How Can A Retail ERP System Help You Capitalize On Consumer Trends?
In an improving economy, all signs point to increased consumer spending. A retail ERP system can help retailers make decisions to meet some of that changing demand.
Retailers can factor in external information about current trends into their retail ERP system to help project demand. A good system will also show your purchase history, but rather than simply replicating previous orders, use these trends to make adjustments and modify your purchasing. For example, if you sold 150 washing machines last winter, but current trends show that consumers are purchasing more big-ticket items, you might want to consider increasing your sales projection for that item this year.
As the economy picks up, more people are purchasing big-ticket items and durables like cars and appliances, an article in The Washington Post reports. These are the kinds of trends retailers must watch for during the changing economic tide.
The trend reflects the change in consumer mindset. Shoppers want to invest in items that will last. For instance, people see purchases on home improvement items, such as upgraded fixtures like multiple shower heads or tile backsplashes, as investments for their home. The same attitude toward purchases as an investment applies to some clothing items. One boutique in the article reported that customers are willing to spend a little more on classic fashion items, such as outerwear boots that will be worn during cold weather months in years to come.
While a retail ERP system cannot determine how external factors will change demand, it can provide invaluable information to help retailers make better purchasing decisions using historical data and the buyer’s input on changes in demand made from taking into account external data and trends. It’s also helpful at validating the validity of external data since retailers can measure sales compared to previous years. For instance, if external data caused you to increase your sales projection for washing machines, and you sold more washing machines this winter over last, you’ll be able to establish that the external source was credible and useful in adjusting your sales forecasts.
With the help of a retail ERP system, retailers can adjust their demand planning and product selection to reflect the current economic conditions and consumer buying patterns.
Source: The Washington Post, September 2013