Retailers and suppliers agree the ability to meet the needs of retailers' customers is the top advantage of collaboration, with 70% of retailers and 58% of suppliers reporting that responsiveness to consumer and market trends is the key criteria for successful collaboration. Trading partners also say improved collaboration positively impacts business operations and drives more than one-fifth of their total revenue, according to a study from Coresight Research and Precima. This article is copyright 2020 The Best Customer Guide.

The study found that while there have been some great successes with supplier collaboration during the last few years, there is still much to be done. More than 90% of the 210 global grocery retailers and suppliers surveyed for Winning with Retailer-Supplier Collaboration in Grocery and Drug Retail reported that their collaboration has improved over the past two years, leading to better customer satisfaction and business planning.

"There has always been a need for retailers and suppliers to improve their cooperation for the benefit of the customer and the survey emphasizes the critical nature of this requirement. Data analytics is the central driver for this enhanced cooperation and the tools now available to trading partners enable strategic sharing of knowledge to better create and manage customer demand," said Brian Ross, CEO of Precima, a Nielsen Company that offers retail consulting and analytics specializing in shopper insights and customer-centric solutions.

The study contains insight into factors behind the past two years' growth, as well as how to further improve retailer-supplier collaboration, including insights on:

  • What is missing in the current relationship between retailers and suppliers
  • How to address common challenges to collaboration, such as lack of trust and communication
  • The importance of data transparency, and how to achieve it with minimal risk while increasing demand-driven supply output
  • How data-centric collaboration makes shoppers the focus, with direct effects on customer satisfaction and overall revenue
  • The myriad impacts of collaboration, from higher operational efficiency to improved customer experience

"In an environment where consumer demand is changing by the hour, and with the high potential upside, affecting up to one-fifth of overall revenue, it's critical for retailers and suppliers to identify ways they can further strengthen collaboration and their lines of communication," said Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research.