3 Retail Inventory Management Challenges for the 2018 Holiday Season

As the sugar high from Halloween subsides, retailers are shifting their focus to the next holiday spending rush this season: Black Friday. The dangerous combination of pumpkin-spiced lattes, a strong economy, and product deals and discounts will fuel consumers into the eagerly awaited shopping period for retail.

The outlook on holiday spending this year is optimistic. Retailers are getting holiday ready and pulling out all the stops, such as Target and Walmart's free two-day holiday shipping rollout and Wayfair's holiday pop-ups

However, the difficulties in achieving success during the holidays always fall back on how effectively a retailer can manage their inventory. Are you providing the right product, in the right amount, at the right time and place? Here are some of the biggest inventory management challenges retailers must overcome this holiday season:

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Topics: holidays, merchandise planning, product assortment, inventory, e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retail, holiday shopping, data, advanced analytics, order fulfillment, demand prediction, merchandise assortment

The Flux Capacitor of Retail

What if you could travel into the future?

In the 1980s sci-fi classic trilogy, Back to the Future, Marty McFly brings back from the future the Sport's Almanac, a compilation of sports statistics and scores, with the intention of gambling his fortune on games with a 100% accuracy. 

What if you could fast-forward to next season? What would you bring?

If I had to guess, as a merchant, you’d probably gather all of the transactions across each store. With that knowledge, you could make the best use of inventory by knowing exactly where each product was going to sell.  

If only it were as easy as time travel. While nothing will be as easy as time travel, it can get pretty close with advanced analytics.

Here's why advanced analytics is the flux capacitor of retail. 

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Topics: allocation, merchandise planning, fulfillment, brick-and-mortar retail, machine learning, advanced analytics, merchandise buy, demand prediction

Q&A with the ALDO Group on the ROI of Advanced Analytics (Part 2)

In our latest webcast, Marc Chretien, Sr. Director of eCommerce Operations at the ALDO Group, shared his perspective on how the company approaches order fulfillment and advanced analytics in today's evolving retail landscape. 

Last week, we touched on the first part of the live Q&A, which consisted of insights around: 

  • the potential and complexity of optimizing store inventories for online order fulfillment
  • the unique approach the ALDO Group takes when fulfilling online orders from stores

In this post, we'll share the second half of the discussion to learn:

  • The process the ALDO Group took towards adopting advanced analytics
  • How ALDO Group dramatically increased sales, margins, and conversions with Celect Fulfillment Optimization 

Read on to learn what Marc has to say below: 

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Topics: ecommerce, brick-and-mortar retail, fulfillment optimization, cross-channel demand, advanced analytics, customer preference, order fulfillment, demand prediction

Q&A with the ALDO Group on the Challenges of Online Fulfillment (Part 1)

To thrive in a hyper-competitive market, retailers are turning to advanced analytics and optimization to drive their ship-from-store effectiveness

The ALDO Group, a global fashion retailer, is taking a different approach to omnichannel fulfillment—and realizing some serious benefits leveraging advanced analytics with Celect. 

Todd Harris, Director of Marketing at Celect, sat down a couple weeks ago with Marc Chretien, Sr. Director of eCommerce Operations at the ALDO Group, for a live Q&A to hear his thoughts on:

  • the potential and complexity of optimizing store inventories for online order fulfillment
  • the unique approach the ALDO Group takes when fulfilling online orders from stores

Check out the the first part of the Q&A transcript below, where Marc shares his experience and thoughts on some of the biggest challenges and opportunities the ALDO Group faced as it relates to fulfilling online orders from stores. 

You can (of course) access the full video interview here

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Topics: ecommerce, brick-and-mortar retail, fulfillment optimization, cross-channel demand, advanced analytics, customer preference, order fulfillment, demand prediction

Optimize Omnichannel Fulfillment for the Holiday Season

We’re just a quick block and jingle bell ring away from the holiday season — a high stakes, strategically coordinated shopping season retailers strive to perfect each and every year. 

At this point, inventory assortment plans and buys have been squared away.

However, once the frantic shopping frenzy ensues, the scale of orders coming through (from any and all channels) becomes increasingly difficult to manage. When an e-commerce purchase is made, retailers are bending over backwards to meet customer expectations even at the expense of a more profitable sale.

“[O]nline sales are growing at a respectable rate for many omnichannel retailers in large part because they continue to bear nearly all the associated costs of attracting and accommodating online shoppers, while their store-based sales often languish.” - WWD

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Topics: holidays, ecommerce, holiday shopping, fulfillment optimization, cross-channel demand, advanced analytics, customer preference, order fulfillment, demand prediction

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