Fashion retailers have to be where their customers are at every point in the shopping journey. It’s all about direct retailing — in-app, on Pinterest and FaceBook, from the website or inside the store — the exact point where each unique shopper makes her (or his) purchase decisions. Furthermore, when merchants show up at the right direct retailing point, they have to be there with fresh looks and engaging brand experiences. This requires a modern planning solution, which offers infinite benefits for retailers and their customers. Here are our top 5:
- Facilitate a distributed and connected workforce. Fashion consumers are passionate about discovering new looks and the expectation is that fashion retailers will offer localized assortments that are fresh and exciting. This requires boots on the ground, and not necessarily in HQ's backyard. A distributed workforce needs centralized data, easy access and responsive systems to enable productivity wherever your talent may be. Modern planning solutions, particularly cloud-based technology, allow retailers to source talent closer to their consumers and their suppliers.
- Increase productivity with reduced headcount. The retail marketplace is competitive; from online pureplays eating into traditional retailers' business to consumers' insatiable appetite for new, more and different...retailers are challenged to achieve more with less in all aspects of the business. From increasing the number of plans per year to turning inventory faster -- more is more in the case of a retailer's time. Unfortunately less is more when it comes to resources. One of the key areas retailers can squeeze more productivity is in data management and analysis. By leaving the number crunching to modern planning solutions retailers can focus on the artful tasks of supplier negotiation and developing exciting looks for their brand.
- Simplify the process. If your team is using spreadsheets stop reading this blog post now and contact us: email@example.com. Seriously. Manually comparing data from merchandising, store operations and inventory allocation is a waste of time and talent. Real-time, accurate reporting from all the key sources throughout the retail enterprise leads to fewer out-of-stocks and overstocks, reduced expenses transferring items from one store or region to another, increases overall revenue and creates new opportunities to grow.
- Reduce inventory. The past no longer represents the future in more cases than not. Your buyers' path to purchase looks more like a scatter plot than a pattern and how that compares to previous years is increasingly less reliable. Modern solutions seamlessly connect data silos, giving retailers access to a common operational forecast to drive smart business decisions.
- Improve personalization. Consumer preferences shift constantly and this is particularly true in fashion. Keeping customers engaged with your brand is a must and drawing out cues from customer interactions with you brand can lead you in some exciting directions. It's more likely than not that your customers are browsing for inspiration online; so why not leverage this data to glean insights into demand on everything from silhouettes to colors? You website search data is a treasure trove. Use it.
Regardless of where you are in your adoption of planning solutions and process, if you're looking to optimize efficiency and enable your team to do more with less Oracle Industry Connect 2016 is the best opportunity for you to leverage the collective knowledge and experience of the global retail community. With 30 speakers from 20+ unique retailers #OracleIC16 is designed, developed and delivered by retailers, for retailers. Customers joining us this year to talk planning and optimization include lifestyle retailer lululemon athletica, brazilian shoe retailer Paqueta and department store leader Kohl's.
For more insights and recommendations on how to realize the top 5 benefits of a modern fashion planning solution check out: Fashion Planning in a Direct Retail World.