When it comes to fashion retail, creative minds and analysts can learn a lot from each other.
In the fashion industry, the pressure head designers and their creative teams face is high at all times:
Meeting customer’s expectations, impressing them with various collections whilst staying true to the brand image; exceeding the wishes of trendsetters, and yet processing ecological fabrics into fashionable quality goods at reasonable prices. Another kind of pressure gets noticeable very quickly as soon as the presentation of merchandise in the flagship stores as well as the entire branch network is in place. Every new collection needs to sell quickly and show profits immediately. The fashion industry is fast-evolving and the next collection is already in line for delivery at the central warehouse. At the same time, the depreciation rate and mark-downs should be kept as small as possible and monitored constantly. Additional KPIs, such as purchasing volume per customer, efficient deployment of personnel at the POS, aging structure of articles on the sales floor, product availability in all sizes in relation to the smallest possible safety stock and last but not least, the conversion rate are highly relevant in brick-and-mortar retail.
Pursuing the same objective
Fashion designers and analysts pursue the same overall objective: Both are expected to quickly generate sustainable revenue. The most important factor is to turn customers into loyal ones, but how? When and why does a customer come back? This happens when the range of products as well as the price, service and quality meet the customers’ expectations. Another aspect is to enable customers to switch between all sales channels – e.g., a click in the web shop and reserving a product in-store needs to be integrated seamlessly. Lasting positive experiences with sales personnel also keeps customers coming back. This also requires that the sales team is aware if an article is available in the requested size or offers to ship it directly to the customer’s home from another store.
Manual processes are a thing of the past
Designers have always had creative ideas, however, in the past, controllers didn’t have the chance to analyse data in real time. Therefore, they used historical data from unconnected IT silos, and unfortunately very often drew wrong conclusions, e.g. with regards to the size distribution across the entire store network. Today, dashboards reveal on a daily basis without any manual effort, which quantities in which sizes sell best in which stores.
This enables fashion retailers to adapt quickly to any changing circumstances – all based on accurate data. Automated real time analysis and predictions make the in-store management future-proof and, above all, competitive.
An active control of data is the only chance to realise a future growth strategy in fashion retail. Retail area managers, head of merchandise planning, management and controlling are able to compare the different sales locations faster, without having to wait for quarterly or annual figures. The required key figures are provided automatically and prepared visually on a daily basis.
If the creative mind does not run out of ideas, and the analyst correctly interprets the relevant data for more sales and lower process costs with the right tools, they will continue their successful course into the future.
Image Source: IStock, Copyright: diego_cervo, Saklakova.jp
The Art of Retaining the Customers in the Store
Customers are lost with just one single click, if the service in the web shop is not satisfying. That can happen just as fast in the bricks-and-mortar store.
What are the reasons why customers might leave a store?
- Advertised merchandise or articles in the desired size cannot be found
- Sales personnel cannot provide information about a desired article
- Empty spaces on the shelves are disappointing and violate the brand promise
- Customers get to hear another “unfortunately we’ve run out”
- The click & collect offer does not work
However, it is very easy to keep the customers in the store, to sell more and build up customer loyalty. Here’s how:
- The sales personnel is able to provide the customer with information about a product at anytime
- Additional products based on the customer’s choice of articles can be recommended
- No empty spaces on shelves thanks to an early notification system (i.e. automatic replenishment)
- Real-time article transparency shows where the article is available, and it can also be sent to the customer’s home address if requested
- Click & collect services work seamlessly
- Personnel are notified about the arrival of merchandise, and the sales floor is prepared accordingly
- Received merchandise is completely checked-in and immediately makes its way to the appropriate location within the store
Analyse. Decide. Lead.
The right article, at the right place with real-time data
Anyone who works in fashion retail should be confident in their style and be fashion conscious. Nevertheless, people responsible for the store and likewise those responsible for the entire network of stores need to bring an entirely additional skillset to the table.
They have to be able to make the right decisions in managing either a single store or several hundreds of stores, including the management of inventories; e.g. the right clothing sizes need to be distributed to the different stores in a targeted manner to meet consumers’ demands and achieve good sales results.
Good business is never about gut feelings.
Therefore, base your decisions on a foundation of reliable data.
- Distribute merchandise in a targeted way and optimise merchandise presentation over the entire network of stores
- For multi-channel operations, actively manage inventory across channels
- Quickly adapt to trends and location-specific demands
- Optimise the performance of individual weaker stores and introduce corrective measures
- Reduce expensive minimum inventory levels
- Avoid margin reduction related to outlet sales
- Automate replenishment
- Know the aging structure of your articles
- Optimise your merchandise presentation
- Synchronise information between merchandising planners and logistics
Detego InReports –
A Real-Time Analysis Tool
Detego InReports analyses the real-time inventory in the store, back-room and shop window along with the aging structure (time on the sales floor) and interprets customer cluster data, for example in terms of sizes and colours sold per geographical region. Complex algorithms are translated into graphically appealing dashboards that provide relevant operational recommendations for actions to take, which enables better decisions.
Increase Sales, Reduce Inventory, Manage Stores
With Detego InReports, fashion retailers can adapt more quickly to changes in the market as well as new trends thanks to an increased inventory transparency, resulting in an increase in turnover and sales. Furthermore, the quality of the gained information allows for more precise merchandise management – with reduced quantities held in stock, optimised processes as increased sales.