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Modern Day Category Management

by Suzie McInerney

Modern Day Category Management

The role of a Category Manager has expanded greatly over the last few years and therefore requires a broader range of skill sets than ever before.

Their job function sees them responsible for  developing the category strategy through to the customers in-store experience thus driving all the elements in between; macro space allocation, budgeting, assortment, planogramming, pricing strategy, product development, promotional & marketing planning and collaboration with suppliers.

A  Category Manager in today’s modern retail world will be focusing on several factors to ensure success within their business including;

  • Ensuring that the customer remains at the centre of every decision they make. Customer centricity needs to be the focus of the entire retail organisation in order to stay relevant in today’s world. Category Manager’s need to understand who their customer is, what they need & want and how they prefer to be communicated with.
  • Exceptional communication skills. More than ever before Category Managers need to have excellent communication skills as they have multiple stakeholders they are working with on a daily basis. Retail businesses should also be supporting this through efficient & effective processes and transparency across departments.
  • Having access to strong, accurate data from multiple sources as well as having the ability to derive actionable insights from it. It is also paramount that “one version of the truth” is incorporated into the retail business to ensure that everyone is working towards the same ultimate goal.
  • Developing a strong category strategy with a value proposition that is clearly identifiable to the consumer. If the value proposition is confused then so is the customer and their overall experience is jeopardized.
  • Focusing on personalisation and “assorting to the individual.’ This means tailoring pricing, marketing, product offerings to individuals (whether it’s state, region or store). There can no longer be “one-size-fits all” approach in the modern retail world.