Tips for Enhancing the Customer Experience in an Omni-channel Retail World

How to maximize your in-season trading performance, freeing up time of merchandisers, to guarantee more profit

Improving availability on the shelf and online helps grow sales, while improving inventory productivity at the same time.

Many manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and e-sellers are already increasing their profits through reducing out of stocks, while maintaining high availability at the same time.

Whether or not you are using simple replenishment methods like Min/Max, SOGO, or Weeks Cover, you should evaluate every angle of all of your current methods.

Look at increasing your level of automation, so your merchandising team can release their time to make better, more considered decisions.

One way to remove non-value adding tasks from merchandisers for them to concentrate on making the decisions that matter, is through in-season inventory management, which includes:

  • Smart allocation;
  • Demand-driven replenishment;
  • Analytics that help fine tune store ranges or assortment;
  • Cloud-based systems that can adjust replenishment parameters automatically and start impacting replenishment cycles from the beginning.

This starts with smart allocation to address all three of the most commonly used types of allocation:

  1. Initial Injection of new merchandise;
  2. In-season covering expected (promotional) uplift;
  3. End-of-life push, for when a new item is allocated, the forecast uses the history of ‘like’ items with similar attributes to pattern the forecast after.

Then, seasonal lines are characterised by not having their own sales history because they are new for that season. Hence, using actual demand data for replenishment in a supportive system should help you react very fast to early sales results. If, for example, you deliver to stores twice a week, responsive, demand-driven system can start tuning itself for more accurate deliveries where they are needed.

Online sales also benefit from a faster reaction to demand because a slow mover in a store will typically show a higher level of movement online, as online demand is equivalent to multiple stores in most cases. When forecasts indicate that the product will not sell out when planned, clearance activity starts to make sure the sell-through goal is achieved.

A good collaborative system can help you calculate an ideal service level. With it, store ranges or assortments can be dynamically fine-tuned, in-season with advanced analytics and prioritising replenishment to the stores that can sell more at full price.

So, in order to maximise the productivity of your merchandising team, you need to look at actual demand data in a system that will help you automate their decisions, addressing all of the above-listed allocation and replenishment factors.

Synchronising your business to actual consumption and making your product always available, at the right place, time and quantity will guarantee best profit through customer service.

We are experts in synchronising your business to actual demand - by always making your product available to the consumer, at the right place, time and quantity. We are Neogrid - a company providing automated supply chain management.