The competition in the retail space is fierce now than it has ever been. Consumers have a wide range of options available at their disposal. Add e-commerce platforms to the mix, and you have a situation where brand loyalty goes for a toss. With the rise in consumerism and the availability of options, brands need to gear up for changing times. More emphasis has to be laid upon strengthening the supply chain so that it becomes efficient enough to ensure that the right product is available at the right place at the right time.
The supply chain is the backbone of the retail industry besides other industries. It is a crucial link that aids in the availability of the goods to the end consumer. It is crucial to have an efficient supply chain for smoother operational processing, simplifying purchase, inventory management, and warehousing functions. A reliable supply chain reduces transportation costs and helps the retailer in offering a variety of goods at a reasonable price. It also plays a pivotal role in giving a competitive advantage in the market.
Due to a large number of SKUs and the scale of supply, often it becomes challenging to manage the supply chain. This leads to issues concerning procurement, warehousing, availability, and delivery of goods to the last leg of the supply chain including the retailers. The biggest nightmare for the retailer is perhaps going out of stock. Retailers have to manage the stock levels for multiple brands which can become cumbersome, resulting in a lack of stocks for some brands.
Retailers are the key stakeholders that hold all the data that will reveal 360-degree insights about your products. It is essential for brands to repeatedly review the supply chain and streamline the processes for a shorter supply chain. Besides increasing efficiency, it will also help in reducing the supply chain cost.
The supply chain also faces issues during the last-mile journey which can vary from maintaining the authenticity of the goods due to lack of traceability to ensuring rapid movement. The inadequate communication between retailers and brands causes major discrepancies in the supply. The problem can be solved by using retailers’ data and analyzing it to get the required information.
Retailers are the point of contact between the organization and the customers. They are the ones who directly interact with your end consumers and have a true understanding of the actual needs and wants of the consumers. Their feedback can provide you with valuable information related to the product, including the reason for sales or a failed sale. This can contribute immensely while developing a new product and will also help in enhancing the existing one as per the actual needs of the consumer.
Retailers have first-hand information about the likes and dislikes of the various consumer segments, and they also have access to vital information such as consumer demographics and purchase history. Brands can make use of this information to segment their target audience further and supply products that are as per the preferences of the consumers. All your organizations need to do is get the data available with the retailers.
This data can be useful in tracking the purchase history of consumers which can act as a base for predicting future sales trends. Demand forecasting is another tool that can be utilized with the data obtained from retailers. This can also help in creating a robust supply chain with reduced time to reach the market.
The point of sale refers to the place where the actual transaction is carried out. Software such as the POS system carefully scrutinizes the sales data of the retail outlet and generates insights about the product movement. It helps in understanding the pace at which the products are moving from the shelves. These reports will give you timely insight into the optimal time and hours of the sale. Regular reports will enable you to time your supply accordingly.
The retail data can be used for the formation of a collaborative network between the suppliers and the retailers. There will be a shift in the focus from ‘on the shelf availability’ to ‘on-demand availability’. The product cycle timing can be modified by using retail data as it unearths the pace at which the products are moving. So, the lead time to manufacture a product may need alterations to suit the customer demand during peak season.
Managing vendors is a significant issue that crops up while operating a supply chain of organizations with multiple products and vast geographical areas to cover. Ensuring the timely delivery of goods is a major responsibility. Through constant consumer feedback, brands can analyze the desirable products and ones that need changes to have better control over the supply chain.
Retail data can be of great importance to determine consumer insights as well as aid in resolving critical supply chain issues. Utilizing the retail data is set to be the next trend in the coming years. Retailers are expected to increasingly make use of the data to manage and sustain their supply chains and businesses.
It is crucial for organizations to ensure that retailers and distributors are motivated enough to share the data. This can be achieved through Trade Promotions that are designed to benefit both the organizations and retailers. The latter is incentivized for sharing the data while the former get data that can be used for a wide variety of purpose.
Data is the solution to solving a wide range of supply chain problems and developing supply chains that provide a competitive edge. Trade Promotion-related solutions designed by O4S are the ideal solutions that empower your brand to leverage the data and incentivize the stakeholders in the supply chain.