Posted on September 23, 2019

Are you using the right retailing software?

Retailers make the majority of their revenue in a very short window over the holiday season each and every year. Not only is this spike in retail activity important to retailers, it has a “ripple effect” right down the supply chain including impacting manufacturing and distribution.

Getting it right and ensuring there’s enough stock, in the right place, at the right time to meet demand is a perennial challenge across the entire MRD piece. Therefore, proper planning is essential in order to successfully capitalize on the important opportunity the holiday season represents.

Increasingly, businesses throughout the entire supply chain have come to rely on modern software solutions to help them gather the data necessary to ensure maximum ROI.

Using the right retailing software is key

MS D365 Retailing softwareTo be able to plan ahead effectively, you need good information to inform the process, typically provided by retailing software. This information needs to be accurate, timely and relevant if retailers are to avoid over- or under-stocking and redundant items wasting money tied up in inventory.

That’s why businesses these days are increasingly relying on agile retailing software (software that has the headroom to adapt in line with demand) to inform their decision making and planning.

Microsoft is a key player in this space with their range of Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) products that empower users to make better decisions with data-driven insights.

5 important steps you need to take

Armed with the appropriate retailing software, what are some of the steps necessary to capitalize successfully on the holiday season window of opportunity that arrives every year like clockwork? Here are 5 to consider:

Work out your plan early

WORK OUT YOUR PLAN EARLY – it’s never too soon to start planning for the most important window of opportunity of the year. Get the planning calendar out early and remember increased retail activity continues well into January with returns and exchanges.

Analyze your dataANALYZE YOUR DATA – using a retail management system such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Commerce, you can make informed decisions on pricing strategy, and likely sales patterns and trends over the season. A good retail management system provides you with all the relevant data you need to slice and dice to inform your decision making.

Forecast demandFORECAST DEMAND – forecasting demand for items over the holiday season can be tricky. While a retail management system is invaluable to supply accurate historical data, be aware that there may be other factors that affect demand in any particular year. If there’s a new product in the market that’s in heavy demand and likely to be “the” item that everyone wants at Christmas, you’ll need to factor that in.

Ensure adequate staffingENSURE ADEQUATE STAFFING – whether you play in the manufacturing, distribution or retail space, ensuring you have adequate staff in the run up to the holiday season and during the holiday season itself is critical. Don’t forget to factor in illness, attrition, or unavailability of staff for any other reason. Always have a backup plan should the worst happen, and you suddenly find yourself understaffed.

Plan holiday promotions

PLAN HOLIDAY PROMOTIONS – the holiday season is the busiest time of the year and there’s going to be plenty of competition with everyone vying for the consumer’s attention. People have come to expect substantial savings, particularly if you sell online (consider Black Friday and Cyber Monday). Think about which sales and promotions you’ll want to run and plan advertising and promotion campaigns in good time.

Retailing software and good planning spell success

The holiday season is a critical window of opportunity that retailers, distributors, and manufactures alike need to plan for carefully.

Fortunately, agile software tools such as Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 can underpin informed decision making with pricing insights, trends analysis, demand forecasting, and more.

Korcomptenz helps to explore the opportunities made possible by digital retail transformation and helps retailers re-imagine their businesses in the cloud and thrive in today’s competitive environment. Contact us for a consultation today!

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