- Assortment planning is a difficult task for retailers, especially without automated data analysis.
- Discover how AI-driven insights can revolutionize your assortment planning, moving from intuition to data-driven decision-making.
- Utilizing this software, you can create a more customer-centric assortment by identifying relevant trends and ensuring you are in line with the competition.
- See how EDITED can help you create a profitable and customer-focused assortment that sets your business apart.
Assortment planning in retail is no small feat. If your predictions for what will sell in the upcoming season are wrong, you risk having excess stock, needing to discount and mark down items, and potentially losing customers who may think you are out of touch. And let's not even mention the hit to overall revenue.
With this much at stake, moving from mere intuition, or “feeling,” to “knowing” based on data-driven insights, is crucial for successful assortment planning.
Challenges of Creating a Great Assortment
Assortment planning involves curating a collection of products that align with your brand and resonate with your target audience. You have to decide what products should be sold, on what channels, and to whom. This process can be challenging because of changing consumer wants, trend culture, and the sheer number of product options.
The retail landscape is dynamic and continually changing. However, with AI-driven retail technology, you can better understand your customer’s desires, your competitors' assortment strategies, and the trends in your market that are worth investing in. By utilizing data to understand these key areas, you are able to move from feeling to knowing, and optimize your assortment.
1. Customer-Centric Assortment Planning
The heart of a successful assortment plan lies in being customer-centric. This means making decisions with your target customer in mind, even before they enter your store or visit your website.
Creating a customer-centric assortment requires thoroughly understanding your customers, their preferences, and their shopping behavior so you can develop assortments that resonate with them and cater to their needs. To be customer-centric in your assortment planning, you need to implement AI-driven merchandising technology that takes you from feeling to knowing. This technology gives you access to data and insights on your customers that you wouldn’t be able to access manually. With this information, you can personalize assortments and promotions based on your target audience, leading to greater customer satisfaction and retail success.
2. Identifying Trends in Retail Using Assortment Planning
In today’s environment, it feels as if something new is trending every day, and keeping up can be overwhelming. However, rather than chasing every trend based on what you think customers want, it's crucial to use technology and data to identify which trends align with your brand and customer base. By doing so, you can create assortments that are not only trendy, but also relevant to your audience without falling victim to trend culture.
Using this technology to know what trends are worth following based on real time and historical customer and market data ensures you are not over or under investing in certain products or categories, ultimately creating better, more customer-centric assortments. Along with customer, market, and internal data, an AI-driven retail intelligence platform also provides trend and retail reports so you can stay up to date without having to do the research yourself.
3. Ensuring Your Assortment is Competitive
To stay ahead in the retail game, keeping a close eye on your competitors is essential. Analyze their assortments and compare them to your own. What's working for them? What isn't? This data-driven approach can provide valuable insights into what you can do differently and better. You can also see how your target audience interacts with other brands and what categories or products are most interesting to consumers.
By understanding how your assortment stacks up against the market, you can make proactive adjustments to stay competitive. By utilizing EDITED's suite of tools, you can make informed decisions that boost profitability and prevent over-buying. Knowing which products are likely to perform well and which might not can help you optimize your assortment.
With advancements in AI retail technology, assortment planning has evolved from being based on gut feelings to becoming a data-driven science. By understanding the importance of customer-centricity, trend analysis, and competition monitoring, and by leveraging technology like EDITED's Merchandising Experience Platform, you can transform your assortment planning process. The result? A more profitable and customer-focused assortment that sets you apart in today's competitive retail landscape.
Book a demo and take the shift from feeling to knowing with insights from EDITED’s platform when planning your next assortment and watch your business flourish.