In this video, see how merchandise planning, used as part of a comprehensive retail planning optimization strategy, can help retailers create an optimized supply chain that delivers on customer service and boosts revenues.
Considered part of retail planning, merchandise planning is the systematic approach to planning, buying, and selling merchandise to maximize return on investment (ROI) while simultaneously making merchandise available at the places, times, prices, and quantities that the market demands. This simply means something needs to be there when a consumer is ready to buy it – in the right size and color and in the right place – whether in a store or online.
Ideally, retail planning solutions should automatically allocate the right products to the right places at the right time to drive rapid sell-through, minimize markdowns and build loyalty by delivering the highest customer service levels possible. But this does not happen. Often planning systems simply cannot take advantage of the algorithmic planning that can automate merchandise planning, plus replenishment and allocation, to free planners to focus on other things that can impact the bottom line and increase top-line growth.
In addition to retail optimization in general, retailers who can learn to blend the art and science of planning will become the winners in today’s digital, omnichannel world. The art of retail involves delighting and serving a specific customer – staying relevant and understanding your brands and markets. The science of retail involves the application of automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to gain more insights and make smarter, faster business decisions.