New Study Reveals US Retailers Struggle to Make Category Management More Customer Relevant

14 Sep 2017

Symphony Retail Solutions and EnsembleIQ Research Solutions joint survey results highlight the need to drive decisions based on customer insights

EnsembleIQSymphony Retail Solutions, a leading provider of software and services for retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers and EIQ, a premier business intelligence resource that exists to help people and their organizations succeed, today jointly announced the results of their category management survey of US retailers. Shared publicly for the first time yesterday at the Xcelerate Retail Forum in Las Vegas by Sahir Anand, Managing Vice President of Research & Strategy at EKN Research, the results aggregate the views of 52 retailer respondents (grocery, DIY and consumer electronics) in the United States. They identify current market trends and clearly point to a desire by retailers to utilize insights to place their customers at the heart of their category management decision making.

ebook Competing in the Age of Amazon“These statistics tell a compelling and rather urgent story,” said Sahir Anand, Managing Vice President, Research & Strategy, EKN Research. “For example, 54% of retailers in our survey stated that they have inconsistent or incomplete data and 52% said they lack sufficient talent to analyze the data and make better category management decisions. There is a clear need for retailers to enlist solutions with easy access to accurate and timely data — without the need for massive analytic teams — and that enable executable insights to meet customer needs.”

Other key findings include:

  • 73% of retailers customize processes at a local or store level which has increased customer satisfaction

  • 70% of retailers struggle to collaborate with CPG partners in a meaningful way

  • 60% of retailers plan to use Cloud or SaaS-based models for merchandising and category management within the next 12-24 months


“Like so many areas of grocery currently, the world of category management is experiencing tremendous disruption,” said Matt Robinson Solution Marketing Director, Symphony GOLD. “The responses from the research are a clear indication of intent from retailers that represents a validation of our journey into a hosted cloud platform offering, our next-gen capabilities and holistic approach to category management.”

The survey is now entering the next phases of its evolution, canvassing the opinions of retailers in Brazil and Europe, with the global research to be revealed at the Xcelerate Retail Forum, Paris, 9 – 11 October.

Access the full report >>
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