IDC - Technology Spotlight - Assortment Planning in Fashion Retailing
The Road to Predictable and Profitable Assortment Planning in Fashion Retailing
This IDC Technology Spotlight examines how the next generation of assortment planning platforms supports fashion retailers to drive omnichannel micromerchandising strategies, meeting the challenges of a digital world. The paper specifically focuses on the transition from a product- to a customer- and profit centric approach, describing the core steps that retailers need to address to turn assortment into a predictable and more profitable activity. Furthermore, it will highlight the new cognitive capabilities of the BOARD solution that support the challenges of pursuing a profit-centric approach.
According to IDC's Retail Innovation survey (conducted in June 2017 among 400 brands in the US and Europe) 43% of European fashion retailers report that micromerchandising and assortment planning have very high importance in their innovation programs, but 77% are still using Excel spreadsheets or legacy applications as a working tool.
What are the key capabilities of the next generation of assortment planning platforms that support the challenges of pursuing a profit-centric approach?
Among those key capabilities, IDC highlights:
- Analytics-driven platform
- Real-time personalized assortment planning
- Intelligent Clusters
- Omni-channel efficiency
- Rapid user interaction with data
- New delivery models (SaaS/Cloud)
The main benefits of the adoption of a next generation of assortment planning platforms include:
- increasing revenue
- improving inventory turn
- anticipating market trends and identifying gaps and opportunities
- ensuring integrated planning
- maximizing the value of collaboration across the enterprise
- automating process for demand prediction
- increasing user adoption and employee productivity.
A lack of investment on a new generation of assortment planning platforms comes with its own cost, in missed expectations, dissatisfied customers, lost sales, and less profit.
BOARD works with over 150 fashion retail clients such as Kering, Kohl’s, Desigual, Puma, Versace, Harvey Nichols, and Zales, currently providing them with integrated retail planning and analytics, where analysis and simulation are seamlessly incorporated into the retail planning process. Some common selection criteria for retailers that are using BOARD were deploying end-to-end decision-making applications at speed and with lower costs. (see also IDC Technology Spotlight: Decision Making Platform for Fashion Retail).