Mitigating Empty-Shelf Syndrome


Holiday spending is expected to break records this year. Retailers during this bustling season are facing unforeseen difficulty keeping up with the demand, and from mom-and-pop establishments to the big store retailers, empty-shelf syndrome has become undoubtedly problematic.  

New brands must quickly capture consumers' buying attention so that their products can survive and even thrive in this marketplace. They need to keep inventory on shelves across thousands of store locations, ensure that point-of-purchase materials are in place, and that merchandising and end-cap displays are on point in all of their locations as well.

But in order to do this effectively, most CPG providers have to explore partnerships that can provide the staffing solutions that are needed to monitor activities at the local store level, and solutions providers that can give them the technologies needed to help determine where their sales efforts can be most effective.  

Innovation Lending a Helping Hand

Brand owners have no way to logistically visit thousands of stores to restock, add or adjust end-cap displays, or enhance marketing solutions onsite on a weekly or even a monthly basis. Interestingly, many tech companies can provide a lifeline by helping brands stay visible, get sold, and stay competitive. 

[See also: The Changing Face of Modern Retail Execution]

Visibility is essential to every company desiring to grow their brand.  One effective way to achieve this and to get in front of as many prospective customers as possible, is by holding demonstrations and events. While many companies just don’t have the manpower, there are companies with brand ambassadors that will do product testing for you. 

By partnering, CPGs brands can realize some amazing benefits that will help support the sales cycle of their products on store shelves. Here are a few tips to consider:

Brand Representation 

Brands struggle to become and stay recognizable in a climate of competition and economic ups and downs. For this reason, it’s more vital than ever that organizations have strategies in place that increase brand awareness while keeping the business in front of the proper target audience. With juggling multiple locations and a shortage in staff, many may find it challenging to keep up with this demand. 

Consider this scenario; a partnership with a leading company designed to keep your brand thriving in the marketplace with sensory branding, articulating your brand as if it were a personality, reputation monitoring, and more. Now you have the ability to consistently connect your brand to the world and give it a winning-edge.  

In-Store Execution 

In-store execution must become a fundamental process for retailers to execute strategies for success across store locations. With retail making shifts and changes, it’s important to pivot into developing a multi-dimensional customer experience. 

One of the ways this can be achieved is by rolling out innovative tech and on-demand staffing solutions that can support sales, planograms, in store displays, customer interactions, merchandising, and local store marketing events.  With the retail space becoming more crowded, flawless in-store execution is critical to success.

Brand Ambassadors 

Connecting buyers to teams of trained ambassadors is a lucrative solution for companies desiring to increase their marketing experience. Brand ambassadors are becoming core essentials to companies because of their unique ability to cultivate relationships with brand fans and communicate the message in a creative and fun way. 

[See also: Successful Product Introduction Requires a Structured Approach]

By rolling out a great brand ambassador program you can launch marketing strategies like demos and onsite events that significantly enhance the connections you make with customers. The feedback from these activities can also help give your company a competitive advantage.  

Market Research 

Qualitative market research is a vital part of every organization. Without understanding the needs of customers, retailers often find themselves struggling to keep up with other competitive brands. Research has shown that customer-centric businesses are 60% more profitable. That’s why it’s important to work with field reps to collect data which can change the trajectory of your company’s sale’s cycle. 

If field rep staffing is a problem, then partner with companies with a stellar retail workforce who can do the work for you, including consumer research, marketing campaign evaluation, competitor research, conducting demos, and brand research.

Results That Work 

Businesses that are eager to grow have already implemented a number of the above services or have made moves in partnering with an innovative company to support their needs. This keeps their company moving forward and fuels their sales cycle in the right direction.

In order for CPG brands and businesses alike to scale and stay above water, taking the innovative tech partnership leap may be the way to go.

Tina Adolfsson is VP of marketing and data innovation at, an organization servicing over 150 CPG brands with retail strategies, on-demand solutions, and local store marketing activations.