Blog

What are retail dashboards? Retail dashboards display the state of a retailer’s business in a visual, at-a-glance format designed to help retailers track and improve key elements of retail performance. With the help of dashboards, retail employees can make faster, better decisions that align with the retailer’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to streamline business processes. Dashboards are also often referred to as business intelligence software, data visualization tools, or analytics dashboards. Regardless of what they're called in your business, they share the same ultimate goal; to give you up-to-date performance numbers for your most important KPIs. Let’s look at how retailers use dashboards, why they improve business performance, and why leading retailers are replacing their traditional dashboards with forward-looking advanced analytics solutions. Retail dashboards examples: Retailers that successfully implement dashboards do not take a one size fits all approach. Instead, they create dashboards for every business function and every level of their organization. Here are five commonly-used retail dashboards examples: Store performance dashboards Store performance dashboards give retail managers instant updates of metrics such as foot traffic, sales per employee, and attachment rates to help them supervise their store’s daily operations. Promotion planning and optimization dashboards Using promotion-specific dashboards to monitor metrics such as in-stock percentages and promotion...

How is retail digital transformation changing the industry? Retail digital transformation has fundamentally changed the way retail works, from the structure of internal operations to customers’ expectations of the retail experience. Although e-commerce gets all of the attention, the past two decades of technological change have transformed every aspect of the retail business -- from planning, inventory, pricing, and promotions -- all the way down to customer service and the in-store experience. And fortunately, the rise of online channels has not completely condemned brick-and-mortar retail to the history books. In fact, retailers that successfully adopt appropriate technologies (and are able to flexibly assimilate to change), find they can harness the digital transformation to see their brick-and-mortar businesses thrive. The top ways digital transformation is changing retail 1. Advanced analytics & retail AI Retail has always been a data-driven business, but the scale of today’s retail data environment is unparalleled (as will be tomorrow's). More and more data is gathered using new technology, including inventory systems, customer behaviour systems, product and store performance, and even weather reporting. This flood of data must then be processed for hundreds of thousands of SKUs to generate actionable information in real-time. Even with an army of analysts, the sheer volume of...

Everything you need to know about product clustering / grouping Product clustering (or grouping) is an increasingly common technique that leading retailers use to manage their planning, inventory, pricing, promotions, and markdowns. It is an effective way to think about assortment. This approach offers retailers a smart way to scale operations and can be incredibly cost-efficient when used correctly.  (psst! Jump to the end to see product cluster examples.) Definition of product clustering / grouping Product clusters are groups of products that share similar attributes. Products can be clustered in different ways (and for different purposes). They can be clustered by type, shape, occasion, materials, features, price, style, design, color, size, family, brand, function, and more. Doing so allows retailers infinite flexibility to "slice-and-dice" their assortment, analyze performance, and optimize everything from inventory to pricing. And clustering isn't just limited to products. Large retailers may also cluster their stores, warehouses, DCs, manufacturers, vendors, etc.. Furthermore, retailers can create more advanced clusters like “a group of products that share an attribute and also belong to a select group of stores”. Most commonly, retailers use geographical clusters to better account for demographics, distribution cost, climate, and other relevant factors to their business.. But that's just the tip of the...

Omnichannel order fulfillment that drives customer experience (and boosts profits) Consumer expectations have evolved in the digital age, and retailers are now offering a multitude of flexible order delivery methods such as “Buy online, pick up in-store”, “curbside pickup”, “order in store, deliver home” and more.  Although the trend towards omnichannel fulfillment is not new, the pandemic changed many retailers’ business models almost overnight, and these changes are not going away.  The new business model demands a holistic approach to omnichannel fulfillment that considers new expectations of speed and convenience that customers have developed while keeping costs low.  Maintaining margins within business constraints while efficiently providing order fulfillment to customers is a tall order, especially considering each customer purchase requires a real-time fulfillment decision within a shifting context of inventory, demand, returns, delivery times, and shipping costs. What is omnichannel order fulfillment in retail? In retail, omnichannel fulfillment is the process of getting products to customers across many different channels (delivery from DC, drop-shipping, in-store pickup, contactless pick-up, etc.).  To understand what omnichannel fulfillment is in greater detail, we need to contrast it to traditional methods of fulfillment. At its most basic, order fulfillment is the combination of steps required to get products into the hands of customers....

What is a retail markdown strategy? A retail markdown strategy is a plan that describes when and how certain products should go on markdown. Having a markdown strategy is important because, all too often, markdowns are a kneejerk reaction to end-of-life inventories. And since most markdowns are not planned for in advance (or at least accounted for in the pre-season planning stages), they frequently drain profits considerably more than they have to. Unsurprisingly, many retailers treat "markdowns" like a dirty word (and last resort). But markdowns are an important part of a pricing continuum, and can be used strategically to minimize inventories and maximize profits. An effective retail markdown strategy must be part of that product’s overall product lifecycle strategy. But how do you plan pricing for the thousands of SKUs in your assortment? We will look at five proven markdown strategies, why they sometimes fail, and how modern retail analytics lets you develop effective markdown plans that clear inventory while maximizing margins. But first, let's agree on what we even mean by "markdowns." What are markdowns in retail? A markdown is a permanent price decrease for a product that is at the end of its lifecycle (or "seasonality"). Markdowns are used to temporarily increase demand for low-demand products, ideally...

Everything you need to know about product assortment strategy Creating a product assortment strategy is necessary for retailers to have a holistic, long-view plan of their business. But this is easier said than done. There are a variety of critical tasks that are competing for a retailer's attention, including inventory levels, budgets, allocation, etc. -- with variety and assortment of merchandise often taking a backseat to more immediate concerns. But your assortment strategy is your identity. It needs to be relevant to the current (and upcoming trends), as well as sensitive to the unique geo0demographics of your channels and locations. And it needs to fit into your retail planning process to ensure you're still hitting your financial and inventory targets. How can retailers stay on top of this complexity? Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of assortment planning, let's first get on the same page about what we mean when we say "assortment strategy." What is a product assortment strategy? In retail, assortment refers to the entire catalogue of products and variations that a retailer carries on their physical (and digital) shelves. Assortment is a bit like a retailer's finger print -- no two retailers have the same exact assortment. So a product assortment strategy is the plan...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Written by Mark Krupnik, CEO at Retalon. Read the original article published on Forbes here. ----- It is interesting that people mean different things when they ask, "Is your solution SaaS?" The term "SaaS" is often poorly defined and, as a result, used too generally. Throughout my time answering this question, I have heard several totally different interpretations of what people really want to know. For example, some retailers want to know if the application will be hosted on the cloud, while others are trying to understand if monthly payment for the service is possible—a question that has more to do with credit than technology. Let's look at the five common interpretations people have when asking, "Is your solution SaaS?"   1. 'How convenient is the payment process?' Some customers are not asking about SaaS at all. They may want to know if payments can be made monthly. They may be trying to understand how the payment process works, and if they will have to contact the vendor to process their payments.   2. 'Is the solution deployed on a cloud and elastic?' This question really means whether the rented cloud space can grow with the customer's needs and shrink when not using...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] PRESS RELEASE: UK Men’s Suit Retailer, Moss Bros, uses Retalon AI to Better Navigate Turbulent Global Pandemic. Moss uses Retalon’s advanced analytics to get clearer visibility into future demand and make better decisions in merchandising and inventory management. TORONTO – March 31, 2021 – During the global pandemic, the retail industry experienced dynamic shifts in demand, store closures, restrictions, partial openings, and an accelerated digital transformation. Moss Bros, a UK-based men’s suit and formal wear retail founded in 1851, leveraged Retalon’s advanced analytics to clean their data, improve forecast accuracy, and make better decisions in merchandising and inventory management. Retalon was able to run simulations to help optimize inventory clean their data to provide improved visibility of future demand down to the store/product level across the business. Having cleaner data and more accurate recommendations meant Moss Bros was able to better react to changes on the ground and maintain the brand’s high customer service level. “The global pandemic brought a lot of uncertainly and has challenged the retail industry during the past year.” Said Brian Brick, president, and CEO at Moss Bros, “Retalon’s team and their advanced analytics technology has helped Moss navigate through the turbulence and make...

Ten new product pricing strategies that work Introducing new products creates an exciting opportunity to attract new customers and reinforce your presence in the market. At the same time, defining your new product pricing strategy is exciting for a very different reason. With so many options to choose from and with so little historical data to support your choice, how do you make the right decision? These ten leading pricing strategies for new products can get you started. (And with the help of retail pricing software, you can find the optimal strategy for your business.) Why is new product pricing so challenging? The pricing strategy you choose for a new product has enduring ramifications. This is the only chance you have to create a first impression with your customers. Setting initial pricing high may discourage customers or may create the impression of premium quality. Low prices, while more accessible, could permanently mark the product as a commodity. Pricing determines your long-term profitability. Low prices leave little room for promotions or end-of-lifecycle markdowns. High prices generate higher per-unit margins but may constrain top-line revenue. The challenge many retailers face with new product pricing is the lack of actionable information. Without the right tools, looking at your...

Business-Specific Analytics & AI for Fashion Retailers The word “retail” gets used interchangeably as if all retailers are all the same. But let’s be honest, what do fast food restaurants, automotive, luxury fashion, and an online pharmacy have in common? Not that much. Sure, on the surface it may all seem like retail to the uninitiated, however, anyone who’s actually worked in medium to large-sized retail organizations will tell you they are each a world of their own. Once you start “peeling the onion”, you quickly discover that each retailer has business-specific considerations that are critical for their business. For instance, Destination resorts that run gift shops must account for occupation rates in their hotels as well as weather.Liquor stores have legal restrictions such as wet/dry zones, state lines, and deal with inventory in pallets, cases, and individual bottles.Electronics and games retailers have presales and major demand spikes on game release days. They also offer trade-ins of used goods.Jewelry retailers need to determine the right assortment mix that offers a good selection while having the right depth of inventory for each SKU. That's why fashion retail planning and analytics software needs to be unique and specific to fashion, with the ability to break down business considerations even further...