Inventory is the KEY to retail Success

Give customers what they want, when they want, where they want.

Shoppers Expectations are HIGHER than ever going into 2023

Rising costs and Inflation

2022 has been a struggle for many, if not all businesses. We’ve seen sharper than expected slowdown of economic activity around the world with inflation higher than seen in past decades. Rising costs of goods and daily essentials coupled with high cost of living does not give a sense of optimism for the next year. Retail is traditionally the first industry to feel the bumps of any macro-economic conditions.

Furthermore, to meet shopper expectations and stay ahead of the competition requires retailers to keep innovating to ensure that customers’ more limited disposable income continues to flow in their direction.

 

Quickest way to lose a sale – OUT of STOCK

COVID-19 fast tracked DIGITAL Adoption AMONG Shoppers

Retail stores being closed during lockdowns, and social distancing guidelines in effect, helped fast track capabilities and features for Retail towards omnichannel shopping experience. Shoppers started leveraging digital channels more heavily, relying on features like Buy Online Pickup in Store, Curb side pick-up and faster delivery options through Instacart, DoorDash, Uber, etc.; as well as a huge boost to social storefronts on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

These behaviors continue today for a good percentage of shoppers having become accustomed to the convenience of online shopping with quick delivery and pick up options. Omnichannel shopping has become the new normal for almost all shoppers and is likely to continue in future.

To deliver the best omnichannel shopping experience requires the retailers/brands to adjust their inventory strategies to meet shopper’s expectations and provide real-time visibility to available inventory. One of the key elements to corporate success is ensuring that you have the right amount of inventory at the right locations, and at the right time. Failing to do so, eats away at corporate profit margins and turns away its customers to competitors.

 

Solve the Inventory Visibility Challenge

Artificial Intelligence with Data integration to Predict Supply and Demand

Leveraging the right systems allows the merchandising and buying teams track the inventory right from manufacturing to Store/DC deliveries and calculate lead time. Understanding lead time allows Retailers to provide accurate delivery times to customers and automate processes to improve operational efficiency and improve the bottom line.

With demand shifting across store locations, online and marketplaces, monitoring inventory levels and reallocation of inventory across locations becomes paramount. Leveraging the right Order Management and Inventory Management solutions with AI tools and data integration can help predict needs across various sales channels and locations. 

To meet the needs of the shoppers of what they want, where they want, when they want, it requires the below:

  • Make inventory available across all supply channels to leverage your inventory positions on the top demand channel – online. 
  • Ensure inventory counts are as accurate and real-time as possible to avoid a poor brand experience
  • Avoid overstocking/understocking of products across locations through accurate inventory planning and allocation

 

Most modern Order Management systems offer robust inventory availability services to connect inventory across all supply locations, create location groups with inventory based on set of business rules and/or locations, and aggregate them to make it available for online demand channels. Ex. DC inventory is made available for social commerce / marketplace channels, but DC and Store inventory are made available for the brand’s own retail site & shopping apps.

Integrating this inventory service to the front-end digital channels for real-time view and availability across every location, empowers retailers to maximize the value of their inventory, ensuring they never miss a chance to sell. Retailers can expose nearby store locations with available inventory directly on the site or native app, and drive-up demand and enhance the shopping experience for today’s digitally connected smart shopper. 

 


 

Fēnom Digital delivers exceptional services across Salesforce Commerce, Order Management, Service and Marketing Cloud solutions.

A leading Salesforce digital agency, Fēnom provides comprehensive digital solutions that transform the 360˚customer journey focusing on improved commerce digital experiences and supply chain optimization.

Fēnom’s global team of focused and skilled experts helps many of the world’s leading brands deliver the right experience at the right time to every customer, by merging how businesses work and how their customers want to engage. Fēnom’s holistic perspective of the industry, with their analytical approach to customer experience, leads to results-driven traffic and measurably improved metrics.