- Bringing the right product, at the right price, to the right person, at the right time is the ultimate challenge for buyers and merchants.
- The role of the merchant/buyer is evolving with the surge in data and personalization in retail, leading to challenges in managing and interpreting large amounts of data.
- In today’s retail environment, knowing your customer is more important than ever. The best way to gather these insights and make effective buying decisions is through data.
- By utilizing an AI merchandising experience platform, you can connect business analytics and external market data quickly to better understand your customer, increase profitability and save valuable time.
A Day in the Life of the Merchant/Buyer
“What products should I buy? And in what colors and patterns? And is the timing going to be right for this assortment launch? How many units will we need? Should they go online… or in stores? And how should I price these items? Is that in line with competitors? I need to ensure these are the trends our customer wants right now… but there is so much information to sort through.”
With the continued rise of omnichannel retailing, a heightened focus on personalization and customer-centric merchandising and more access than ever before to data, the role of the merchant/buyer is constantly evolving, and it feels like there is more work to focus on than there are hours in the day.
We get it. In situations like these, more data and technology will actually be your friend.
While it may feel like access to all of this new data will only increase your workload – having to weed through more material to analyze, comprehend and draw insights – with access to AI driven retail analytics software, all of this work becomes automated, saving you valuable time.
Evolving Role of the Merchant/Buyer
Merchandising decisions have traditionally been made from a product-centric perspective and been applied to the idea of the “average customer.” Gartner explains, “If merchandising processes continue to be linear, product-centric and customer-exclusive, they will result directly in lost sales, market-share erosion and failure in the long term.”
With the rise of customer-centricity and businesses operating under harsh economic conditions, there isn't room for mistakes when assortment planning. These developments have put a lot of pressure on you as the buyer and the way you need to perform in your role.
What if there were a way to automate the tasks you’re doing everyday and make faster sense of all the data you’re seeing?
(Spoiler alert– there is!)
How AI-Driven Analytics Software Can Help
With access to accurate data analysis from AI driven market and enterprise intelligence software, you get quick access to your own data and that of your competitors. EDITED’s Merchandising Experience platform brings together data from siloed areas and does all the data collection, transformation and prep, as well as shares insights and runs comparisons in your market.
You don’t have to waste time wondering what data to trust and use, or take hours dissecting data to determine what is relevant. Now, you can focus on making quick decisions based on immediate insights. With EDITED, you will be able to:
- Measure your performance versus that of your competitors in real-time and pull together full reports on the top sellers in your market.
- See any product, category or full assortment side by side to your competitors and make decisions that take into account real market data.
- Look at the current prices for any item in a competitor's assortment or look historically to get a deeper understanding of how new items are priced and discounted.
By accessing market data, trend insights and AI-driven solutions with our software, you can see what is happening inside and outside of your business faster, and take action immediately. At a time when knowing your customer is imperative, access to this data allows you more time to actively focus on your customer while truly understanding their needs.
Discover How Retail Merchants and Buyers Are Implementing AI Data Analytics in Real-World Scenarios
Take Abercrombie and Fitch Co. for example. Abercrombie was hoping to better understand its international customers and take a more localized approach to certain regions. Its buying and merchandising teams look at assortments on a global level, focusing on what’s sold online and what’s performing well in order to plan what they will sell in a particular region.
By using EDITED’s Market products, the team was easily able to compare retailers and understand what is happening across assortments and pricing by region. They were then able to narrow down who their target customer is – information that is crucial for assortment strategies.
With EDITED’s assortment intelligence features, the buying team identified a key market of interest and was able to break down the competitors’ categories. By doing so, the team quickly determined which categories were worth investing in based on the appetite for a specific product in the market in order to grow that category accordingly.
Victoria Pritchard, the Regional Merchant at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. shared that, “Having a snapshot view of what’s happening globally and at our competitors, all while comparing that to our own data and strategies is incredibly powerful.”
Conclusion: Embracing Change in the Retail World
The retail world is changing and will continue to do so as access to more and more data becomes available. As a buyer, having access to crucial information through AI driven technology will take hours of work off your plate, allowing you to spend more time curating the perfect assortment, rather than digging through data. EDITED is here to automate your time-consuming, manual research process and help you confidently predict which trends your customer will want to buy. Request your demo here.