Inventory / Merchandising / Supply Chain

Supply chain challenges are mounting for many retailers, especially those operating in multiple regions of the country and abroad. Consumers expect to be able to order and purchase products via any channel, then have them delivered to their channel of choice – and quickly! New technologies are providing the ways and means for merchants to deliver on the promise of omnichannel excellence. Now retailers must find the best ways to implement new solutions to stay competitive.

Boll And Branch Boosts Online Sales By 3,300% With Symphony Commerce

BollandBranchOnline retailers looking to get off the ground must optimize every portion of their business if they expect to enter the market and ignite any hope of outdoing their competitors.

Boll and Branch, an online retailer of luxury bedding products, improved web traffic by 1,600% and transactions by 3,300% within three months of launching its online store in January 2014. The retailer has been able to see such success, and further build its brand, since implementing solutions from Symphony Commerce. With Symphony Commerce, Boll and Branch has been able to:


Cloud Justice Maximizes Loss Prevention Efforts

SS CloudJustice ImageShoplifting will always remain a concern for retailers across categories. When an incident occurs, retailers can’t afford to mismanage the issue and risk additional loss.

Cloud Justice from Turning Point Justice enables retailers to gather evidence, calculate restitution damages and prepare police reports when shoplifting occurs. The platform is specifically built for Loss Prevention Agents (LPAs), and features a touchscreen computer including the Cloud Justice software, a Wi-Fi device, a mobile camera and a printer. The platform integrates with identification, criminal record and law enforcement databases, such as the National Retail Mutual Association (NRMA). The solution integrates with existing civil demand and incident management providers to complement the retailer’s current practices and offers retailers protection by avoiding bounty incentives.


Ugam Assortment Intelligence Helps Retailers Make Better Inventory Decisions

SS UgamAI Image 1Shopper preferences and overall demand help retailers determine how to plan their assortment for each store.

Ugam Assortment Intelligence is designed to generate insights for retailers regarding what products to keep, carry and drop based on real-time data collection and analytics. Data available within the solution helps merchandisers identify assortment gaps so they can better differentiate their product offerings. The solution gathers search data, ratings, reviews and social media activity to analyze the competitive landscape and provide retailers with demand trends so they can make optimal assortment decisions.


SMBs Look To Stand Out As Holiday Season Nears

FEAT SMB ImageFollowing is Part 1 of the SMB report, which will outline the roles Black Friday and Small Business Saturday play for small retailers as well as the steps these merchants are taking to differentiate their products and services throughout the holiday season.

The holiday season is right around the corner, marking the busiest and most fruitful time of year for all retailers. In order to keep up with anticipated demand, 15 big-name brick-and-mortar retailers, including Kmart, Macy’s, Sears, Target and Walmart, are opening their doors earlier than in years past. With the amount of publicity these actions can drive, coupled with the plethora of marketing campaigns these retailers implement leading up to the season, it is easy to see how these larger retailers can swipe attention away from small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).


Top 5 Mistakes Brick-And-Mortar Retailers Make That Hurt Their Business

donnaBy now, most retailers know that an increasing number of shoppers are buying online. Does this mean that offline businesses should be afraid? Of course not. There are places where you can still see shopping malls with full parking lots and lines of people at the register waiting to check out. The prevalence of online shopping simply means that brick-and-mortar businesses cannot afford to continue running their business the same way they did 10+ years ago.

As a point of sale consultant, I have worked with retail businesses for 15 years, and I still see old and new businesses making the same mistakes other businesses did over a decade ago. Some of these mistakes include:


GoECart 360 Provides A Comprehensive View Of Retail Business Functions

SS GoECart360 Image2Retail businesses today have a myriad of divisions and employees to manage. To remain competitive and constantly evolve with new consumer trends and preferences, organizations must capture a comprehensive view of the business and better manage all internal processes.

GoECart has released GoECart 360, an all-in-one SaaS e-Commerce suite that caters to a variety of business functions including: Enterprise-class order and inventory management; warehouse management; POS and CRM.


Chico’s Implements RFID Into 13 Soma Stores With Tyco

SomaInventory visibility is a necessity for retailers that want to keep track of the amount of products that have sold, as well as how many items are on the sales floor and in the back of the store. RFID tagging has simplified inventory visibility for in-store employees so they can track merchandise with an electronic reader.

Chico’s is one of these retail organizations that has jumped aboard the RFID bandwagon, partnering with Tyco Retail Solutions to successfully implement its RFID Inventory Intelligence solution in 13 Soma Intimates pilot stores. With the technology installed, associates at these Soma locations can now access real-time inventory information in one place to better manage their deep merchandise assortment and drive increased sales and shopper satisfaction.


QVC Promotes Ken O’Brien To SVP Of Merchandising

QVC exec head shot

Video and e-Commerce retailer QVC has promoted Ken O’Brien from VP of Merchandising to SVP of Merchandising. O’Brien will be responsible for developing and executing QVC’s merchandise strategy for all products and brands. Additionally, he will help engage and manage the QVC vendor community. 

Since joining the QVC team in 2000, O’Brien has worked his way up the ranks within the merchandising division. In his most recent role as VP of Merchandising, he helped drive growth within QVC’s home products category by refining and optimizing assortment for household, kitchen and cooking products. Prior to that, he served as Director of Merchandising for home products, and helped introduce new brands, concepts and categories to the kitchen electric and gift divisions.


50% Of Brick-And-Mortar Sales Are Influenced By Digital Channels

RR L2 ImageDigital channels influenced up to 50% of all in-store retail sales in September 2014, up from 36% in September 2013. This coincides with the growing number of shoppers who showroom (72%) and webroom (78%).

The 2014 Omnichannel Retail report, commissioned by L2 in partnership with RichRelevance, examines omnichannel data across 100 brands and investigates retailers’ efforts to drive customers into stores.


King Solutions Helps Streamline Supply Chain Operations

SS KingSolutions ImageTo ensure success, retailers need to make sure that their supply chains are operating efficiently and can deliver all products to distribution centers and stores quickly and seamlessly.

King Solutions, a transport logistics and fulfillment provider, assists retailers in shipping and moving products, helping them solve complex logistical challenges related to store openings, remodels, fixture distribution rollouts, reverse logistics and store relocations. The company recently launched CoastalPlus, a freight service that delivers throughout the U.S. for less-than truckload shippers based in Minneapolis, Minn. Individual freight unit GPS tracking is available upon request.


Revising The Supply Chain For An Omnichannel Era

Following is Part 1 of the feature Supply Chain Management In A Global Marketplace, which outlines how retailers can revise their supply chain operations for omnichannel success. Part 2 will address new complexities that emerge when brands expand internationally.

Retailers across categories, such as Cabela’s, IKEA and Target, are offering new order delivery and fulfillment options to provide customers with a seamless and hassle-free shopping experience.


TUMI Breaks Down Organizational Barriers To Drive Omnichannel Success

Because luggage brand and retailer TUMI has such a recognizable name and product design, it may be fair to assume that the business operates in a very strict fashion. However, TUMI CIO Jim Walsh describes the company as a “SMB with a big name.” Meaning, the retailer focuses on innovation and operates as nimbly as possible.

Flexibility, collaboration and communication all are playing an important role in TUMI’s omnichannel strategy. In fact, TUMI recently established an omnichannel business council consisting of team members from e-Commerce, IT, distribution, retail operations and retail sales departments.


Retailers And Suppliers Optimize Merchandise Planning With Market6 Vantage Suite

SS Vantage image3Retailers and suppliers need to consistently collaborate and share information to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and sales.

Retail analytics provider Market6 has released Market6 Vantage, a suite of applications designed to automate and simplify joint business planning and retail-supplier collaboration. The suite automates the development and maintenance of joint merchandising plans and enables retailers and suppliers to share information more seamlessly and standardize planning processes.


Caterpillar Vapes Taps Zing To Integrate In-Store POS And The E-Commerce Site

Caterpillar VapesAs a brand expands, its IT infrastructure can become more complex. However, in today’s omnichannel world, it is imperative that retailers of all sizes have a comprehensive view of sales and inventory.

To create this more 360-view of the business as it expanded from e-Commerce to brick-and-mortar, e-cigarette products retailer Caterpillar Vapes integrated APIs from POS platform provider Zing into its e-Commerce platform powered by Bigcommerce. With the Zing APIs, the retailer manages its inventory, e-Commerce and POS functions in one central location.


RSi Intelligent Crowdsourcing Helps Improve Retailer-Supplier Collaboration

SS RSi imageTo maintain a positive relationship with supplier partners, retailers must ensure product availability and comply with brand requirements regarding store planograms, merchandising techniques, in-store signage and more.

Real-time intelligence provider Retail Solutions and Gigwalk have partnered to release the RSi Intelligent Crowdsourcing solution. Using the solution, suppliers can accurately detect store and event conditions, send real-time fix notices to store teams, share observations with the value chain and reclaim lost sales. The solution is designed to streamline the execution of new item planograms and promotional displays, as well as preventing product out-of-stocks.

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