Modern merchandise management systems are key to profitability for any retailer. As retailing becomes more of an OmniChannel business, merchandise management has grown increasingly challenging and processes have become more complex. Here are 10 key considerations for retailers to evaluate in order to optimize practices and help ensure the profitability of all-channel operations.
- Business Intelligence
One integrated source of merchandise management and analytics to support buying, pricing, inventory management and inventory valuation to create a fully-aligned experience across all retail channels to satisfy customer demand is most beneficial to effectively drive growth and maximize profits.
- Financial Controls
A merchandise management solution with financial controls in the areas of granular-level inventory management, sales audit and invoice matching will provide comprehensive functionality, security and superior auditability.
- Price Intelligence
In order to be competitive, a price intelligence tool is needed to provide retailers with the ability to analyze industry pricing and obtain information on current market prices to best optimize pricing and measure the effectiveness of a competitive pricing strategy to ultimately improve sales.
As consumers around the world have the ability to engage in commerce across multiple channels, they expect to be able to shop anytime and anywhere with a seamless and personalized experience across all channels. Adopting a customer-centric approach across all channels is a major undertaking. In order to become fully OmniChannel-enabled, retailers must ensure the next-generation business and technology platforms are implemented.
- Flexible and Scalable
As a retailer grows, the flexibility and the ability to scale without spending a large sum of money to expand a merchandise management system is vital. Without flexibility in a merchandise management system, market opportunities and long term strategy may come to a halt through long and costly system implementations.
- Multiple Deployment Options
In order to make the most of a software investment, deployment must work in a manner that is best suited for each company’s needs. Some companies may choose deployment in the cloud while others choose on premises. Therefore, a solution that offers the flexibility to satisfy the needs of a business is important.
- Real-time Data
In order to gain a competitive advantage over the competition, the speed of real-time analytics will provide an instant understanding what is happening in a retail environment soon after it occurs. Access to real-time data has value in the form of real profits and improved customer relationships but the entire process needs to happen near real time in order to be successful.
With products flying in and out of DC’s, warehouses, and stores, tracking all the moving pieces can be overwhelming. Taking control of inventory with mobile-enabled tracking tools is important. Having immediate access to accurate, timely inventory information anywhere, anytime not only streamlines internal processes but can also help when discussing orders with customers on the sales floor, attending meetings or trade shows, visiting suppliers, or while traveling.
- Time to Deploy
For major systems, it may take years to have any operational system up and running. However, when a merchandising system needs to be put to immediate use, waiting several months or years is not an option. Increasingly more attention is being paid to cost-cutting measures by controlling the costs with systems that have enhanced reliability and faster deployment time.
- Total Cost of Ownership
The cost of support and maintenance of a given merchandising system can exceed the cost of the system itself by several times. In today’s economy, businesses are striving to cut costs by obtaining systems that have a lower cost of ownership. Reducing the cost of ownership of a new merchandising system will result in higher Return on Investment (ROI).
So, is there really a merchandise management solution that includes all of these features? As a matter of fact, yes there is! Mi9 Merchant delivers all the functionality listed above and more. Mi9 Merchant is the only enterprise-grade merchandise management and retail analytics offering available as a single solution, which delivers meaningful insights based on real-time and accurate data to enable better decision making. All channels share one merchandising and reporting system providing one version of the truth. This single platform approach also significantly lowers implementation time and ongoing IT requirements, thus delivering the highest ROI on the market. Mi9 Merchant’s overall design and technology foundation make it inherently much easier and significantly faster to implement than other merchandising systems.
Mi9 Merchant is flexible and scalable meeting the needs of tier 1, 2 and 3 retailers across a variety of retail segments and formats from ‘brick and mortar’ to web stores, serving hardlines, apparel, specialty, discount, mass merchants, and vertically integrated wholesale/retailers.
To learn more about Mi9 Merchant, click here.