Christmas is not exactly top of mind for consumers just yet but own brand managers have been thinking about their holiday assortment for the last six months and now it's crunch time to ensure products (and associated labeling) are ready to hit the shelves come fall for private label products.
Product labeling is not only vital to ensuring your brand claims are backed up by accurate supplier data but it is also essential to ensuring consumer safety and adherence to strict regulations. Manual accuracy checks slow down a retailer's ability to get their products to market, from promotions to signage to product on shelves, which no one can afford particularly as private label products continue to rise in demand.
Consumers have started to trust that private labels are as good, if not better than national brands. In fact, more than 90% of millennials are looking to buy private label items because of price and quality of the store's brand.
As retailers capitalize on this trend and private label ranges expand, supply chain management complexity, liability and risk also increase. Managing the amount of information collected from the supply chain and capturing accurate product data for a central repository to help make on-going educated business decisions and keep a brand protected is essential for long-term growth and customer retention.
Being able to back up product claims around organic, eco-friendly or fair trade is key for retailers today. 73 percent of Millennial shoppers would pay more for products or services from brands that work toward social or environmental change. There is a recycling thought process going on here. Consumers are reacting differently to how they buy products across the market than they have in the past. They are looking for retailers to make claims around sustainability, product origin, and transparency, and the expect the retailer to back up those claims.
67 percent of consumers think transparency is important to their purchasing decision, specifically in the fashion market. Consumers want to know that the product they select has been ethically sourced and trust that a brand has taken measures to ensure it. Compound this with the fact that fashion consumers want the latest trends and you have a further complication that requires retailers to not only bring new products to market as quickly as possible but simultaneously make certain that the right processes are in place to support transparent customer communications.
Finding the Right Balance - One challenge for retailers is finding the right balance between how to bring products to market quickly and how to guarantee that you've done due diligence to provide accurate product information and that the product is safe and right for the market - especially around the popular Christmas shopping season.
Disparate Practices and Systems - Another challenge is the use of so many disparate systems. Let's estimate roughly 85% of all product development people are using on average 17 different disparate practices and systems every single day. There is daily use of spreadsheets, email, Word documents, online nutrition portals, online legal portals, and various different merchandising tools that give you a little bit of supplier or product information. There are many little solutions all working together to bring a product to market. All these solutions have a bit of product here and a bit of supplier there. So when it comes to actually finding that balance of bringing the product to market quickly and making sure it's safe, how do you do that with 17 different systems?
One area that Oracle Retail Brand Compliance has been helping retailers with is in the growth of private labels. The first module in the solution is process compliance and it is a stage gate process or a project management process that enables retailers to plan for new product development. It helps retailers with:
The next is a supplier compliance module that is all about ensuring that your suppliers are compliant with the various different rules and regulations. It ensures suppliers are:
Then there is product compliance or product specification. Behind every single product that consumers purchase, there is a technical document. That technical document is holding all the information that is in a food item, for example, the nutrients, freeform, and packaging. In fashion, you're talking about all the material breakdown - the color in the designs, the sizes, the whole assortment range that you bring into the market. Then it's about validating that the product is meeting the rules of the market. That information is found on all labeling - printed, digital or shelf-edge labels. It could be going online as a product description or used as the product attributes behind the product. Any place where that product information is held and is accessible to consumers should originate from a single source of the truth.
Private label product sale averages vary across the globe, but headlines continue to show that they are rapidly growing in popularity. At the same time, as private labels grow, there is also the growth of legislation, regulative requirements and labeling laws. Consumers are also asking more questions about what’s in the products they buy and retailers need to be ready with the answers.
If you are looking to fulfill the modern consumers insatiable need for information, consider a solution that supports your brand promise.