Retail Marketing

Reimagining the retail production workflow

August 2021 7 min read Written by Papirfly

In this article, you’ll learn…

  • Where tired processes drain efficiency
  • How Papirfly can help you overcome them
  • Why the future of retail workflow is more promising than it seems

Where does the time go in retail workflows?

Retail is one of the most complex and fast-moving industries worldwide, putting an immense amount of pressure on marketing teams in this sector. While technology has evolved significantly, some legacy systems and processes continue to hold these teams back from reaching their full potential.

If you believe this applies in your situation, now is the time to reassess your existing approach to increase your speed to market and maximise your sales. To identify where stubborn, outdated practices are hurting your potential.

Reimagine a new streamlined workflow for retail marketing teams by examining where your time is currently being wasted, and how it should be applied instead.

Reduce manual tasks in production

Although advanced pricing and PIM systems have been around for many years, there remain organisations that still rely on spreadsheets to capture key data for campaigns and promotions. This takes many hours of copy and pasting, duplicated effort, and the risk of data quickly going out of date – meaning you present inaccurate information through your marketing.

21% of marketing budgets are wasted as a result of bad, inaccurate data
(Source: Digital Commerce)

Today, managing and organising your product data through PIM or ERP systems makes managing and updating this information more streamlined and straightforward. Plus, tools like BAM by Papirfly™ can integrate with these systems to translate their data into marketing assets and campaigns in just a couple of clicks.

No more hours wasted scouring spreadsheets for the correct SKUs or manually transferring product data into upcoming signage, social posts, email campaigns and more. Instead, connecting everything through one solution and automating this process, assets can be produced faster and more cost-effectively, with even greater accuracy.

More marketing asset delivery in-house

The support of a reputable marketing agency provides many benefits to retail marketing teams. Their expert insight and strategic thinking can help you conceptualise campaigns that boost sales, raise awareness and engage both existing and prospective customers.

But, their capacity to perform this for your organisation can become clogged by jobs like routine updates or reformatting assets for different markets. These reasonably straightforward tweaks do not demand the attention of specialist designers or require fresh, innovative thinking. Instead, it raises the costs you incur from your agency and limits the advantages they offer to your organisation.

To rectify this, it could be helpful to bring this routine work in-house. With an easy-to-use brand activation management solution in place, this becomes less a case of pushing more work onto your internal teams, and more about reallocating your agency budget to get more for your money.

By harnessing this technology, not only will your teams be capable of completing non-specialist tasks quicker than if it were sent to an agency, who would have to fit it into their existing schedule – your agency will now have more time and budget to devote to winning campaigns and strategies, delivering a greater return on your investment.

Reacting faster than ever before 

In retail, much of your success depends on having your products ready at the right place, at the right time, to take advantage of the most lucrative sales opportunities.

Trends can appear overnight. Consumer demand could skyrocket at any moment. Even unexpected weather will impact your sales. If your teams don’t have the tools to respond to these spur-of-the-moment changes in the market, you are missing out on business opportunities.

For instance, if you were dependent on an agency, it may be several days or even weeks until they can dedicate resources to this campaign. Then, after time spent planning and producing the required assets, this may be followed by more back-and-forth between both sides to get the design just right. By that time, the opportunity could have passed you by – an example where outsourcing tasks can actually be more time-consuming.

This is another occasion when it pays (in both time and money) to empower your teams to produce more themselves. Using creation tools with pre-defined templates (like BAM by Papirfly™), your teams have the freedom to create the assets they need without going off-brand. This means they can be ready to act before the competition with time-sensitive assets for trend-based campaigns and seasonal promotions.

Simplified cross-platform promotion

The abundance of marketing channels and techniques available today have left traditional retail production workflows outdated. These old-school approaches didn’t have to contend with this breadth of platforms, and the burden of maintaining total consistency across all channels.

To meet this challenge, it is important to introduce modern brand activation management software with preset templates for multiple channels into your workflows, as this will allow you to adapt assets automatically for all necessary platforms, rather than resort to tedious, manual tweaks.

Cross-platform promotion consolidates the process of bringing your brand to life with messaging that looks, sounds and feels the same across everything you produce. You can tell your brand’s story with consistency through in-store signage, brochures and more – you’ll also have extra peace of mind when your assets are printed by different stores in their specific locations.

Smarter decision-making

In any industry, quick decision-making is a great asset to have. Especially for those in leadership roles:

“In a survey across a range of business sectors, only 20% of respondents believed their organisations excelled at decision making. Plus, a large majority said most of the time they allocate to decision making isn’t used ineffectively”.
(Source: McKinsey)

In retail marketing, the pace of decision-making is vital to get campaigns to market quickly – any lack of pace can often be attributed to slow, complicated processes that require input from multiple team members.

While it’s important that key stakeholders have control and oversight of campaigns, in some cases their entire teams are involved – using different software, communicating different business priorities, and working in different locations. This makes the overall workflow more complicated and problematic than it needs to be.

By centralising assets, creation, approvals and final marketing materials in one location, you can reduce the number of people needed to oversee a task, eliminate convoluted sign-off processes and ultimately, help key stakeholders make faster and better marketing decisions. Products like BAM by Papirfly™ give you a birds-eye view of your marketing collateral so you can see what’s being used and where.

Self-sufficiency for local teams

Teams at individual stores are in the best position to respond to what’s happening in their local markets. However, by the time they have communicated with head office, received the marketing materials they need and secured sign-off, they may have been pipped at the post by the competition.

Using smart templates and making brand guidelines easily available gives teams at individual stores the freedom to make the right marketing decisions for their specific locations. At the same time, head office can be confident that all marketing stays consistent with the global brand.

As well as freeing up time for teams at local stores to spend on the shop floor, it also relieves unnecessary pressure on staff at head office. It’s often small teams with limited capacity that have to answer questions from many different local stores and provide the relevant assets they need on time.

Before and after a streamlined production workflow

Elkjøp is one of the largest consumer electronics companies in the Nordic countries. Before Papirfly, 85 employees would have been involved in any one production project. Unsurprisingly, this approach would drain resources and result in a sluggish speed to market.

Since then, Papirfly has helped them bring more in-house, aligning teams in different markets and empowering them to produce bespoke offers, promotions and campaigns way ahead of the competition.


“Using Papirfly has enabled us to have the speed to market that we did not have, prior to Papirfly. We can now communicate our unique offers, our unique guarantees and services in a much quicker, efficient, and controlled way than we used to do.”
Thomas Sourour, Marketing Production Lead

Not only do they have more time to take a competitive advantage, but Elkjøp has also reduced the number of employees needed for the average in-house production job from 85 to just 5. This works out as a resource-saving of 10-15 years.

What could a streamlined production workflow look like for your company?

The infographic below shows just how much time is wasted at various stages of production, against what your reimagined process could be like with BAM by Papirfly™. As well as freeing-up resources, it shows BAM’s huge potential for drastically cutting your time-to-market and getting materials across the line before the competition:


Embracing new ways of working for a new age of retail 

As you will have seen in the headlines, or felt in your own workplace, the pandemic has had a devastating effect on bricks-and-mortar retail. However, innovation from brands and the marketers behind them have the power to make sure they learn and overcome the events of the past year-and-a-half. After all, we’re social creatures, and physical stores will forever hold an important place in the shopping experience for consumers.

That’s why even with the devastation of COVID-19, we believe that there is a promising future ahead for retail. Retail brands that have adapted fast and embraced new ways of working are already proving us right. 

Discover the future of retail workflows with BAM

With the power of print and digital combined, smart templates, automations, PIM & ERP integration and more, BAM is your ticket to a more streamlined production workflow.

More than just software, BAM is a new way of working that will bring your teams, your brand and your business up-to-speed and ready to take advantage of every opportunity that’s coming your way.

To learn more about the innovative features driving retail marketing forward, get in touch to book your demo today.

by Papirfly

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