

Sure, it’s important to monitor and fix out-of-stock issues. That’s a necessary stop-gap measure that all brands need to stay on top of, both offline and online. But… how about going about it more strategically?

What if we used granular location-based data to pinpoint gaps in distribution, and then work on filling them — i.e., winning new business with our retail partners? Finding patterns in store-level data can help you build the story to gain another location for selling your products, which in turn translates to more sales growth.

Come along with us on a brand journey below to discover how you can drive deeper distribution by leveraging our eStoreCheck analytics solution.

1. Identify items falling below your Availability target

We analyzed Tropicana brand juice items in Walmart store locations across the U.S. using our eStoreCheck analytics solution.

Let’s assume as a brand, we have an Availability target of 80% for all of our active SKUs.

Our research found that 13 SKUs across our Walmart product portfolio are currently meeting or beating this 80% Availability threshold; another five SKUs fall below our 80% target. See the chart below.

Identify opportunities to close distribution gaps
so you can turn gaps into growth
% Availability in US Walmart stores, by SKU

Driving_deeper_distribution_visuals_NEW BRANDING_Obszar roboczy 1 kopia

Source: eStoreCheck store-based analytics; Time stamp: Aug 7, 2023

Our plan is to grab the low-hanging fruit by focusing on two SKUs with Availability levels not too far below our target: Tropicana Pure Premium Some Pulp 100% Orange Juice 12 oz (76% Availability); and Tropicana Zero Sugar Summer Splash Punch 52 oz (66% Availability). 

A good next step is figuring out exactly where our Availability issues exist for these two products. Then we can work with our retail partner, Walmart in this instance, to close the gaps.

2. Pinpoint Availability and Distribution gaps with precision

Now that we’ve identified the SKUs falling below our established Availability target, it’s time to get to work to determine precisely where we have gaps. This can be done by market, region, zip code, and down to the individual store level.

The below graphic illustrates how drilling down by geography lets you precisely pinpoint geographies falling below our 80% target. You can then dive even deeper on our platform to understand what’s happening at the zip code and individual store level.

Pinpoint underpenetrated geographies that can help you drive deep distribution with your retail partners
Areas where Availability falls below the 80% target in US Walmart stores

Driving_deeper_distribution_visuals_NEW BRANDING_Obszar roboczy 1 kopia 2

Source: eStoreCheck store-based analytics; Time stamp: Aug 7, 2023

The granularity of data provided by our eStoreCheck store-based analytics tool enables you to conduct this type of analysis with ease and efficiency. What this means is quickly identifying the issues, giving you more time to focus your efforts on problem-solving and value-add activities, e.g., talking and planning with your retailers.

3. Use a mapping tool to quickly locate additional distribution opportunities

The mapping tool built directly into our platform provides an “at-a-glance” look so you can easily find where to focus.

  • The left map (below) represents our benchmark SKU. You can see Availability levels are meeting or exceeding expectations across all geographic areas (solid green).
  • The middle map shows our SKU with a 74% Availability score (Tropicana Pure Premium Some Pulp 100% Orange Juice 12 oz). The lighter shades of green and some yellows clearly show improvement opportunities where you should focus your energy.
  • The right map is our SKU performing at a 67% Availability level. You can easily see “big” issues needing attention in the Northeastern region of the U.S. 

Locate gaps and opportunities quickly and efficiently using the mapping tool in eStoreCheck store-based analytics platformDriving_deeper_distribution_visuals_NEW BRANDING_Obszar roboczy 1 kopia 3

Source: eStoreCheck store-based analytics; Time stamp: Aug 7, 2023

From granular store-level data to powerful insights

By now you probably have a good handle on just how powerful having access to granular store-level data on a daily basis can be in finding issues and identifying opportunities.

Having an analytics solution in place that quite literally collects “billions” of data points (no small sample sizes here!) and organizes them in a way that helps you find insights fast without spending hours analyzing the data could help you stay a step ahead of the competition. 

Imagine having detailed data-backed insights in near real time to share with your retail partners during weekly meetings or quarterly business reviews, or to roll into your JBP and negotiation processes. Pretty compelling stuff!

Uncovering opportunities to drive deeper distribution is just one use case. Stay tuned as we explore additional use cases in future blogs.

Sandy Skrovan
Sandy Skrovan
Content Marketing Manager

Delve Into our Research and Insights

New insights, market information and ideas to help you win on the digital shelf curated by eStoreMedia experts.