I recently read something that really resonated: category management has evolved “from dominos to chess.”
I can’t think of a better way of describing the transformation of the type of work that category managers do. There’s no question that category management is evolving. Today, it’s important for manufacturers and retailers, alike, to see this role as it relates to a bigger view of a shopper's world. Here’s why.
Let's take the front-end of the store as an example. There’s been a pay-point evolution from traditional checkout to self-checkout, a change that’s frequently made to decrease labor costs. What many retailers don’t realize, is when they transition to self-checkout, they often overlook a number of merchandising touch points that were previously centered around the checkout lanes. We understand the shopper is still looking for a reward for the end of their trip, no matter what the point of sale looks like. When retailers and category managers work together to plan for these transitions, they can improve the shopper experience and create new areas of sales growth.
People have more shopping options than ever before. Broadening the view of category management to navigate these changes is at the center of the changing relationship with retailers-- from advising the aisle to deeply understanding the shopper's world.
Like I mentioned earlier, in our ever-changing job, we’re chess players. With a big picture view and strategy, we can all work to calculate our next moves together.