Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers were deemed essential during the COVID-19 crisis and grew top-line sales. But now they face significant challenges from the aftermath. They must return to operational stability, while taking advantage of new business opportunities and shifting consumer preferences. As surging COVID-19 demand normalizes, grocery and FMCG retailers must address the impact of abnormal demand across automated tools for demand forecasting, replenishment, assortment planning, pricing and promotion.
- Will consumers return to normal purchase patterns?
- Will e-commerce sales remain at current levels?
- Will fulfillment models like curbside and delivery be preferred?
- How can the business continue to address the evolving consumer trends profitably?
- How to normalize historical data to improve accuracy of future demand forecast?
- How to ensure automated replenishment systems will not over or under order?
- What can be done to improve the accuracy of perpetual inventory data?
- How should to price to avoid gouging while accounting for legitimate costs increases?
- How will promotions change post COVID-19?
- How to be prepared for the next chapter of the pandemic without over-investing in inventory?
5 Common Automated Applications Requiring Attention
- Evaluate the overall impact of COVID-19 on all the channels, in particular the store.
- Segregate 2020 demand history that may be tainted by COVID-19. Leverage it for learning, but do not allow it to enter automated systems without oversight.
- Audit application parameters to ensure they are set appropriately to support the recovery strategy without absorbing anomalies as relevant data points.
Gartner clients can download the PowerPoint research materials