Salesforce has announced Consumer Goods Cloud, a new industry product that enables consumer goods companies to drive revenue growth and maximize ROI through improved retail execution capabilities. Retail execution—the act of getting the right products to the right stores at the right times—is vital to the success of consumer goods companies, as 95% of consumer goods products are sold in physical stores. Consumer Goods Cloud enables reps to use AI to optimize key tasks, drive higher revenues through better promotion execution and order management, and elevate the in-store experience for the end consumer.
Consumer goods field reps are responsible for delivering product and driving brand awareness in stores. However, they often rely upon outdated systems, spreadsheets and paper-based reports to determine their daily travel route, where their products should be placed in the store, and to share real-time business insights and opportunities with both their executive team and store owners. In fact, U.S. consumer goods companies spend about $200 billion every year for in-store merchandising and marketing, but consumer goods leaders say that 52% of their merchandising and marketing plans aren’t executed as intended in stores, which means more than $100 billion in annual trade spend is not optimized.
“Retail execution remains one of the most important pieces of a consumer goods brands strategy, but so much opportunity is wasted if the field rep doesn’t have the data and technology needed to make smart decisions,” said John Strain, GM and SVP, Retail and Consumer Goods at Salesforce. “Consumer Goods Cloud provides these field reps with the tools they need to be successful on the ground while helping build both business opportunities and stronger relationships with their retail partners.”
Consumer Goods Cloud, the latest industry product from Salesforce, will help consumer goods companies transform their business by giving a powerful and intelligent solution to field reps, streamlining operations and elevating in-store experiences for the end consumer. Now field reps can ensure that shelves are always in stock, pricing and promotions are aligned to expectations while spending less time on operational activities and more time building relationships and driving sales with retail channel partners.
Consumer Goods Cloud enables field reps to:
- Improve visit planning. Field reps will have access to a list of prioritized and assigned store visits for the day with required and suggested activities, with in-app map functionality to manage routing. In addition, reps can analyze the health of their business across stores while surfacing new opportunities for their products.
- Optimize visit execution. Once at the store, reps have access to customizable templates based on store or segment types to help ensure that specific store needs are met every time, from inventory and planogram checks to return order processing and surveys, all from a mobile device.
- Harness Einstein AI to optimize compliance and product placements. Einstein Vision for Consumer Goods Cloud delivers an image recognition and object detection solution that allows for easy inventory, planogram and merchandising compliance checks, allowing field reps to spend less time on auditing activities and more time building relationships with customers. For example, a rep can take a picture of a shelf and immediately understand if it is set up correctly without having to manually count and input the data into their system.
- Easily capture orders and data. Through mobile order capturing capabilities, a rep can capture orders during a store visit, collect important data such as, product, quantity and pricing. This ensures they’ve completed all their assigned tasks and reported them correctly while providing executives with a complete view of the visit.
Consumer Goods Cloud is part of the Salesforce Customer 360 platform for all types of fast moving consumer goods companies — including food and beverage, personal care, health and beauty, and more — helping them to unlock the value chain with a unified platform. With Salesforce, consumer goods companies across the globe can digitally transform their entire business, including driving stronger customer engagement in both B2B and B2C commerce. In addition, Einstein Analytics for Consumer Goods delivers an intelligent experience for consumer goods companies by giving reps out-of-the-box KPIs, such as inventory stock outs or percent orders increase per store visit, as well as AI-powered insights and recommendations specifically tailored for their customers.
Salesforce has a robust ecosystem of partners that will help extend the power of Consumer Goods Cloud. Key consulting partners will power digital transformation for customers in the retail industry with expertise and unique capabilities, including:
- Accenture: To compliment the Accenture Cloud TPM solution, Accenture has participated as a pilot partner for Consumer Goods Cloud, leveraging its deep retail execution and industry experience to provide feedback on Consumer Goods Cloud product development and will help guide and configure testing environments for clients.
- PwC: As a design and pilot partner for Consumer Goods Cloud, PwC developed the Connected Digital Front Office solution, built on Consumer Goods Cloud, which leverages analytics to enable increased productivity and drive profitable growth for companies across B2B and B2C in a single platform.
“Execution is everything,” says Pam Brown, Chief Commercial Officer, Promotion Optimization Institute (POI). “Teams spend substantial time planning promotions with retailers, but many are not executed as planned. The 2019 POI State of the Industry Survey notes only 29% of survey respondents agree that they have the tools they need to make appropriate decisions, and only 38% of respondents state that they are satisfied with the ability to execute at store level. Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud has engaged this opportunity with a platform and analytics to help manufacturers make informed decisions at the point of sale and ‘sell more’.”