The Knots & Bolts of Retail Merchandising Software Unplugged
By Multidev Technologies · PUBLISHED October 7, 2020
“Advertising moves people toward goods; merchandising moves goods toward people.” According to Morris Hite (American Advertising Expert).
Modern retailing, shopping and omnichannel commerce at large are increasingly complex to depend on soft skills, retail experience or best practices only. There is a cutthroat competition among retailers, wholesalers, fast fashion manufacturers from the Far East, distributors, ecommerce platforms and marketplace shakers. As result, merchandise management—merchandise assortments, forecasts, disposing of slow-selling items and ordering and distributing them on-time—is mission critical to a retailer’s success because having the right merchandise is the foundation of retailing. Particularly because of the fast-changing landscape of Online Commerce where customer preferences are very diverse and their level of loyalty to merchants very low; hence the importance of being aware of the shifting grounds, business models, customer behaviors; and the importance of being able to respond quickly.
In fact, up till recently, most retailers have relied on humans to manage merchandising complexity. Because there are too many merchandises, products, styles, sizes, collections and brands, it’s virtually impossible for merchandise professionals and managers to alike to assess, compare, select and dispose of merchandise effectively. Therefore, retailers need smart merchandise software systems that can enhance the performance of merchandising managers in real-time.
In the fierce world of retailing, it is very important to attract new customers and to keep the existing ones happy by offering them excellent services. Merchandising helps in reaching far more than what sales alone can achieve. Merchandising is critical for retail commerce. Retail managers must employ their soft skills and agile architecture to streamline merchandising processes with overall productivity goals.
What is Merchandising?
Merchandising is a set of various processes and activities performed by retailers such as planning, buying, and selling of displayed products to customers. It is an integral part of handling store operations and e-commerce of retailing. Merchandising presents the products in a retail environment to influence the customer’s buying decision and stimulate spur of the moment buying.
What’s a retail merchandising system?
The retail merchandising system provides critical information such as item specs, images, inventory, purchasing, suppliers, locations, and replenishment data whereas Mobile point of sale help retailers make more agile reviews, adjustments or approval of pending orders.
Why enhance the merchandising experience ?
Merchandising managers are responsible for providing a great shopping experience, driving sales and profit through customer service, proper merchandising on the sales floor and accurate merchandise movement throughout the retail operations.
In fact, the experience economy is the new normal; be it in fashion apparel, jewelry, sporting goods, footwear, leisures, health and beauty verticals. The consumers are looking for innovative stores and retailers who keep on exploring new ways to improve the customer journey through various shopping channels and platforms; hence the importance of smart merchandising in the digital age.
How do you sharpen your retail merchandising tactics?
Retail merchandising is increasingly challenging and critical. Every retail business rises or falls because of merchandising shortfalls. Retail managers have to be on top of the in-store availability, presentation, and promotion of their retail products; however, the risk of losing control is always nearby. In fact, dealing with retailing means dealing with all sort of merchandises scattered all-over the commercial space; let alone coping with the ability to cope with daunting tasks such as monitoring multiple size runs for different retail locations.
For SMBs merchants and vendors, having a retail merchandising software is mission critical as it helps them achieve consistency, optimization and better efficiency. With the help of smart merchandising software solutions like ChainDrive Merchandising Software, managers can track, collect in-store information on their mobile phones and tablets from anywhere in the value-chain. This seamless can harness the collective intelligence among the users, managers and decision-makers who could convert their data into actionable decisions in real time.
Here are 7 questions you should answer before you commit to upgrade, acquire or invest in a new merchandising software:
1.Does it support product assortment & pre-purchase planning?
In this fast-paced retail environment, choosing the most agile-friendly retail merchandising software solution can be very instrumental; as it will help you make informed decisions whenever you are not so sure about sensitive issues such as assortment planning, allocation or purchase orders. ChainDrive’s Intelligent size & SKU analysis is well suited for these challenges. It was designed to help merchandising managers help you improve your stock turnover and size ratios. This feature is very important in fashion apparel retail, footwear, and many other verticals where customers get frustrated if they can’t find what they are looking for. Your sales may increase sales or deplete if they can’t get the right size, model, color or style. Store traffic attrition and brand NPS may depend on how well your merchandising system performs.
2. Is it smart and easy to monitor merchandising KPIs?
Extensive product performance analysis and reporting, including lifecycle management are some of the key features available to merchandisers who are looking to implement lean measures as a way to fuel overall efficiency. ChainDrive’s built-in business intelligence capabilities provide merchandising managers with integrated reports and tools, immediate access to vital information which proves to be handy when it comes to making informed decisions designed to harness your predictive skills, improve your cost-cutting goals and increase your profit margins.
Offering countless pre-configured reports, metrics, pivot table queries and graphs are intuitive within ChainDrive which is known to let its users track and measure key performance indicators across the value chain by transforming the unified data into powerful, actionable decision-making tools.
3. How about automated allocation and replenishment?
Automated allocation and replenishment by min, max, min & max, sales and weekly stock turnover is a sample of what you can do to monitor your chain supply and merchandise flow. But to do it properly, you need to know ahead of time before your merchandise starts to deplete at your stores and when is the right time to start re-ordering. You also need to know how much of a particular product sells at one store versus another so that you can allocate the right amounts to each store. Having the right product, at the right place, at the right time is a must for consumers have grown impatient and unforgiving. Being able to anticipate, adapt and respond to customer demand by gaining control over your buying and selling cycles is an essential ingredient of modern Merchandising systems like ChainDrive.
4. Does it provide real-time inventory management?
There’s more to merchandising than just making sure your store displays look pretty. You need to have the right product, the right quantity, and the right sizes at the right market location. Retail merchandising software can provide real time data of out-of-stocks detected by employees, ChainDrive’s real-time inventory monitoring functionalities will help you track the location and status of your merchandise at any given time throughout the product lifecycle by simultaneously monitoring purchases, receipts, allocations, sales, transfers, in-transit, on-hands and related activity, regardless of the location.
5. Do you need advanced analytics & reporting capabilities?
Detailed purchase order analysis and reporting, including back order management will make it easier for you to keep an eye on your in-store, inter-stores and intra-operational situation. Merchandising will accordingly be lot easier to monitor. ChainDrive’s unified and fully-integrated database, reports can be generated and converged into visual friendly reports and dashboards to give you a better perspective over your entire retail environment.
Moreover, you can rely on the smart components of ChainDrive to track and report on revenue sensitive areas such as inventory, product purchases, suppliers, sales performance and many other dead angles you may not be able to do manually.
6. Can it handle retail prices and calculate costs?
Not only it does,ChainDrive’s Innovative price management tools can help you analyze, monitor and track price changes and performance at any time of the day; or set prices by geographical or pre-determined zones, create promotional campaigns – permanent or time limited, control access to all price changes, adjust prices by dollars or percentage among many automation-ready functionalities. It’s user-definable, formula-based landed cost features are also very well appreciated by retail managers across the board.
7. What about vendor management?
Ability to maintain multiple vendors per product, and specific individual vendor type which track and manage product performance down to the style, size and/or color are just as functional and essential in modern merchandising.
Merchandising software solutions are very useful when it comes to helping managers monitor competing products, generating up-to-date and detailed comprehensive analysis or live performance reports while using mobile point of sale systems. As result, merchandising executives can definitely get ahead of their close competitors by making pre-emptive markdowns. Thanks to its smart and automated inventory alerts, merchandising managers can rely on pre-set parameters to make actionable decisions on a local, regional, or targeted indicators such including goods in the trial phase.
Last but not least, you should look for a retail merchandising software partner that is best known for making the most intuitive, user-friendly and customizable software solutions; a partner who could help you ramp-up your digital transformation and resilience in the most challenging era.
See for yourself how Multidev can help you ramp-up your merchandising capabilities, inventory management, agility and overall productivity on-time, on-budget and on-target. To schedule a demo, please log on https://chaindrive.com/free-live-demo/