Store merchandising software removes substantial guesswork from inventory planning, resulting in efficiency gains and a competitive advantage for your stores.
However, merchandising solutions provide limited value without accurate data on store-level physical conditions – the kind of data you obtain through a top-to-bottom survey of each retail location. You need this store profile data to create a merchandising plan that takes full advantage of your facilities. With reliable, up-to-date accurate data at the ready, you will infuse your software-driven inventory plan with the accuracy and context required to align merchandising decisions with store capabilities.
And you’ll stop wondering whether staff is following your merchandising plan.
Data provides accuracy.
Minimizing out-of-stocks and overstocks is a major benefit of store merchandising software. When you can easily count and price the merchandise you’re ordering, the thinking goes, you won’t overestimate or underestimate your inventory requirements.
There’s just one problem: space.
What if existing fixtures won’t accommodate the inventory you think you should order? And what about signage – do the signs you’re ordering for the next promotion work for every store and make the best use of the space you have to display them? Incorporating store profile data into your inventory plan makes merchandising more accurate and helps you capitalize on each store’s capacity.
The same holds true for expected sales. Store merchandising software helps you match orders with historical purchase activity, but how do you know if your existing fixtures provide the ideal conditions for selling that merchandise? Your inventory plan may be contingent on fixture dimensions and conditions, floor space, and store infrastructure, and store survey data is the only way to pin down those metrics.
Data adds context.
Context at the store level means understanding how your stores have performed in the past under a given set of circumstances and applying that knowledge in the decisions you make today. For example, if your demand spikes are seasonal, you begin each season with the context – that is, the background information – needed to boost performance during that time period. Merchandising software helps you gain that context, but you need store profile data to paint the full picture.
Consider the demand-based replenishment insights generated by most planogram solutions. This information helps you determine what merchandise to order based on historical sales information, but it doesn’t reveal whether your stores are ready to handle the same inventory this time around.
Ask yourself: When was the last time you conducted a store survey? Are you confident all of your stores can handle the new merchandise in your inventory plan? Think about sales floor conditions. Are the fixtures that displayed last season’s merchandise still available and in working condition, or are they currently in use for another promotion or a new product line?
Store profile data can answer these questions, providing the context you need to achieve maximum merchandising efficiency.
Next steps for retailers
Planograms provide part of the puzzle for planning your merchandising strategy, but store profiles give you the accuracy and context needed to make it successful. Now that you understand how store profiles add value to merchandising software, what’s next? How will you align your inventory plan with the physical realities of your retail space?
AccuStore deploys retail-savvy survey teams to create comprehensive profiles of every store in your charge. You’ll gain insights that inform merchandise orders, inventory allocations, and maintenance of capital assets. And you’ll make your store merchandising software more effective.