This post is sponsored by SAP.
Successful merchandising goes beyond just understanding customer needs — it’s about delivering on those needs across multiple channels. A recent SAP Retail survey revealed that while merchandisers recognize the importance of prioritizing the customer experience, over 40% of respondents are not confident in their ability to know their customers at the level of detail needed. This disconnect highlights the need for investing in technology to gain a clearer picture of customers.
Predictive analytics and machine learning are emerging as valuable tools for merchandisers looking to improve their decision-making. In fact, more than half of retailers surveyed have already invested in enterprise resource planning software, with even more considering such a move. By leveraging technology, merchandisers can better align their strategies with business goals and profit margins.
“Technology is emerging as a real differentiator to help retailers optimize profitability while delivering a more engaging customer experience across channels. As merchants tailor their assortments and personalize promotions, predictive analytics and a connected platform for execution deliver measurable growth and profits,” says Kristin Howell, Global Vice President, Retail Marketing & Merchandising, SAP.
Priorities and profit margins
The SAP survey identified several key business goals for retailers, including improving margins, identifying profitable growth opportunities, and cultivating brand loyalty. When it comes to merchandising goals, three areas stood out as top priorities. Seventy-two percent of respondents expressed a desire to deliver consistent assortment, pricing, and promotion across all customer touchpoints. Over half of the retailers surveyed aimed to improve collaboration with suppliers and offer more flexible sources of supply. Additionally, 52% of respondents emphasized the importance of providing tailored and localized assortments.
“SAP infuses traditional merchandising and planning processes with predictive analytics and real time sales and inventory insights. Merchants can execute more quickly based on the real time pulse of their consumers and harmonize the pricing, promotions, and assortments across channels,” says Howell.
Investing in merchandising strategies that shift the perspective from products to shoppers and consumers and leverage the power of technology can help retailers stay ahead in today’s competitive retail landscape. To gain deeper insights into how merchandisers perceive their customers, utilize technology, and set their priorities, refer to the SAP Retail infographic available for download.
For more information and to learn what matters most to merchandisers, download this infographic based on SAP’s recent retail merchandising survey.
About SAP: From digitally native startups to global retail brands, SAP retail solutions help manage all aspects of the retail business with an integrated suite of applications, intelligent technologies, and a real-time retail platform to drive efficiency and deliver amazing, personalized customer experiences anywhere, anytime. Learn more at sap.com/retail-merchandising.