Today’s market place is fast paced. Consumers seek instant services and products for needs that arise, changes that occur in their lives, or shifts in their careers. In this accelerated commercial landscape, the ability of retailers to respond to customer needs at the right time and place is key to their success. This leaves little time for even the slightest fault in how inventory is managed.
Inventory distortion generally occurs in the following instances:
- If products don’t sell well in certain stores, retailers mark down that inventory to clear it out, thereby losing profits.
- Sales are lost when products are still in demand, but out of stock because the inventory could not be replenished in time, or if the inventory is depleted.
The result is not only that less sales occur––and sales occur at lower prices than necessary––but that lost sales create the mistaken impression of lower demand, thereby distorting future inventory allocation. Inventory distortion also gives competitors, who can meet consumer demand in an optimal way, a major competitive advantage.
The Solution: Retail Data Analytics
With the right retail intelligence solutions, retailers can easily avoid these problems. Accurate data analytics can help retailers tighten their merchandising strategies by determining and planning optimal merchandising at different locations. Merchandising done through the lens of a data-centered approach allows retailers to make accurate product demand forecasts based on a collection of customer, product, store, and inventory metrics.
It could also boost financial performance in so far as it helps retailers to maximize the value of the entire inventory by moving merchandise from low-demand locations to high-demand locations.
Moreover, retail intelligence solutions make it possible for retailers to see when to push up the prices of sought-after merchandise that may be out-of-stock at competitor outlets. Retailers can also accurately predict and respond to the vacillating demands of the consumer, tailoring their merchandising on the basis of up-to-date and context-specific information rather than broad strategic strokes. Retail data analytics further enables retailers to cut down on supply chain costs. Supply chain data can also be analyzed to identify and address sourcing, scheduling, and routing inefficiencies.
The huge benefits of inventory management to both retailer and customer
Good inventory management benefits consumers because it ensures the availability of the exact products they want. Sales are also boosted for retailers when they supply levels of stock that match demand, thereby avoiding out-of-stocks and excess inventory. Quick Response merchandising is a system through which sales information is recorded when products are scanned at the point of sale and sent through to a shared platform for visibility, communication, and decision support.
It reduces order response time, accuracy throughout supply chain management, and overall time between the sale and replacement of products on the retailer’s shelf. Because it enhances the state of responsiveness and flexibility with which retailers can respond to consumer demands, it enables the retailer to provide a wide range of products to consumers at the optimal quantity and quality. It will also enable them to sell it at the right time, place, and price, thereby increasing sales and reducing expenses, out-of-stock situations, and forced markdowns.
Boost sales, reduce waste, and promote efficiency with iControl’s retail analytics solution
Implementing a reliable retail analytics solution is crucial for optimizing merchandising strategies and maximizing financial performance. A reliable retail analytics solution can provide your business with real-time data and enhanced transparency between retailers and suppliers. In this way, it enables you to make timely, data-driven decisions that will boost sales, reduce waste, and promote efficiency.
iControl’s collaborative analytics solution offers exactly this. It provides a normalized, harmonized, and secure web portal where critical trading information can be shared. iControl helps you to analyze product orders and allows retailers and trading partners to proactively evaluate past in-stock performance. We also provide forecasted inventory levels with alerts that anticipate expected out-of-stocks.
To learn how the iControl suite of solutions can help your business make better merchandising decisions, contact us today.