Amazon ranked No. 14 last year and climbed to the No. 8 spot by enhancing its online shopping experience, according to the report. Given changing consumer expectations, traditional retailers should take a page from its book, said Kantar Senior Consultant Ted Riedel.
“The amount of information delivered about product choices by Amazon really puts the heat on brick-and-mortar retailers and how they can do a better job of making sure all the information is out there and at [shoppers’] fingertips,” he said.
“Walmart, being by far the largest retailer, will continue to evolve and adjust the consumer/shopper needs. They are open to building strategic partnerships with manufacturers and they capitalize on the available information to build their plans,” said one manufacturer.
Target was another standout, topping the ranks of retailers recognized for “Best Job of Branding Stores,” “Best Retailers With Which to Do Business,” “Most Innovative Merchandising Approach” and “Digital Marketing.”
“Target puts the wants/needs of their guests first in everything,” said a manufacturer. “They have created such a positive shopping experience for their guests that guests often give them credit for carrying more brands and sizes than they actually do.”
Whole Foods showed significant gains in 2013, moving from No. 13 to No. 11, and ranking in the Top 10 in “Clear Strategy”, “Branding,” “Future Power Retailer” and “Innovative Merchandising.”
2012's report: Amazon Gains Ground in Kantar 'Power' Report
Kantar’s PoweRankings benchmarks how trading partners view each other in the most important areas of the manufacturer-retailer relationship, with manufacturers asked open-ended questions about retailers and vice versa.
Retailers reported a strong desire for differentiated strategies from their trading partners that extend beyond the categories in which the manufacturer does business, to address specific shopper sets, how they shop the store and their path to purchase.
“There was a day when it was okay [for suppliers] to have a food plan, a club plan, a drug plan, but now the expectations are higher,” said Riedel. “We heard very clearly from retailers that they want the Giant Eagle plan, the Wegmans strategy, the Walgreens strategy.”
Procter & Gamble maintained its position as the “Best of the Best” supplier, followed by Unilever, General Mills and Kraft Foods Group, which made its debut at the No. 4 position.
“P&G is known for being best in class in supply chain,” noted a retailer. “They always do a great job of sharing their strategy and looking to see how they can align their strategy with our own.”
Unilever advanced two places, due in part, to its clear strategic alignment, according to the report. “They are the best at communicating their strategy as a company, and they work with us on common objectives,” said one retailer.
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