Merchandising has always been a cornerstone of the retail industry. However, with the advent of technology, traditional business methods have undergone a significant transformation.
The retail landscape is evolving, and staying competitive requires a smart, efficient, and data-driven approach. Retail merchandising software is a technological solution designed to help retailers streamline their processes, enhance productivity, and drive sales growth.
What is merchandising software?
Retail merchandising software is a comprehensive tool that aids in accurate product tracking, optimal pricing, effective display planning, and seamless communication among staff across multiple locations. Often, these software solutions are inclusive of retail workforce management functionalities.
These tools are designed to alleviate common retail challenges by:
- Enabling easy scheduling and project tracking
- Replacing traditional spreadsheets with precise inventory details
- Improving compliance with planograms
- Integrating with other systems to accurately track past sales performance
In essence, retail merchandising software provides retailers with the means to deliver the best possible store experience for customers, from team management to inventory fulfillment.
How does retail merchandising software work?
Retail merchandising software guides the workflow from inception to completion, enhancing consumer experience and boosting revenue in the process. Here’s how a typical workflow, augmented by retail merchandising software, might look like:
- Strategy Support. The ideal retail merchandising software should align with the merchandising strategy. Look for tools that support in-store execution while providing comprehensive reporting and analysis. This way, you can measure outcomes and carry out merchandising work efficiently.
- Execution. Retail execution software simplifies communication and task delegation within teams, improving communication with leadership and among team members.
- Coordination. After assigning tasks to teams, third-party vendors receive workflow notifications, allowing for seamless integration of different stakeholders in executing the initial strategy.
- Real-time Tracking. Using retail merchandising software, teams can track completed tasks in real time. This allows retailers to monitor team progress and make necessary adjustments.
- Analysis. After implementing the strategy, retail merchandising software can collect and analyze performance data. Managers can easily conduct retail audits, track real-time sales, and analyze workflows. The software also identifies workforce inefficiencies, highlighting areas for improved labor scheduling and more effective execution.
Major benefits of retail merchandising software
The adoption of merchandise planning systems can bring a multitude of benefits to retailers. Here are some of the most significant advantages:
- Boosts Sales Performance. Retail merchandising software helps ensure flawless retail strategy execution across all sales channels, directly contributing to increased sales.
- Enhances Team Productivity. With real-time tracking and task management, retail merchandising software can significantly boost team productivity. It empowers retail managers to track teams in real-time across territories and place the right employee on the job.
- Streamlines Operations. Retail merchandising software can streamline nearly every retail process, from task management to execution verification measures. It rolls several tools into one easy-to-use platform, driving operational excellence across teams and locations.
- Facilitates Real-time Reporting. With retail merchandising software, managers can access real-time reporting that provides insight into mileage and completed tasks. This high visibility of each step ensures errors won’t fly under the radar.
- Improves Customer Experience. By providing store teams with precise estimates on order fulfillment and re-stocking, inventory management features within merchandising software can create a fuss-free in-store purchasing experience for customers.
Essential features of retail merchandising software
When considering merchandise planning software, it’s important to look for key features that can significantly enhance your retail operations.
- Scheduling and Workforce Optimization. Scheduling and workforce optimization features enable managers to staff each location and accurately adjust as needed in real time.
Task Audits. Task audit features allow for task completion and inventory auditing via a robust cloud-based platform.
- Time and Mileage Tracking. Time and mileage tracking features provide more accurate assessments of time-on-task for employees and their stores.
- Enhanced Communications Tools. Effective communication is key in any retail operation. Look for software that offers dedicated support for communications to ensure no missed signals.
- Analytics Tools. Analytics tools can provide comprehensive, actionable reports, offering insights into how a location is doing historically or how to solve problems.
The future of retail merchandising software
As technology continues to evolve, so too will retail merchandising software. With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can expect to see even more advanced features and capabilities in the future.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are set to revolutionize retail merchandising software. These technologies can provide predictive analytics, automate routine tasks, and offer personalized recommendations, among other benefits.
As retail operations become more complex, integrating with other systems will become increasingly important. This will allow for a more seamless flow of information and a more comprehensive view of operations.
Data is becoming increasingly important in retail, and this trend is set to continue. Retail merchandising software will likely offer more advanced data analysis capabilities, allowing retailers to make more informed decisions.
Retail merchandising software can help retailers streamline operations, boost sales, and deliver superior customer experiences. Choosing a software solution that aligns with your needs can transform your retail operations and set your business up for success. Whether you’re a small retailer or a large enterprise, investing in retail merchandising software is a step in the right direction.
Featured image credit: Artem Beliaikin/Unsplash