Importance of Data in Product Distribution

As a market analyst and brand custodian my thoughts ran through few challenges some brands could face during this COVID-19 era in Nigeria. The Federal Government’s plan of easing the lockdown is taking a systematic phase in opening the Nigerian economy. Businesses are opening gradually with traditional markets taking the hit due to low retailers turnout in trade. Policies during this pandemic has been favorable to the Modern Trades with large turnout in store shopping with social distancing measures. Manufacturing and distribution companies of FMCG brands have cashed in.

Product delivery process becomes seamless with easy access to these retail chain stores but failing on its delivery to retail shops and corner kiosks with huge consumers in densely populated Rural an Semi-Urban areas in Nigeria. These categories of store owners feel neglected but only relevant when brands want to deploy Point-Of-Sales in their stores. During this era, they have been facing challenges of how to stock more products, transportation and security. My concern is how these brands are meeting the needs of retailers that sells their products to the final consumers. Our data of retail stores and kiosks in some parts of Lagos shows immense opportunity for brands to push volumes in Naira through these unconventional stores. Even as the lockdown eases , access to products from traditional market still becomes a burden associated with cost which in turn increases price per unit of the product. 

The need for statistical data becomes relevant in distribution of FMCG products to retail stores situated in every streets in Nigeria. Companies should use the wealth of data they have at their fingertips to build a robust network through data that has been procured overtime, such data can give the business a competitive advantage. But sadly, most data acquired are of Key Distributors KD’s, Modern Trades and Supermarkets. Attention should be given to the lady around the corner that sell provisions (“Mama Shade Store” in the neighborhood) or the Muhammed the “Aboki” at the end of the busy street. How well are brands informed using data to drive distribution to reduce Mama Shade’s overheads.

Retail chain data is the key for effective product distribution in Nigeria. How detailed is your team when it comes to such data gathering.

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