Today, Askuity released a white paper entitled The Retail Collaboration Quadrant™, which summarizes our latest thinking on the opportunity for retailer/product vendor collaboration to improve joint sales, marketing and supply chain outcomes.

The insights in this report are drawn from dozens of conversations that we’ve had with both retailers and product manufacturers. One common message that emerged consistently through these discussions with retailers, large and small, across retail verticals from food, drug and mass to home improvement to electronics to apparel, was their expressed desire to build more collaborative, win-win relationships with their product vendors.

Why Don’t Retailers Collaborate With Vendors?

The desire to collaborate with product vendors notwithstanding, we repeatedly heard from retailers about their pain points and barriers in getting to this desired outcome. In some cases, the barriers are organizational and behavioral; in other cases, they might be resource or technology-related.

Our discussions with product vendors have been equally illuminating. In some cases, we heard with some of the best-known brands in the market – learning of the challenges they encounter trying to work in closer partnership with retailers really shed light on the ‘other’ side of the story.

Lack of shared information and visibility was certainly a common theme that ran through many of their stated pain points.

Striving for True Collaboration

The Retail Collaboration Quadrant synthesizes our findings and provides a useful diagnostic framework for retailers and vendors trying to understand where and why their relationship currently sits where it does.

It also provides a path forward towards best practices and to a desired state we term True Collaboration. True Collaboration occurs where both retailers and vendors are working in partnership to:

  • Grow category sales and optimize assortments
  • Improve marketing and promotional effectiveness
  • Improve on-shelf availability

All of these are key success factors to keeping shoppers loyal and happy.

The good news is that although, in some cases, it might seem that retailers and vendors are on different planets when it comes to their respective interpretations of the retail collaboration challenges, both sides are clearly seeking the same goal of partnership and mutual gain.

As the saying goes, “it takes two to tango”. Let the dance begin.

Learn more about Askuity’s Retail Collaboration Quadrant and download the free report today.