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Inventory Optimization Topping Retailers’ Wish List for this Season

Tyco Retail Solutions recently partnered with EKN Research to look at how retailers are managing the challenges of omni-channel retail and meeting the needs of their evolving shoppers. Having real-time, enterprise-wide inventory available to shoppers and store associates is paramount to satisfy today’s customers anytime and anywhere. The research e-book Inventory Optimization found that 50 percent of the retailers surveyed are unable to provide a single view of their in-stock position, and as such, sales can decline as much as 8.2 percent of total sales due to lack of inventory accuracy. This lack of visibility can cause retailers serious issues ahead of the busy holiday shopping season.

Inventory Visibility is Key for Omni-Channel Holiday

As brick and clicks continue to collide this holiday season, customer demands require a high degree of timely and accurate inventory availability via real-time inventory data access. Store in-stock levels that consistently fall below 85 to 90 percent pose a significant risk to sales and customer satisfaction as out-of-stocks can greatly impact holiday spending.

“Precise monitoring and optimization of inventory is critical to support retailers’ operational performance in the omni-channel age,” said Tony D’Onofrio, chief customer officer, Tyco Retail Solutions. “As retailers seek to amplify the customer experience, awareness of stores’ in-stock positions can help manage customer demand effectively at the item, store and channel level. This is especially important as customers use fulfillment options like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), this holiday season.”

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New Fulfillment Options Require Better Accuracy

When it comes to adopting new ways to shop, today’s customers are moving at lightning speed. To keep up the pace, 7 out of 10 retailers say they want to improve same day or next day fulfillment and shipping capabilities to meet consumer demand. However, item-level inventory insights are required for fast turnaround delivery and omni-channel options, like BOPIS or ship from store, which will increase significantly throughout the holiday season.

Actionable Omni-Channel Next Steps

“The results of our 2016 Immersive Retail Experience Survey indicate that inventory availability is more important than ever to improve business and customer intelligence. Investing in inventory management technology, as 40 percent of respondents plan to do within the year, is a key strategy to address this need,” said Sahir Anand, vice president of research and principal analyst, EKN.

The second e-book in a three-part series, Inventory Optimization, discusses the omni-channel inventory issues facing retailers and recommends tools and processes to better meet customer-centric demands. The final e-book in this series, Store Excellence and Performance, will be released in December.

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