Countless hours of investment in your retail business have helped to get you where you are today, but does something still feel out of place? To date, your success has largely been driven by determined interactions on behalf of you and your staff with the customer. From this, you have been able to learn how their tastes and preferences have evolved so that you can, in turn, present them with the items they really care about.
Despite your positive interactions with customers, you may be noticing certain items lingering on shelves. These may be items that your customers have indicated are what they seek, and yet they just aren’t moving. Something isn’t right with this picture, but what exactly? When it comes to inventory, data can help point you in the direction you need to go to shift sales. But do you possess the ability to mine the data you have for answers? Do you even have all of the data that is required for effective retail inventory management? Here’s exactly what you need to properly track and manage supply and demand at your store.
You Must Have Accurate Sales Data to Effectively Manage Inventory
Data is not only driving all businesses but is the one key item that can mean the difference between success and failure. And, with the margin for error shrinking at an alarming rate for small retail, the data you have must be complete and easily accessible in a variety of ways. Determining how you manage and analyze your data, as well as what data you acquire, builds a solid foundation upon which game-changing inventory controls can be based.
For retailers, the most important data you possess is the information you gather at checkout. This data has the most influence on your inventory processes, as it presents you with fact-based feedback around which products are being purchased and what items are most likely to be returned. And, with advanced POS technology in place, you may be able to easily distinguish between the items being looked at the most and those that are largely being ignored.
Shifting customer trends will be determined with confidence, thanks to the next-gen monitoring and reporting solutions that come with a fully capable retail POS solution. The ease in which sales data, including information from returns and voids, can be integrated into inventory data helps you to construct an inventory strategy that promises to deepen your customer relationships.
Align Inventory Requirements to Customer Purchasing Trends
Keeping the checkout counter singing with the sounds of payments being processed, bags being rustled, and receipts being issued is a pleasing sound to any retail owner. Maintaining this flurry of activity in the modern retail world requires you to align customer preferences with your products. Doing this using the data you gather from innovative retail tools, like an advanced POS platform, will give you the edge you need to create a customer-endearing line of products.
Possessing the data you need to build an accurate picture of what your products must look like is game-changing. You achieve the ability to create a concise cycle of products, from new arrivals and on through to the clearance rack. The precise accuracy of product lifecycle management will be the result of using a blend of sales data and inventory tracking and will give you a competitive edge while greatly lowering the risk of having stale products in stock.
The cutting-edge technology in use behind the scenes will take your product management to the next level. By matching customer data with sales and inventory data, you will become a retail fortune teller. There will be no shortage of opportunities to provide your customers with a complete shopping experience. Product promotions will appear to be specifically provided for them and will be reflected in their loyalty to your brand.
Reduce Product Leakage through Enhanced Product Tracking
One last area that must be considered when piecing together your complete inventory management strategy is in loss prevention. Retail inventory shrinkage, or product leakage, cost retailers $46.8 billion dollars in 2019. Guarding against common loss prevention avenues, such as shoplifting, employee theft, damaged or lost products, and even improper transaction voids can be made easier with next-gen inventory tech in place.
A modern inventory tracking strategy takes things above the simplicity of scanning items into stock, placing them on shelves, and then scanning them out at the register. It can readily track your items as they are moved through the store. Using app-based bar code scanning, you know exactly where items are being moved to in your store prior to sale. Transactions can be monitored for discrepancies, alerting you when actions need to be taken.
Common flaws in retail inventory management occur during the return and void processes. Return items are incorrectly exchanged or refunded, typically when an item was purchased on sale, and voids are often done incorrectly when a store is busy. Your POS platform will guard against these financial losses, reducing a key factor in retail monetary losses. It will give you the reporting you need to monitor returns and voids and will issue alerts so you can address the issue with the offending staff member for easy correction.
Let an Expert Solve your Retail Inventory Management Puzzle
Achieving an effective retail inventory management strategy no longer needs to be a mystery. Innovative advances in POS software have given retail owners new hope in their fight to take control over their inventory processes. Building these solutions will require advanced knowledge in POS technology as well as retail business trends, requiring you to seek an experienced partner so you can learn about your options.
A valued POS partner will provide you with demonstrated experience helping small retailers such as yourself excel at what you do. The POS platform they design will build the groundwork for you to advance your brand voice through precision in how you manage your inventory. The next-gen technology will present you with the flexibility you need to stimulate your growth, reduce operational risk factors, and deepen relationships with your customers.
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