What Is The Christmas Fad Of 2015?
By now, retailers have spent hours poring over the available data, hoping to have correctly predicted which Christmas 2015 fad will be flying off the shelves and leaving stores scrambling to restock. Retail planning software includes an OTB (Open-To-Buy) component because nobody knows with 100% certainty what the next fad will be — all retailers can do is have an OTB in the budget for flexibility.
Shoppers Ask The Same Question
IBM’s Watson Trend app claims to help shoppers understand what is trending so they can quickly purchase popular items before the stores run out of stock. It analyzes the internet in real time, offering updates in trends in real time. Pretty impressive supercomputer powers, but that’s what it takes to look at the whole internet at the same time.
As impressive as the Watson app is, it can’t be 100% right in all its predictions. All it can do is look at what has happened and what is happening now. The predictions are intelligent guesses about the future.
When a prediction about shopping trends from Watson is wrong, the app still makes money. When a prediction about shopping trends from a retailer is wrong, unsold inventory languishes next to the empty, sold-out spot where the retailer did stock a popular item. If all the retailer’s budget is spent, there isn’t any Open-To-Buy available for restocking that empty shelf and money is lost.
Retailers Need OTB Flexibility
ChainDrive’s Retail Planning (OTB) Software is designed to provide meaningful comparative analysis of the data from a retailer’s own centralized database. This detailed, customized view of pertinent information provides an extremely intelligent predictability. But since nobody can predict with 100% accuracy all the time, there is OTB flexibility that allows the management team to use actualized historical statistics as benchmarks against future plans.
This flexibility means instant response to changing market patterns is anticipated and provided for, ensuring the Christmas fad of the current shopping season is on the shelf.