Over the past few years, the growth rate of retail business in India has been phenomenal and it is expected to touch the figure of INR 1.86 lakh crore in the current year. The healthy economic growth accompanied by the increasing disposable incomes and changes in customer tastes are factors that have contributed to this high growth rate. For any retail store, the assortment of products called the ‘merchandise mix’, is an important aspect that helps it to create its own brand value and attract customers. The following tricks and trips allow a retailer to know about the best mix of stock in the store.
The right choice of a stock involves knowing what the customer wants
One of the key ways to succeed in the retail business is knowing about what the customer is looking for. For that, it is not only important to know what the customer has bought in the past but also anticipate what the buying patterns will be in the future. Modern tools of data analysis can help a retailer to skim through the huge amount of data and identify buying trends. At the same time, taking feedback from the customer can help in identifying what are the changes that are needed and what are the items that are best left untouched. This also involves knowing which products are in demand at the moment so that the right stock can be selected.
The right choice stock is related to the vendors
The product that you stock should identify your brand values and that also includes the vendors that you deal with. Whatever vendor a retailer is dealing with, the deal has to offer the right value for the investment. The process of vendor selection should be based not only on the quality of their products but also on their overall reliability and performance and this is an important step that every retail business needs to take. This will help the retailer to choose the right vendors and adjust the stock accordingly.
The right software for the best mix of stock
In general, the more variety of stocks that a store offers higher overall inventory costs. The right assortment planning solution will help in providing the effective management of product data along with optimized product classification based on multiple categories. The software should help in effectively planning the stock changes based on the business strategies in the shortest possible time. It will also help in categorizing product into various subcategories, segments and sub-segments not only to optimize the floor space of a warehouse but also to make the best use of the shelf space in the stores.
While good software is essential for the right mix of stock, the right level of training and skill development for the inventory management staff is another important step. Even the best software will not be of help if the staff are unable to work together to implement the tool in the best possible manner. So along with the investment in the right technology, the investment should also be directed towards developing the skills of the people who handle the technologies.
Delivering the right product to the right customer
The best mix of stock has to be displayed in the right manner so that it creates an attractive picture in the eyes of the customer. Each merchandise should be properly displayed and mixed with others to visually attract the customer. The overall strategy behind the variety of stock depends a lot on the placement and positioning of products on shelves and it is generally estimated through a model termed as planogram. With the right mix of stocks and the right level of data, the planogram can fill the shelves in the correct pattern and provide the customers with just the items that they want.
While there are other factors that influence the stock mixing strategies, these are basic ones that any retailer needs to get right. The correct interpretation of data to interpret the customer expectations and choice of vendors will help in framing the most effective strategy for stocking the store. At the same time, using the right software tools effectively will help the business to stay ahead of the competition and promote the brand in the most effective manner.
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