“Out of stock” – the three most dreaded words in the retail industry. Interestingly, 43% of customers’ shopping preferences were based on in-stock availability, while 31% expected extended stock visibility. This requires a seamlessly running operation and end-to-end control over inventory. Thus, streamlining order and inventory management and technology adoption is steadily gaining importance.
While retailers prefer spending their time on product improvement and brand building, the “new normal” makes them think more about the operational processes that are as crucial as the brand presence. With the new model, an automated order management system has become the one-stop solution that aids companies to focus on developmental strategies. The order management system and the algorithm that works behind make the operation run in the most efficient way possible, but there is another key aspect to consider which is tracking the data including orders, inventory, and performance accurately. This way, businesses can access elaborate dashboards to prioritize, plan and map out their action items in a well-thought-out manner, have better insights, and better-informed business decisions accordingly.
Visibility of Real-Time Operations
By using the right tool, retailers can drill down into inventory analysis and stock availability based on minute-to-minute data collection in a single pool which minimizes any data loss and error. The real-time performance data is beneficial for the right stocking, synchronized back and front stock level to perform and use the stock right and efficiently. Collecting and accessing the accurate data ensures monitoring business-critical KPIs of revenue, distribution channels, product returns, payment options, and other operational data that can be useful to take the right action. This observability helps judge inventory flow, address bottlenecks, correct errors, aid faster restocking to fulfill delivery periods, and so on. In the long run, with the right omnichannel order management system, by observing data collected over the years, seasonal demand upsurges can be identified based on previous selling seasons which helps to prevent out-of-stock and overstocking problems.
Follow Up Product Life Cycle
A comprehensive order and inventory management system offers a single view of an entire operation. It helps automate the flow of information during the entire journey of a customer order and more specifically the status of where the order is located presently and who is assigned for the task. Further, product requisition information is synced with the order management to provide end-to-end visibility in all channels.
Importantly, a retailer must understand the product stage with its life cycle to optimize warehousing and manage demand. For instance, a retailer may stock products with a good profit margin trend without understanding the product stage. If the product is at its maturity stage, its demand may either stagnate or decline. Without this visibility, companies may incur huge losses on account of obsolete inventory. Hence, omnichannel data management will provide 360-degree visibility to the stock at all times to avoid inventory and order-related errors that may cause loss to operations.
Ideation of Innovative Business Strategies
With the rise in online activity, companies have access to primary customer data. However, merely collecting data would mean wasting a valuable source that would provide actionable insights. The in-built business intelligence in the order and inventory management platform provides detailed reports, aiding companies to make informed business decisions. Further, data points such as top and bottom sellers, profit margins, ready forecasts are beneficial to varied functions such as giving access to detailed channel information; top products, top fulfillment centers, the channels used, etc. Using advanced analytics, retailers can design campaigns and create business strategies by tracking active customers, browsing activity, purchase intent, demand trends, etc.
For instance, the festive season is one of the busiest and profitable periods for retailers and by analyzing the product demand trends beforehand, they can tweak the ongoing strategies or reformulate a robust strategy.
With Shopi’s Order and Inventory Hub, retailers can benefit from the overall order management capabilities and easily integrate with the existing systems with an API-based approach within weeks. Once the entire operation is connected, whether the order comes from an online site or from a physical store, it can be monitored and controlled through a single dashboard. Using the inventory wisely, and locating the order in the right place, thanks to smart routing algorithms, retailers can also make business decisions, forecast future customer demand based on the accuracy of the data collected, and run their operation in the most efficient way possible. To find out how to turn your traditional retail operations into seamlessly running and unified platforms, contact us now!