Insights and Studies, Thought-Leadership

Why are CPGs Doubling Down on Tech Investments This Year? Let’s Get Into It.

Why are CPGs Doubling Down on Tech Investments This Year? Let’s Get Into It.

Our team at Repsly is excited to announce the launch of our highly anticipated 2024 Retail Outlook Report. At Repsly, our mission is to help CPG brands thrive in the retail landscape, and our annual Retail Outlook Report is a fundamental part of this goal.

Each year, we seek to understand the challenges and priorities of both CPG and Retail Service leaders, offering an in-depth analysis of the retail landscape as they see it. These insights help deliver a comprehensive view of the retail landscape in 2024, and the opportunities and challenges these leaders face.

Before diving into the details, I’m happy to share that our findings support the sentiment that the retail industry remains as resilient as ever. The slowdown in inflation combined with a strong finish in Q4 in 2023 for in-store retail sales has set the stage for an industry-wide rebound. As a result, CPG and Retail Service leaders are optimistic heading into 2024, reporting that they’re feeling confident about meeting their retail goals and are planning to increase their investment in retail execution technology.

Key Insights: Confidence and Growth on the Roadmap

When we conducted our research in late 2022 for our 2023 report, it became clear that 2023 was going to be a year of uncertainty, fewer resources, and a weakened sense of control. But heading into 2024, our findings reveal a sense of true optimism and command for 2024, with more than half of respondents expressing confidence in meeting their retail execution goals - a notable increase from 2023. After recovering from the pandemic and its aftermath, companies in the CPG space have a renewed sense of clarity which has sparked a surge in tech investments. 

We saw an impressive 57% jump from 2023 in the number of respondents saying they plan to increase their spending on retail execution technology. There is clear confidence that the retail channel will be a big growth lever for the industry in 2024.

Like many other industries, this year’s spotlight is on AI and Image Recognition (IR) in particular. The technology is gaining momentum rapidly, evidenced by the fact that almost half of respondents report that they either use IR or are actively exploring its implementation with a vendor. 

While IR is certainly gaining legitimate attention, retail execution perfection still takes center stage. More than a third of respondents say they’re prioritizing this critical aspect in 2024 as CPG leaders recognize the consequences of poor retail execution, accounting for up to a quarter of lost sales. 

We advise leaders to take the time now to strategize investment plans to ensure a successful future. Our CEO Matthew Brogie states for those who are uncertain about investing in Retail Execution, "Don't wait! Make a plan, lean in, and seize the opportunity to be a winner!" 

Unlocking Potential: Tapping Into and Measuring the Value of Field Teams

Our report highlights the indispensable role of field teams, particularly their critical roles in merchandising, relationship building, and customer engagement. CPG Leaders certainly recognize the opportunities that these teams have in stores and they’re utilizing retail execution technology to set their field teams up for success in 2024.

Of the respondents with access to budget information, 95% say they plan to keep or increase their level of investment in RetEx technology in 2024. This tells us that companies understand the role technology can play in leveling up team performance and ultimately drive success in the retail channel.

Embracing Innovation: Leveraging AI and Image Recognition

AI Image Recognition (IR) is advancing at breakneck pace, and CPG leaders are actively prioritizing this technology for their field teams to ensure they don’t get left behind. Now that the technology has evolved to the point where it can bring real, substantial benefits, many brands plan to use these capabilities to drive efficiency and accuracy in-store, and leverage their reps' visibility in the field. Early adopters are already experiencing the power it has to help reduce costs, unlock business value, and, most importantly, empower the frontline retail workers in an increasingly dynamic industry. 

Our report confirms that this technology emerges as a competitive advantage, with nearly 40% of respondents citing the need for more accurate data collection as the primary driver for IR investment. The evolving landscape of IR technology promises even greater adoption in the coming year, transforming in-store audits and enhancing real-time decision-making.

Planning for a Prosperous 2024

As we navigate the exciting year ahead, we encourage CPGs to embrace a fully integrated retail execution platform, driving efficiency, visibility, predictability, and scale. At Repsly, we're committed to supporting our customers in exceeding their retail sales goals. Discover how real-time insights and innovative tools can maximize the value of your field team in 2024 and beyond.

Download the report here.

Cheers to your journey to success! 
Cait Will, Chief Marketing Officer of Repsly

Download the 2024 Outlook Report

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the latest trends and challenges. Download our report today to see how more than 160+ CG executives and field leaders are strategizing for 2024.

Cait Will

Cait Will currently serves as Repsly's Chief Marketing Officer. With a career in marketing at various Boston-based SaaS companies, Cait now serves as a steward for Repsly's market planning efforts and go-to-market strategy.

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