As the modern-day businesses are becoming more competitive, the needs and expectations from customers are increasing day by day. While satisfying dynamic customer requirements and improving overall category management, businesses are confronting several challenges. In this blog, we are going to discuss about some common challenges faced by category planning professionals and ways to overcome them. 

  • Differentiation – In today’s market, it is challenging to attract customers only on the basis of low prices and convenient location. Customers are more attracted towards the services and ease provided by retailers for their shopping experience. Retailers need to identify and advertise what’s special about their store and give customer a good reason to choose their store over competitors. 

  • Stepping out of Category – While optimizing the performance of individual category, it is challenging for retailers to maintain the overall performance of the store. Retailers need to consider the impact of a category proposal on other categories. They also need to identify cross-category opportunities by extending knowledge and understanding of different categories in the store.

  • Omnichannel – Customers have never been so well informed. They will continuously use technology, e-commerce, and other available resources to get required information for their shopping. It is quite challenging for a category manager to anticipate the interactions from customers and giving them a clear and consistent message across all their touchpoints. Retailers and suppliers need to put focused efforts to give customer a seamless and positive experience. 

  • Data – Category planning is data intensive that’s why it is always challenging to create a comprehensive, clean and accurate dataset for category analysis. The process of category planning can be optimised by following a more structured, analytical and data-driven approach. Data can be gathered in various dimensions, e.g., market data will look at the products with better sales in the external market whereas consumer data will look at the internal market of the retailer. Building a comprehensive dataset will help in understanding consumer preferences, consumer behaviour and it will also help in analysing product consumption effectively for the category. 

  • Software Platforms: One of the challenging factors to bridge the gap between planning and execution is to have seamless integration between all the tools used within an organization. It would be often difficult to analyse the performance of a category and execute necessary optimization plans if there is no synergy between source data and visualization tool. ValQ can integrate seamlessly with all the data sources supported by Microsoft Power BI. Even analysed data from ValQ can be exported and used for further analysis. 

  • Actionable Insights: To empower business owners with smart decision making it is important to translate data into actionable insights. It is easy and intuitive to create a Category Planning Model on ValQ and take well informed decisions instantly. 

Refer below snapshot which is an example of category planning model made on Microsoft Power BI with the help of ValQ. In this snapshot we can see how the increase in performance of products like Arm Chairs and Study Tables are getting reflected in the increase of Total Sales. All the performances of different categories, sub-categories and products can be analysed at a glance with the help of advanced analytics and effective visualization offered by ValQ. 

Challenges in category planning ValQ

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