Visual Merchandising: Comparison of shelf hiring of different Fmcg
companies and its impact on sales
The business environment is changing more rapidly than ever before. It is characterized by increasing competition from both domestic and foreign companies, a brandish of mergers and acquisitions, and more sophisticated and demanding customers who have great expectations related to their consumption experiences. There are times when product that were thought to be of high quality, that every market test and analysis concluded were going to be a hit with the market failed miserably. When that happens there is a tendency to either blame the producer, the marker research company or even the economy. However in many cases it turns out that it is not just about the quality of the product; presentation of the product is also an essential component of the sales process.
Sales are dependent on good marketing. A huge part of retail marketing is visual merchandising. Those retail organizations that understand the concept are the most successful in the industry today. Retailers who fail to make the link between good visual merchandising displays and sales continue to struggle.
This project deals with what impact does visual merchandising really have on sales and the comparison of various shelf hiring program followed by different fmcg companies. Square Toiletries Limited has already taken many initiatives to get a better position in the market.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
- To present an overview of 3 months working experience in STL.
- To get practical experience
- To understand the drive structure of STL
- How Marketing department works at STL
- To have general concept on how other departments work at STL
- To determine the impact of display program
- Usefulness of different strategies
- Achieving sales growth
- To learn how to adjust with new culture, skill and people.
- Relate academic learning with real life learning.
HISTORY OF SQUARE
Square started out as a small scale Pharmaceutical venture in 1958. It was a partnership effort of four young and enterprising men whose determination and passion saw it through the turmoil‟s of the incipient period. By its fourth year, Square turned into a profit-making organization
SQUARE today is more than just an organization, it is an institute. In a career spanning across five decades, it has pioneered the development of the local business in fields as diverse as Pharmaceuticals, Toiletries, Garments, Textile, Information Technology, Healthcare Products, Food Products, Hospital etc. With annual turnover above US $ 450 million and with a workforce more than 22,000, square today is a true icon in Bangladesh Business sector.
SQUARE TOILETRIES LTD.
Square Toiletries Limited (STL) has been operating in Bangladesh as one of the leading manufacturing companies in FMCG industry. Square Toiletries Ltd. started its journey in 1988 with a single product as a separate division of Square Pharmaceuticals. In 1994, Square Toiletries Ltd. became a Private Ltd. Company. At present, STL is the country’s leading manufacturer of international quality cosmetics and toiletries with 20 brands and more than 55 products covering a wide range of categories like skin care, hair care, oral care, baby care, fabric care, scourers, male grooming and OTC.
Besides core business functions STL has long been taking active part in different philanthropic activities like employment generation program for vulnerable community, financial aid to disadvantaged and natural disaster affected people, helping acid victims, tree plantation, creating mass awareness on health and hygiene issues, supporting in education and various local community programs and many more. Square Toiletries Limited doesn‟t only limit its journey by satisfying consumers providing the same SQUARE Quality products. It also embraced the society & its people with different initiatives.
ORGANIZATIONAL AND MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE
Board of Directors: A Quarterly Report on business information and operation and financial position is presented before the Board of Directors for their review, for implementation by the Executive Management. Every month co-ordination meeting is held congregating all the department heads to discuss priority issues and solve problems, if any.
Executive Management: The Executive Management is headed by the Managing Director, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who has been delegated necessary and adequate authority by the Board of Directors. The Executive Management operates through further delegations of authority at every echelon of the line management. The Executive Management is responsible for preparation of segment plans/sub-segment plans for every profit centers with budgetary targets for every item of goods and services and is held accountable for deficiencies with appreciation for exceptional performance. These operations are carried out by the Executive Management through series of team-bound initiatives.
STL has been built around one core asset, and it is its people
That is what makes working so special here. STL believes that work is more than a place you go every day. It should be a place of exploration, professional growth and creativity. It’s about being inspired and motivated to achieve extraordinary things. STL wants its people to take pride in their work. After all, it’s the combined talents, skills, knowledge, experience and passion of our people that make us who we are.
Currently STL is employing over 2,500 employees ensuring their consistent welfare and security.
Due to its sociable working environment and highly motivated employee, STL is enjoying one of the lowest employee turnover rates. STL emphasizes on equal employment opportunity resulting in 33% women employees. Besides, STL also provides employment opportunity to physically challenged persons.
STL BRANDS & PRODUCTS
Meril Splash Beauty Soap gives the experience of freshness like no other. Four revitalization variants with new fragrances are enriched with the goodness of Mother Nature. The main ingredient – Green Tea, is widely used in therapeutic remedies because of presence of antioxidants.
Meril Protective Care
The wintry bite of nature takes away all liveliness from skin. Skin feels like coarse autumn leaves and is in desperate need of acre. Meril Protective Care gives a range of products that will ensure the proper care needed during the winter months.
Meril Petroleum Jelly
Meril Petroleum Jelly prevents skin contraction and relieves dryness. Enriched with jojoba oil and lemon fragrance, the jelly provides a protective layer against cold.
Meril Lip gel
Meril Lip gel provides the ultimate relief to chapped lips. Aloe Vera in the gel provides a therapeutic effect and helps to relieve skin dryness. It is available in circuit‟s flavor.
Meril Glycerin is used to maintain the moisture balance of the skin which is tended to lose during winter. Since it‟s 100% glycerin, mix with water to avoid gumminess.
Meril Olive Oil
AS age takes its toll, it takes away the natural skin tenderness. The skin develops wrinkles and very fine illness. The anti-oxidants present in Meril Olive Oil will help you to prevent early aging and appearance of aging.
Meril Baby Shampoo
Meril Baby Shampoo is a light formulation shampoo which has less alkali to ensure gentle care for the child.
Meril Baby Lotion
Meril Baby Lotion‟s rich creamy non-sticky formulation takes best care of baby‟s skin.
Meril Baby Powder
To keep the baby feeling fresh, cool and comfortable one should use Meril baby Powder after the baby‟s bath and during changing diapers.
Meril Baby Olive Oil
Before giving the child a bath, one should use Meril Baby Olive Oil for a pleasant massage so that bones become stronger.
Meril baby Gel Toothpaste
Baby‟s teeth and gums are so soft and delicate that adult toothpaste can do more harm than good. Meril Baby Gel Toothpaste in sweet orange flavor is made with a special formulation that ensures gentle care of baby‟s milk teeth gums.
Meril Revive is the answer for young and peppy females whose life is packed with many activities.
Meril Revive Moisturizing Lotion
Vitamin E enriched formula of Meril Revive Moisturizing Lotion is especially suited for winter months when the skin starts wilting due to lack of moisture.
Meril Revive Talcum Powder
Active sun-block in Meril Revive Talcum Powder lets one walk boldly even under the scorching mid-day sun without fear damaging the skin.
Meril Revive Moisturizing Cream
Meril Revive Cream Is a water-based cream that provides the easiest solution for moisture balance of the skin.
The flagship brand of Square Toiletries Limited has won the heart of millions with its unyielding commitment to product quality and innovation. Jui gives women beautiful and healthy hair. Beautiful hair brings the quintessence of romance in their lives.
Jui Hair Care Oil
Jui is different than other hair oils for its purity, quality and fragrance. The combination of Vitamin A, E & F strengthens hair roots and reduces hair loss and makes hair healthier.
Tradition and cultural practices have given us a reason to attach value, sometimes feelings, to the dress we received on your marriage anniversary or the Saree our best friend gave us before she left for abroad. These and many like them become special to us. When it becomes to taking care and looking after them, we do your utmost. Chaka takes care of our clothes just like we do.
Chaka Washing Powder
Chaka Washing Powder promises to keep the clothes clean like new after repeated washing.
Chaka Ball Soap
Chaka Ball Soap promises to remove tough stains completely and delivers it with gentleness. This is only ball soap in Bangladesh with moisture proof polypack.
When faced with a challenge, is the spirit within that enables a person to triumph against all odds. It is the spirit that makes him the man he wants to be. It is core, it is his essence. So is Kool‟s.
Kool Shaving Cream (FROSTY)
A small amount of Kool Shaving Cream (Frosty) instantly produces rich, frothy lather, adequate for several passes with razor. The unique feature of this product is, is addition to providing antiseptic protection, it gives one a cool and refreshing feeling.
Kool Shaving Cream (MONSOON)
Kool Shaving Cream (Monsoon) creates lavish foam and the creamy lather softens the beard down.
Kool Aftershave Lotion
Kool after Shave Lotion gives a layer of freshness over the skin and soothes any shaving nicks.
Kool Aftershave Gel
After the razor does its job, the face cries out soothing care. Kool Aftershave Gel gives the skin what it wants after a shave supplemented with the attribute of antiseptic protection.
Kool Blue Deodorant Body Spray
While a person attuned to his body smell, others are not. The body odor becomes a real turn-off for most. Kool Blue Deodorant Body Spray fights against such annoyance.
Senora Sanitary napkins are made with high quality imported pulps which absorbs moisture and provide a constant feeling of dryness.
The word “Sanitary” means clean or hygienic. So that‟s exactly what a sanitary napkin does or should do-take care of the menstrual flow in a safe, hygienic way. Senora Regular offers advanced and full absorbency protection to girls.
Senora Confidence is positioned for modern girls, to address their need to move freely with confidence.
Keeping a person‟s favorite clothes shining white is what Chamak does effortlessly with only 3 drops. The brilliance of clothes will turn heads as one pass by.
Enriched with sorbogranules, it has an exceptional power of cleaning and removing yellowish and similar stains.
It is the only toothpaste that contains Sorbogranuels. Surbogranules‟ outstanding cleaning power removes yellow stains and plaque from teeth.
Coolmint‟s unique mouthwash with Peppermint, Eucalyptus & Orange Oils keeps mouth fresh for a longer period.
When teeth becomes weak, every single bite reminds of what exactly is missing. White Plus comes with the promise to give a really strong teeth so one can bite almost anything!
White plus Toothpaste
White Plus toothpaste has the combination of cavity guard fighting against captives and bacteria.
Magic is the remedy for those who don‟t dare to open their mouth while having a conversation. The curse of bad breath becomes a forgettable memory when Magic becomes a part of one‟s daily cleansing habit.
Magic Tooth Powder
Magic Tooth Powder comes in easy flip-top container. It has a spicy mint flavor, which gives the mouth a sharp, fresh feel while calcium helps to strengthen teeth.
Magic Ghamaci Powder
Magic Advanced Ghamachi Powder enriched with Irgacare MP will ensure complete summer solution.
Ordinary cleaning agents fight against dirt at the expenses of the delicate quality of your priceless crockery. With Saaf there is no trade-off between cleansing capacity and care for crockery.
Saaf Dish Washing Powder
Saaf Dish Washing Powder is a multipurpose cleaner that cleans all kinds of utensils effectively and quickly. It leaves dishes spotless clean.
Saaf Dishwashing Liquid
This product has unique formulation that takes out all kind of dirt and tough stains from dishes.
With each spray, Spring Air freshener delivers the feeling of freshness. It brings spring to the surroundings.
Mosquitoes wouldn‟t dare to intrude home when one is using Xpel. Xpel has a pleasant smell that won‟t irritate the comfort.
A lifestyle product that is safe for all, Zerocal is the answer to sugar substitute. As the name implies, a person‟s calorie intake won‟t rise if he uses Zerocal.
The last word in removing severe dandruff is Select Plus. Select Plus will also prevent dandruff from coming back with vengeance.
Functionality of Marketing Departments
MAJOR ROLES OF MARKETING DEPARTMENT
- Study customer needs and wants in well-defined market segments
- Allocate marketing effort in relation to the long-run profit potential of the targeted segments
- Develop winning offers for each target segment
- Training the Sales Representatives about the products/ brands/their usage.
- Taking classes of the SRs on how to convince the retailers
- Monitoring competitors market price and evaluating company‟s price with competitor‟s price.
- Measure company image and customer satisfaction on a continuous basis
- Determining the need of publicity campaign of products.
- Continuously gather and evaluate ideas for new products.
- Recommend all company departments and employees to be customer-centered
- Coming up with new ideas for product improvements and services
SHELF HIRING STRATEGY OF DIFFERENT FMCG COMPANIES AND IT’S IMPACT ON SALES
The retail environment now a day is becoming more and more challenging. It is characterized by increasing competition from both domestic and foreign companies, a spate of mergers and acquisitions, and more sophisticated and demanding customers who have great expectations related to their consumption experiences. Since services are intangible, heterogeneous, and inseparable, it is difficult to measure service quality objectively. So the companies have focus to so many different aspects in order to ensure their sales.
In retail business, shelf hiring plays a key role. The current business world is so much competitive that everyday companies are coming up with new strategies to attract the consumers and also to increase sells. In a research it has been seen that 90% of consumers don’t have any pre- mindset of buying a specific brand while doing shopping of fast moving consumer goods.
They buy whatever first comes in their eye and also whatever they find attractive. They don’t care that much about the brand as all of them are of almost same quality. That’s why shelf hiring becomes so important. For companies who are doing business in the FMCG sectors it’s their last and final chance to influence customers to buy their products.
In this chapter I will discuss about the definition of visual merchandising, it’s importance, why do we need it, how to Implement an effective Visual Display using psychology etc.
WHAT IS VISUAL MERCHANDISING?
Visual merchandising displays are the presentation of products, packaging and pricing in a way that it appeals to a target market. It is a way of promoting the sale of products at a retail store
incorporating the principles of: the right merchandise sold at the right place at the right season, at the right price, at the right time.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder however, we can influence shopper‟s behavior and predisposition to buy our products by the way in which it is displayed. It takes passion, creativity and dynamism to create an effective display that captivates the mind.
Merchandise displays must convey the goals, philosophy and brand of the retail organization. It also needs to tell a story that relates directly to the prospective buyer. With so much merchandise available for consumers to choose from, every retailer must understand that the psychology of visual merchandise display is pertinent to them achieving their objectives of enticing the customers and persuading them to buy.
IMPORTANCE OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING
There are times when products that were thought to be of high quality, that every market test and analysis concluded were going to be a hit with the market failed miserably. When that happens, there is a tendency to either blame the producer, the market research company or even the economy. However in many cases, it turns out that it is not just about the quality of the products; presentation of the product is also an essential component of the sales process.
Sales are dependent on good marketing. A huge part of retail marketing is visual merchandising. Those retail organizations that understand this concept are the most successful in the industry today. Retailers who fail to make the link between good visual merchandising displays and sales continue to struggle.
The most important element of visual merchandise displays is the psychology behind the process. People buy emotionally even though they justify their decision rationally. Consequently, it is imperative that the psychological aspect of visual merchandise display is given prime consideration in any retail organization.
IMPLEMENTING AN EFFECTIVE VISUAL DISPLAY USING PSYCHOLOGY
There are two basic purposes of research: to learn something, or to gather evidence. The main purpose of research has as its main goals the gathering of coherent, verifiable information, and most importantly, timely reporting of that information.
The research purpose of the study was to gather information about different shelf hiring strategy that different fmcg are following, cost of maintaining shelf, duration of shelf and finally the outcome of this activity.
Setting a clear objective of the visual merchandise display. Is it for promotional purposes or to create brand awareness?
Identifying the target audience and creating a display that appeals to that particular target audience
Making the display tell a story; the story of the brand and the products in the store.
Balancing between creativity and customer understanding of the display & refreshing the display frequently.
Ensuring the display stand is accessible and never empty
The design of research strategy depends on the types of research questions asked. The main function of research design is to explain how we will find answers to our research questions.
I mainly adopted a quantitative approach by gathering information by asking different shop owners.
DATA COLLECTION METHOD
Data was collected through documentation, archival records, interviews and direct observations.
The most important sources for the study information are interview of the shop owners.
Both primary and secondary data are used
I have collected primary data by interviewing sellers and retailers. Primary data were mostly derived from questions asked to the retailers. Primary information is under consideration in the following manner:
- Face to face conversation with the retailers
- By interviewing retailers.
- Internal magazine published by STL
- Information provided by my supervisor
- Different books and periodicals
COMPARISON OF SHELF HIRING STRATEGY OF DIFFERENT FMCG COMPANIES
This report gives an overall idea about the different shelf hiring strategy that the companies are following and their influence on the sells. The task was assigned to me as an intern of Square
Toiletries Limited (STL) by Mr. Fazal Mahmud Roni, Assistant Manager, Marketing. I was sent to Mohakhali Kacha Bazar to perform the task and also to conduct survey by collecting several information about different toiletries products of some renowned companies.
I have visited in total 18 shops and the information that I gathered from these shops are pretty similar with each other. One of the shops that I visited was SHE-Gallery. The shop is located at the center of Mohakhali Kacha Bazar and the shop is owned by MR. Biplob. The owner has been in this occupation for almost 3 years now and has vast knowledge about different campaigns followed by different companies. Another shop that I visited was shopper palace. The shop has been owned by MR. Anisuzzaman. It’s also situated in mohakhali kacha bazaar and there are currently 3 workers working in the shop along with the seller. Shops like Annana General Store, Rahim store, Mesars General Store, Protity store, Habib Brothers store, Vuia general store, kashem store, Modern shop store, Himalaya herbal store, New Mohakhali store, sunflower kacha bazaar, shopper’s point, Modina general store, Kashem mudi store were also covered while conducting the survey. The most important fact that I learnt while doing this report is that the products that the shop owner or seller displays in their shop’s shelf doesn’t depend on the demand of that particular product but on the advantages that the company is providing to the seller on displaying that product in the shop’s shelf. Like the general people I also had this misconfusion which became clear while doing the survey. Companies that are leading in the hiring system include Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, Square Toiletries, ACI and Marico. Among them Unilever is Holding the top position. In the shelf hiring program Unilever follows 3 different packages. The packages are Blue, Diamond and Purple. The Blue package is the least beneficial one for the seller and the Purple package is the most beneficial. The Diamond package is in the middle of these two packages which carries medium range of benefits for the seller. The company also gives the seller a particular target amount of products to sell in a particular time. If the seller can fulfill this target then the company gives 5,000-6,000 tk monthly as bonus. Companies like Marico, Square are also giving these additional benefits to the seller. Not fulfilling the target sells also results a deduction in the amount of Tk. The seller also receives a certain amount of money for hanging the product’s sticker of those companies on the shop. Unlike Marico and Uniliver; Square and P & G are not giving the sellers these additional benefits for displaying the product’s sticker on the company’s display shelf. The target sales that the shop owner is given, is basically monitored by the sale representatives (SR) of those companies. The Sale representatives of each company visits the shops on the assigned date and verify the actual sells.
ORDER COMPARISON (BEFORE-AFTER)
The above figure discloses that on the month of January and February the order of the shop “Mesars Mallika enterprise and Ma General Store” from the SR was respectively 36 pcs and 48pcs of Meril Splash. However from March 08- April 07 the order was 108 pcs. The result shows that because of shelf hiring the order of the store has increased remarkably.
The above figure shows that on the month of January and February the order of the shop “Shofi General Store” from the SR was respectively 36 pcs and 36 pcs of Meril Splash. However from March 08- April 07(1 month) the order was 120 pcs. The result here also shows that because of shelf hiring strategy the order of the store has increased remarkably.
The above figure discloses that on the month of January and February the order of the shop “Mallika Enterprise-2” from the SR was respectively 48 pcs and 36 pcs of Meril Splash. However from March 08- April 07(1 month) the order was 108 pcs. The result here also shows that because of shelf hiring strategy the order of the store has increased remarkably. 10 other similar shops of Mohakhali besides those 3 stores where shelf hiring has been conducted were also surveyed. The reason was to compare the order of those shelf hiring conducted 3 stores with the other stores.
The above figure clearly shows that comparing to all the other 10 stores, the order of “Mesars Mallika” were comparatively higher which proves that the shelf hiring campaign was successful and beneficial for the company.
Though Marketing Department and its field force are very well organized and active but I think they should give more importance about the following matters
Importance on more visibility
Marketing Department team should give more importance on visibility. They should choose more colorful shelf talker, billboard etc. and display all the products more attractive ways so that shoppers can easily notice the product and feel encourage to buy the products.
Give more promotional offer to the retailers and shoppers
To encourage shoppers Marketing Department should give more promotional offer to the shoppers like more free gifts and for the retailers they can give more incentives. They can also arrange different programs for their loyal retailers.
Change the date over or damaged products
Though STL changes their damaged products or date over products regularly but they should do it even more frequently.
Focus on their products delivery timing
Sometimes delivery sales representative cannot reach to the market on time. That’s why retailers couldn’t take all the products according to the order. The reason behind is competitors sales representative comes early which helps them to get more orders for the products.
Event based promotion
STL can arrange special promotion in different events like Eid, New Year and other seasonal events. It is not that they have to make an expensive promotion; they can keep it simple like giving free grocery or non-branded items with any STL product depending on the theme of the event.
Training program for retailers
STL can organize special training program for the retailers where they will be given training on how to deal with customers, maintain long term relationship with them, retail management, marketing of product etc.
Arrangement of Special Events
Square Toiletries Limited can organize special events for the retailers like outing or picnic or arrangements of sports. This will work as a motivation for them.
Square Toiletries Limited is the leading toiletries company in Bangladesh. I had the opportunity to work for this company during my internship program. I have worked in marketing department of STL. During this time I got an opportunity to observe the overall activities of managing retail environment. Internship program provides the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a working environment to those who are looking for exploring or gaining the relevant knowledge and skills required to enter into a particular field. Generally, an internship consists of an exchange of services for experience between the student and an organization. An intern should utilize this opportunity to gather as much as knowledge and experience for the future. I consider myself lucky since I got the opportunity to do my Internship program in a renowned FMCG company like Square Toiletries Limited that provided me enough exposures to enhance my ability and enrich my experience
Finally, I would say that this internship at STL has increased my practical knowledge of Business Administration and made my BBA education more complete and applied.