Switching Study to Prevent De-listing

The Challenge

A retailer was looking to possibly de-list a SKU, and approached the CPG manufacturer for options on how to proceed. The manufacturer quickly began working on the best way to learn the substitutability of the product, and develop materials for arguing against de-listing.

The Method

Turning to InContext’s fast virtual approach to shopper research, the manufacturer set up a study to have online respondents shop a virtual store for the category. After the initial selection was made, that product was removed and respondents were then asked to shop the category again. This was repeated a third time to capture switching behavior for the product of interest.

The virtual approach allowed the manufacturer to directly measure walk rate and substitutability products for the potentially de-listed SKU, in order to identify arguments for maintaining the SKU in the set.

The Results

The virtual shopping and switching results showed that the product was highly unique in the set, and drove a high walk rate when not available–despite it’s relatively small market share. Therefore, the retailer did not proceed with de-listing the SKU. Further, other substitution data for other potential candidate SKUs from competitors were identified as alternative items for de-listing that would have far less impact to category sales at that retailer.

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