The average consumer has changed. Retail has changed to keep up with consumer expectations. And, new technologies are continually evolving to change buying behaviours all over again. The only element that remains constant in the cycle of change is executing a customer-centric, interactive and personable brand experience. Effective merchandise planning helps you deliver just that!
A customer expects seamless and consistent brand experience in-store, online, through mobile apps and social media. To remain accessible to the customer on multiple channels requires omni-channel planning and forecasting. Products, promotions and pricing has to be consistent across all retail channels – reinforcing customer trust, purchase frequency and loyalty.
Consolidated enterprise data in the form of Big Data is run through a common analytic engine to gain actionable customer insights and understand purchasing behaviour. Merchandise analytics can be used to ascertain trends and future market potential in different seasons, occasions and allow intuitive management, reducing lead times.
Retailers need to provide on-trend, timely and precisely-priced merchandise as and when the customer demands it. Accurate demand planning in a highly competitive marketplace is key to optimize product lifecycle and profitability. Real-time visibility and control of business operations helps make quick strategic procurement, promotions and placement of merchandise.
When business is changing and growth is happening around the world, around the clock, your software systems and processes need to be agile. Merchandise planning, in an expanding enterprise, needs to be as cohesive as it is comprehensive. Flexibility in the system architecture leads to optimized assortments and optimal merchandise cycles.
The most elemental and important feature is the stability of the merchandise planning process. All functions mentioned above can only be productive when the system platforms are aligned and stably connected to enterprise operations. It can drive superiority in the supply chain and competitive advantage in customer demand.