The sixth step of eight in our true category management adventure, category tactics are those processes that retailers apply to their strategies. The goal of this step is to determine the specific actions that should be taken to achieve the chosen category strategies.
How tactics work, how to apply them
Independence Day is a huge holiday for retailers. Competition is fierce for every shopper’s dollar. Your goal is to increase foot traffic in your store,so the strategy becomes increasing foot traffic, thus increasing sales. The tactics, then, are how you go about achieving that strategy. Let's say there are three possible ways for you to appeal to consumers. Your options include:
- Deep discounts in popular items (buns, condiments, produce, etc.)
- Increased merchandising of focus holiday items (burgers, chips, soda, etc.)
- A unique selection of items not available at your competitors (craft beers, grills, prepared entrees, etc.).
All three tactics help you achieve the goal of increasing foot traffic. They differ by the target consumer and market conditions.
Just like the above, the retailer can switch between the different tactics when necessary. Tactics communicate the retailer’s unique selling position and focus. Tactics can differ between categories, segments, brands and even individual items, and retailers can use them to let consumers know that they are a full service, one-stop-shop for all their grocery needs. They can also position themselves as the destination for unique items not available in the market.
Manufacturers should work closely with retailers to help develop and define specific niches to capitalize on to compete aggressively in their market.
I discussed the retailer tactics more in depth in the article titled: The 5 most popular roles at retail, with several examples of how to use the tactics to help retailers meet their sales goals and exceed shopper expectations.