It’s been a year since Simpactful officially launched its Northwest Arkansas team to accelerate the organization’s capabilities to meet clients’ needs with the world’s largest retailer. During this time, our team has helped clients navigate where to play and how to win by using the diverse and significant experience across all retail functions and channels. “There are needs across both large and small suppliers,” says Mike Russell Simpactful Partner, “With both the economy and Walmart strong this can create a double-edged sword for suppliers. There are fewer choices to bet on that can make up for any loss a client has at Walmart. On the flip side, winning with Walmart now makes it much easier to make up for gaps in other channels/customers.”
What have we learned?
A common theme that the Simpactful team has observed working with suppliers for Walmart and Sam’s is that the need for innovation isn’t going away anytime soon. Innovation doesn’t end with product design and marketing, but encompasses developing and executing a strong omnichannel strategy, new ways of supply chain optimization, and using shopper marketing data to drive meaningful category growth. “There are so many companies, big and small, that need to start thinking differently. If brands continue doing business as usual, they will get the usual. For some, that is okay but there are many categories that are still struggling today,” says Allisha Watkins, Sr. Consultant, “Even if you're doing ‘ok’, in order to win you have to differentiate from the competition and that requires different thinking.” What’s Watkins’ advice? “Step outside of what is comfortable and bring in new ideas! Now more than ever it is critical that we fully leverage insights through activation and fully understand the shopper dynamic”. In order to thrive at the retailer, suppliers need to know their shoppers inside and out - no matter how and where they shop at Walmart, and have a strategy that allows them to win in an Every Day Low Price environment.
What Walmart Suppliers Must Do To Ensure Sustainable Growth
The entire team strongly believes that pressure to drive performance both in sales and investments will continue to increase. According to Alissa Steinbroner, Sr. Consultant, “The way customers shop has forever changed and brands who embrace it will continue to win.” There are so many choices for shoppers and for a successful product launch, suppliers need to support it appropriately or face deletion even before there is a chance to fix it. Watkins adds, “Continue to focus on the basics: 4P's, supply chain optimization and developing a connected commerce strategy, not just B&M.”
Common mistakes suppliers can avoid with Walmart
Having a great product at a low price is not enough to ensure success in 21st century retail. According to Steinbroner, “A common mistake I saw this year was suppliers missing an assortment channel strategy and having price slopes established before going into Walmart. If this is not developed prior to the meeting, Walmart will never be positioned to win in the marketplace (price/value).” Accessing the right people at Walmart and developing better sales presentations helps suppliers make an impact and break through noise that will ultimately deliver on what Walmart and the customer wants. Because the Simpactful team has worked for or in the Walmart ecosystem for years, there is great value in this network in helping suppliers avoid the common pitfalls by connecting with the right decision maker, negotiating a strong partnership, and providing solutions that are in line with Walmart’s strategy.
In the age of retail where brands are fighting for attention, developing a compelling way to provide insights to Walmart is another winning strategy, the Northwest Arkansas team suggests. “It’s crucial to provide insight into how Shopper Marketing truly works and the value of your target audience,” adds Watkins, “Using my approach of shelf back to create relevant, meaningful plans that drives category growth is something we’re especially proud of”.
Make sure your company is positioned to win with Walmart and Sam’s from the very beginning. The best place to start is to work with the industry experts at Simpactful by assessing your current business needs. The Simpactful Northwest Arkansas team experience spans a variety of functions and experiences – general management, merchandising, sales, marketing, consumer research, product supply and all retail channels including eCommerce, food, drug, mass, and club.
Our leaders are proven, having led their companies through today’s challenges with strong demonstrated results. We are passionate about sharing our insights and success models with our clients. Reach out to the Simpactful team at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-234-6394 and let us share how we can address your biggest challenges at Walmart and Sam’s Club.
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Meet Simpactful - a CPG/Retail consultancy firm built for today’s challenges, with a team of experienced leaders from both CPG and Retail firms.
Our experience spans functions - Sales, Marketing, Consumer Research, Human Resources, Product Supply - and all retail channels including eCommerce, Food, Drug, Mass, Club, Dollar, C Stores, and more.