27 August 2015

Out-of-stocks is truly a nightmare both for suppliers and retailers. According to a new research report from retail analyst firm IHL Group, retailers lose $634.1 billion in annual losses due to out-of-stocks. Lost sales not only significantly impact a company’s bottom line, but also damage brand trust and result in lower customer loyalty.

The most common reason why a customer leaves the store without the item he was willing to buy, is empty shelve. The other reasons include mismatch of price, claimed in ad or promo, and actual store price; and lack of assistance in choosing or finding the product.

Advanced technology can help retailers address all of these problems, improving logistics and reducing out-of-stocks. Much of out-of-stocks occur due scattered business processes, disordered data workflow, resulting into big time gaps between a store visit and appropriate company's actions.

The up-to-date merchandising software solution provides real-time data exchange between merchandisers, performing retail visits, and the office. Merchandising software allows companies to streamline merchandising activities, and become more efficient both in the field and in the back. Below you’ll find some examples of how a merchandising software solution can greatly improve merchandising performance and help prevent out-of-stocks.
  • Quickened reordering. Many of the up-to-date merchandising software solutions run in the Cloud, which means real-time data synchronization between the office and the field. As soon as a merchandiser discovers the lack of product at a point of sale, the information is instantly available in the office, so the manager can quickly take appropriate actions. Moreover, merchandising software gives merchandisers an opportunity to make product orders right at the point-of-sale with just a couple of actions. Your merchandisers can view recommended order quantities and order history on their mobile devices to create an order that makes sense.
  • Reduced human mistakes. Having timely and actual information on inventory levels is vital in order to avoid out-of-stocks. Implementing merchandising software is a great way to keep your inventory accurate, providing merchandisers with the tools that make inventory-directed tasks a breeze. Merchandising software delivers customizable task templates with different types of answers for everything that needs to be checked. Documents, multimedia, images, and notes, useful for merchandising purposes, e.g. planograms, can supplement all task templates. Empowered with automated data entry and such tools as built-in photo reports, barcode product search, and electronic signatures, your merchandisers can perform tasks and collect store data several times faster, while minimizing mistakes.
  • Improved forecasting. Empowered with a merchandising software solution for tablets or smartphones, your merchandisers always have access to data on previous retail visits; merchandising audit results, order quantities. Having this kind of data literally at their fingertips, merchandisers can easily identify previous out-of-stock patterns in each store, and make order to have products delivered at the right times to ensure that out-of-stocks will not happen again. A comprehensive merchandising software solution also provides the opportunity for merchandisers to collect marketing information. Along with historical sales data this information allows sales managers to implement demand-based forecasting, making strategic data-driven decisions.

To learn more about merchandising software, or to get your merchandising software solution free of charge, visit www.visitbasis.com.

To try our data collection software for free register at www.visitbasis.com and download the VisitBasis Retail Audit App FREE on Google Play or App Store. To learn more about how our field merchandising system works request a demo or check the links below to watch the demo videos.