The first retailers rule is to ensure that their shoppers access what they want when they want it, and where they want it. This rule has never been important because consumers are not loyal to particular brands, and they are ready to go to the internet to look for alternatives if you do not have the capacity to deliver their necessities. Losing one sale can result in losing out on a customer completely. If you want to meet the expectations of customers, you require an assortment planning retail software that is deep and wide enough to help you plan your assortment.
When you want to achieve the goal of planning your assortment, it is vital to outsource a retail software that will control the inventory of your buyers, but also ensure that the employees of your firm are working from a single master plan that meets the company’s financial target. Prior to the recession of 2008 – 2010, buyers had full control over the processes of assortment planning because consumer spending was strong and large margin-impacting markdowns and excess inventory is not a significant concern.
However, in today’s economy, retailers cannot allow buyers to buy independently without considering the bottom line. Therefore, you need a retail software that will assist you in financial and assortment planning processes so that to integrate your functions well to satisfy the growing demands from customers.
Localized assortment planning
Over the years, retailers have learnt that not all stores or consumer locations are similar. Sending a similar mix of products in terms of color and size to each location may result in losses to some areas and success in others. For this reason, many retailers are using assortment planning retail software to approach their assortment planning process. For instance, an apparel retailer that is getting into an off season deciding to send a similar mix of products to Boston may prove to be a costly error. Another example is sending a wrong product mix that may not sell well in urban or rural areas.
Using a retail software in assortment planning increases sales
If you would like to meet the preferences of your customers, retailers need to understand how their buyers are shopping per store. Even though many retailers understand the state of their customer base, they have a problem in reflecting them in their plans despite having access to loyalty data and point of sale. When you use a retail software in your assortment planning, you will build a localized assortment that will help spur your business ahead.
Many retailers will cluster with similar attributes like seasonality, customer profiles and preferences, and location. Having low-level visibility in the purchasing behaviors of your customers will help you to implement strategies that will assist your customers to find a product they need at the right location and time. You will end up maximizing the sales margins of your business.
How do you select the right assortment planning retail software?
The assortment planning software can help you allocate inventory in your store in the right manner. It can also help you reduce the time required to predict the desires of customers and plan accurately. If you want to choose the right assortment planning retail software, you need to assess the availability of data and the required volume of data. You also need to determine how easy it is to integrate your software with the existent sources of data. You will also have to look at that ability of the software to identify the assortment so that it meets the necessities of the customers. This available guides will help you to select the right assortment planning retail software.
You need to evaluate the complexity of the software so that you can train your employees to run it with the required level of expertise. You will determine how your assortment planning inventory software will integrate with management elements like floor plans and planograms. Your budget also needs to be put into consideration because it will determine the package you buy. The bottom line is that you understand your customers, review their shopping patterns, build on their desires, look at the market trends, and study the categories of your previous performance.
Assortment planning can be a difficult and tedious process, but choosing the right assortment planning retail software will help you gather, analyze, and visualize data that can help you select the optimal set of products at each level of inventory.